How well an audience receives your looping depends on several things. To start with, how to use each pickup for each loop. Try laying down a percussive track using the neck pickup in order to give it a drum-like tone. Next roll on to the rear pickup for the addition of chords. This allows you to solo using both pickups, which gives you a much smoother tone for creating melodies. You can now move your picking hand over either pickup to achieve the sound that works best for you. Once you’ve created a song using this method, completely change the pattern.
Now create a percussive line using the bridge pickup, a bassline using both pickups and a melody line using the bridge pickup with increased mids. Increasing the Mids, can help your tone to cut through the mix and be heard by the audience. Using Seymour Duncan SSB4 & 5 pickups with the active/passive 3 band preamps works very nice for looping. I can get my P-Bass tones, Jazz tones and everything between. Having a clean pickup/circuitry setup in your bass, makes achieving a wide array of bass tones, much easier. It’s easier to create loops when everything you play sounds clean. At times, looping with the same pickup tone over and over, can begin to sound like a freight train of bass notes. Remember… if it sounds good… it is good.
In the video, hear how Michael Manring and I use different picking techniques and pickup selections to make an improv jam. The first bassline is looped, followed by a short chord progression. The rest is just good ole’ fun.