Loop Corner: Chic 'Le Freak' With a TC Electronic Flashback and a Yamaha THR

Amped Editor Richard Beech is in de-Nile about his disco abilities   17-Aug-14

Amped's Richard Beech invites you to jam with him, but you might have to turn the volume up a bit...

When it comes to recording a video with a looper pedal, there are few genres of music that require tighter timing than disco.

So on a sunny Sunday morning, after a pretty late Saturday evening, for some reason I decided that my weekly loop was going to be 'Le Freak' by Chic.

Recently I have been trying to record at least one video per week, just a one take video with an amp, looper pedal, and obviously, a guitar.

This week, for the first time, I decided to use a proper camera, a Zoom Q3, previously I had just been using my iPhone.

I still need to work on setting gain levels on the mic, and do a bit of getting used to recording videos at home. But... I'll make sure my best attempt is a bit... louder.

Composition and melody

Personally I feel like, with looper pedals, it can become quite easy for a song to get extremely repetitive, as loops are, by their very nature, VERY repetitive.

So the idea with this version of 'Le Freak' was to start off mellow, just hinting at the chord sequence and melody, before building it up and making it more recognisable.

If you want to try this song at home, it's incredibly easy, and is a good way of developing different chord voicings.

The chords are just Am (or Am7 if you're feeling bluesy), Dmaj, and Cmaj.

I actually turned the first chord into a Am/Dmaj by blending the two chords together at the beginning of the loop. This was a complete accident, but gave it a bit of a jazzy feel.

The melody is then just four notes, which I won't tab out, as I don't want to upset any copyright holders! But you can spot it easily from the video.

Rhythm

Far from perfect, but not so bad that it turned into a disaster. I tried to get my right hand moving constantly when recording the main chop, but came in very slightly ahead of the beat, so had to adjust pretty quickly. But towards the end I feel like all the various parts added up to a nice groove.

As you can see from the video, I recorded the opening riff with a metronome in my ear, it was set at 108 bpm.

Gear

Guitar: Homemade (and half-finished) Cabronita Telecaster, with a Squier Tele neck, sanded down. TV Jones Classic pickup set.

Pedal: TC Electronic Flashback x4 (on the looper function).

Amp: Yamaha THR10X - on the clean setting.

Camera: Zoom Q3HD

Jam with me!

Recording this was a lot of fun, so feel free to jam over it and have some more fun. On the next video I post, I'll try to record the audio directly (as the THR acts an interface), so that sound quality is better.

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