Stir It Up vs. Crimson and Clover

Oh, no, the mistletoe! On a rainy December afternoon I prepared a little antidote to holiday music poisoning: a mashup of two of the most summery songs ever. It’s Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up” vs. “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

7 comments to Stir It Up vs. Crimson and Clover

  • Oinkus

    You are just having way too much fun doing that ! Might be because you have so many nice toys to play with or something like that. I always hear Johnny Nash for that song because it was first version I ever heard.

  • Well I think your viewers are having a lot of fun watching! I know I am, I really like your loop performances. Does it take a long time for you to work out the parts and to figure out how to voice them?

    You could perhaps put together a DVD of performances with some tutorial material on how you approached the parts and voicing (I know, I know .. as if I didn’t already have enough to do …..).

    It’s inspired me to finally go out and buy a TC Ditto Looper X2.

  • Shizmab Abaye

    Yeah, maybe without giving away too many trade secrets you might add some annotations on a video saying which button you pressed when. I have a couple of Digitech Jamman loopers which I don’t think would allow the things you are doing.

    I’ve also goofed around a bit with the Windows Mobius and Linux SooperLooper programs which are incredibly complex but seem like they might allow some of this sophistication.

    Btw, for some reason “Crimson and Clover” reminds me of stopping at a gas station in San Rafael on the way home from Point Reyes – about 30 or 40 years ago. It certainly wasn’t the first time I heard it. I always liked the psychedelic break.

    • joe

      Oh, I’m happy to share pretty much any so-called secret. In fact, last year I wrote a Premier Guitar article that included just about every looping trick I’ve learned or concocted:

      In the meantime, here’s the basic technique for this performance: My looper, a Boomerang III, supports four separate channels. You can either switch between looped recordings (with none of them overlapping), or use a secondary mode, which I employ in most of my solo loop performances. In this mode, your first recording determines the loop length. You can add additional tracks, but they all must be the same length, or a multiple of the original length. In this mode, you can have the initial track continue to play along with one of the synchronized loops. (You can also switch off the original track, but everything still clocks to that original recording.)

      I started with a MIDI drum part. This one is two bars long (assuming you’re counting slow quarter-notes). Next I added a four-bar bass part, which I immediately copied to a second track. I added the clean backbeat skank to the first bass loop, and the spacy, echoing skanks to the second loop. (I change sounds by switching between MainStage patches with the SoftStep controller pedal.)

      After that, I’m just playing on top of the initial loops, switching frequently between them for a dubbed-out effect. I add the fourth channel for the “Crimson and Clover” breakdown, and later I overdub that same fourth-channel part onto one of the bass/rhythm guitar loops.

      Not every looper can do this trick, though I don’t believe Boomerang is the only one that can. I’ve had bad luck with software loopers, despite their great power, because the clocking errors can be too great to play steady drum parts. But they work fine for performances that don’t require extreme rhythmic precision.

      Thanks for asking. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Oinkus

    I will stick to 3 chords and playing lead over it with the Ditto X2 , so much easier and cheaper.It is also within my meager abilities to almost get that one right most of the time!

    • Randy

      I recently got a ditto X2 as well, after watching and reading about one of joe’s looping demos. I know what you mean — he makes it look so effortless, but it’s really NOT, at least for me, after I get past the third or fourth layer.
      Love the simplicity of the X2 though. And the FX modes are fun. When I first got it, just for a laugh I set to half speed and played the heartbreaker solo (slowly — which is all I can manage) and then set it to normal speed… gratifying wild flurries of notes! The reverse loop is also fun.

  • Oinkus

    I just split my signal into 2 amps and just run the rhythm clean through one and play lead out of the other .

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