Inexpensive looper pedal

You're right. That's why I think loopers are great practice tools. I feel my timing is way better than before.
That is why loopers are the next best thing to metronomes...
I had the same issue with loopers at first. Used a metronome with it and it made a whole lot of difference.
Justin Guitars has a great tutorial. He emphasizes the importance of hitting record right on the beat. Recommends playing a few bars before recording, tap on the 1, and untap on the 1. Also recommends using a metronome.

I still struggle with this sometimes. But my looper does have a built in metronome (or drums) which helps a bit. My struggle was that I wanted to end the loop when I play the last chord and it took a while to figure out you have to stop the loops just as you are about to play the first chord again. ...So I just hit the stop loop button as hit the first chord again and generally the loops sound good. (or at least good enough)

Oh - yeah you can get super complicated loops like I did and I still don't really know how to use it all. But I recommend starting off with a simple and inexpensive like the ditto looper.

… I got and Electro Harmonix 22500 which has 99 banks to store loops. It's interesting to play around with because it's got settings that can be configured for each loop. So I've got loops 95-99 set up so they only play once and I recorded some weird sounds that I'll hit on occasion to throw off my band mates lol. (like police sirens or dogs barking lol) But the first 10 loops I have set up to play quantized (if that is the right word) to a rhythm (either drums or just a click) That way I can play a loop to a drum track and the playback doesn't get out of sync with the drums. (and it does very quickly if you don't set it to be quantized to rhythm.) So I use these to jam out at home and practice improvising. The pedal has two independent loops that are set to the same time and I'll switch back from a verse chord progression to chorus chord progression.

The looper also allows you to do totally free form and have both loops overlap each other. Overall its pretty complicated which I though would be great but it's too complicated for me still. I probably should have started simple and worked up to this one lol.
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You're right. That's why I think loopers are great practice tools. I feel my timing is way better than before.
I definitely became a better rhythm player when I started using a looper. For the first few days, it was nearly impossible to get the timing right, but then it just clicked and it turns out I'm pretty damn good at finding the one - I seem to be able to dance around, skip a beat here and there and still nail the landing. I don't do anything fancy with them, usually just a basic rhythm track, maybe a bass track below it, and that's it - then just play to it.

I can't use a metronome though - I want to throw them out the window on the rare occasion I've tried. Because it doesn't really matter how close you are on some of the intermediate beats if you can consistently hit the ONE, and I seem to have some built in radar for that. So a metronome just confuses matters and is NO DAMN FUN!

Got the Rowin and the Boss RC-2 in today. The Boss was pretty easy to get a really basic loop going. Gonna take a while to learn all the functionality, but so far it's a lot of fun. Didn't try the Rowin. Might end up sending that one back.
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I have an Ammoon Looper for under $50 from Amazon. Does the job for me.
All the loopers sold on amazon, under Ammoon, Donner, and the other names i can't think of right now are the same looper, with different lables on them. They are all made in China and quality is hit or miss. Warranty is difficult to get or non-existant on these.
I started with a ditto, but soon realized it wasn't was I was looking for in a looper as I wanted something to throw mutliple ideas into quickly. I wound up with an EHX 720 that holds 10 loops and up to 12 minutes of total loop time. It does exactly what I needed. At the moment I have 9 loops full still waiting for me to get of my rump and get them polished enough to finally record.
I have an Ammoon Looper for under $50 from Amazon. Does the job for me.
I've used this looper and it's totally good enough in my opinion. I may get one for my 2nd (smaller) board. I think (but not sure) that it is a copy for the EH 720.
I went looking for a looper a few months back, and a friend said "get one that quantizes so you don't have to nail the stop" and I was like, wait, no, no, I WANT to work at it and get my timing better. So I went simple (Ditto) - it took a little practice to get the hang of it, but now I can nail the timing more often than not. They're a lot of fun to use.
I think the quantize feature is only needed if you are creating loops over a drum track or click track. At least that is where I ran into problems w quantize setting off. I would nail (or so I thought) the loop to the click to built in drum track but after a few times through, the fractions of a second I was actually off by started to build and the whole thing fell apart. turning on the quantize setting locked in my loop to the actual time of the drum track. I guess it would be important if you were playing with multiple loopers as well or using the loop for a recording??. But for playing a simple (or even complex) loop on your own that doesn't have to sych up with a rhythm track or some other device, I don't that the quantized setting is as critical. ...but I still consider myself a rookie with loopers so perhaps someone else know better.