On Sunday, September 1st, 2013 – Outlaw Yoga, KenK, and his students from Littleton Guitar School orchestrated the first ever “Guitar Flash Mob”. A flash mob is defined as a “group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perform predetermined actions, designed to amuse and entertain surrounding people”. During the “YOGA ROCKS THE PARK” morning class at Sunken Gardens park in Denver, thirty guitar students streamed into the class of over 150 yogis and broke into a rendition of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”.
Yoga teacher, Justin Kaliszewski, instructed the students to lay on their backs and close their eyes – that’s when the “sneak” occurred…
The group then began playing “Hey Jude” while the surprised yogis looked on… some even stopping their practice to take photos and video.
Many (if not all) of the yoga students joined in for a rousing sing-a-long “na na na’s” at the end. There were smiles, tears, and an overall feeling of awesome community!
Jul 30, 2009 Live Looping!
So most musicians are familiar with, or at least have heard of “looping” – but it’s a rarity when a casual listener understands the concept or has heard the term. I am an avid “live looper” and really enjoy demonstrating the technique to listeners, however sometimes I am accused of “playing along with tracks” or “using backing tracks”. I just want to explain a little bit about “live looping” and debunk the myths that have surfaced.
“Live Looping” is the process of playing sections of music while simultaneously recording it and then having them repeat over and over (loop). It is then possible to play a second part along with the loop, that overlays on top of the first loop (known as “overdubbing”). Multiple tracks can be overdubbed to form a huge band sound from a single performer. It is possible to loop multiple instruments as well, such as rhythm guitar, bass, rhythms, lead guitar and vocals. There are numerous “looping pedals” available, however I use the BOSS RC-2 (with external footswitch).
[EDIT: Since I wrote this article I have updated my looper to the BOSS RC-30. This pedal has considerably more functionality, and is well made. I’m very happy with this upgrade!]
Most, if not all, of the looping pedals allow the user to save the loops that are created. They can then be “recalled” at any given time and replayed. Some players save the loops and reuse them, or create loops of “full songs” then perform along with them. This is where “LIVE” looping stops, and “PRE-RECORDED” looping begins. These are called “backing tracks”. There is nothing “live” about them.
I enjoy creating ALL of my loops live, in the moment, and on the spot. There is a risk involved that something can go wrong at any time – and I’ve seen it – from loss of power (and loop) to broken buttons that wouldn’t stop, accidentally hitting the stop (or start) button, or accidentally starting the loop from the previous song. But that’s what’s fun about it. Pre-recorded loops require you to play the song the same way every time. That’s how it’s recorded, so that’s how it has to be played. True “live looping” doesn’t have an arrangement. It’s up to the performer to take it wherever they want. It’s a little bit of life on the edge, plus a unique performance every time.
There are guys out there using pre-recorded tracks – and some of them are pretty good. They just aren’t “live looping”. In my eyes, that’s the difference.
01.30.12: The damnedest thing!
I’ve teamed up with my son, Justin, a yoga instructor for Core Power Yoga to offer “live music yoga” sessions. This is a fairly large departure from the typical flutes and ocean breeze new-agey music usually associated with yoga. Justin offers a challenging and motivating session, that combined with the flow and energy of live guitar music, provides yoga enthusiasts a unique, out of the box way to practice. The class debuted in November 2011 and is held on Friday nights, 8p at the Colorado Blvd Core Power (about 1/2 mile north of I-25). The class has been met with great enthusiasm and is a standing-room only crowd every week.
Update: As of May 2012, we’ve expanded to include “Kindness Yoga” to our list of studios supporting live music yoga with a 75-minute class on Saturdays (noon-1:15p). Kindness is located at 1947 Broadway, a little north of Evans (across from Thrillseekers).
Further Update: As of June 22, 2012 we have move the Friday Night Live yoga class to Kindness Yoga studio on Broadway (just north of Evans). We are extremely pleased to be working with Kirk at Kindness and all the wonderful yogis who belong. Kindness offers a free week, work programs, and a great community spirit.
If you’re into yoga, come on out. You’ll enjoy it!