Wah Wah Wah…Say Wah?
When someone that really knows what they are doing with a wah pedal, it can be a really cool effect. Unfortunately, it goes the other way too because if you don’t know what you are doing, it could make your tone sound basically ridiculous.
How Does A Wah Pedal Work?
What a wah does is clear – it is either a bandpass filter or an overcoupled lowpass filter that exhibits a resonant peak just at its lowpass rolloff frequency. The resonant peak can be moved up and down in frequency by the player, and this makes for a striking emulation of the human voice making a “waaaah” tone, or its tonal inverse, “aaaooow”. There are several means to this end, and the circuits are well understood for the classical implementations of such filters with opamps, state variable filters and the like. Read more…
A Cool Wah Techniques Video
Auto Wah vs Wah Pedal
Personally, I think that each has their own uses and merits. I prefer using a regular wah pedal but I have been known to use an auto wah from time to time as well. Auto wah can actually be fun to experiment with because it acts with your attack on the strings. So, by experimenting with different intensities in your picking, you can cover a wide array of tones.
Can A Wah Pedal Be Used as A volume or Expression Pedal?
It can be done….not without some modifications though. Really though, just get yourself a good volume pedal because I don’t know why anyone would sacrifice a good wah and make it into a volume.
If you are still wanting to do it though, there are instructions here.
Can You Use A Wah Pedal On A Bass?
Sure! Why Not?! Play around with it! Take a look at this:
Where Should I Put It In The Signal Chain?
It could technically go just about anywhere in the signal chain but I prefer it right at the end. Some people will say that you always should put it at the very beginning but I just like it the other way. My advice would be just to try different configurations and find out what you like best. Not a fan of putting it in the effects loop either.
Here is a good video explains some more:
Who Uses What?
- Zakk Wylde – MXR ZW45 Zakk Wylde Signature Cry Baby®
- Jimi Hendrix – Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Signature Wah
- Dimebag Darrell – Dunlop Dimebag Signature Wah Crybaby Pedal
- Slash – Dunlop SW-95 Crybaby Slash Wah
Now it’s just time for you to get a wah if you don’t already have one and play around with it!