Adding some beats to your practice session

I try to practice my guitar daily, even if that means carting a guitar around the country with me when travelling. It’s always a challenge though to keep your practice routine fresh whilst keeping it actual practice rather than playing. To try mix up my routine a bit I’ve tried adding drum loops to replace the metronome for jamming along to using the FunkBox app on iOS. I tried it for the first time today and it inspired this little jam.

It’s quite a nice little app: simple enough that even I can program in a drum loop (like the one in the video, which is one I made rather than one of the stock loops), and covers a wide range of drum machine tones from old to new, simple analogue sounds to synth sounds.

Whilst it doesn’t replace the metronome for everything, it certainly makes it more fun to try and practice keeping time over longer pieces. In theory I can load loops into my TC Electronic Ditto x2 looper pedal, which I love otherwise, but loading loops on it involves getting out my computer and fiddling rather than playing, so in practice I never use this feature. Having a stand alone drum machine app like FunkBox, even if it lacks the complexity of the drums I could make on my laptop using AI drummers in GarageBand or Logic, wins by just being immediate to use without stopping the flow of my practice session. Only time will tell if I find it easy enough to use that I persist with it or return to the metronome.