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Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by Seasicksailor, Feb 8, 2019.
Right. Don't over think it, put on Voodoo Chile and work with the wah till you can do that. Done.
I have two wah's.
The first is an original WahWah from the early 70's. Still says Thomas Organ on the bottom of it.
Sounds great but, weighs a Lot, goes through 9 Volt Batteries like crazy and they are kind of a hassle to change.
Enter the new breed mini-wah.
Love it. Has a Vintage setting that is pretty darn close to the original.
Plugs in to my power Brick with all my other fx.
I love, LOVE my wah. I use it just as everyone has described. Been through several (Vox, crybaby, mini crybaby) before finally landing on the Xotic Wah, which is fantastic and built like a tank. Not cheap though.
Have fun(k) with it!
One of my favorite wah-wah users is Jerry Garcia. He got more interesting sounds using just a wah wah pedal (and briefly, a fuzztone) circa 1972-1974 than he did with that refrigerator sized rack with all the effects pedals and guitar synth doohickeys that he had during the 6 years of his life.
One trick he used a lot in the early 70's, during the freakout jams during Dark Star and The Other One, was to rock the pedal back and forth while playing these tremolo picked chromatic things. He'd tremolo a group of four chromatic notes and progressively climb up the neck as he rocked the pedal back and forth. He'd also rock it back really fast, so that it was almost like tremolo kind of effect while soloing.
Check out the Weirdness jam from The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack. The version of Playin' In The Band on that release is also pretty good too.
Another wah wah user that most people seem to overlook is Dave Brock of the English psychedelic band Hawkwind. He seems to have really only gone gung ho with it for a brief period circa 1972-1973, but that just happens to include the band's epochal double live album Space Ritual. Like every solo on that record he plays through the wah wah, though the highlight, so far as that goes, is probably the coda of Space Is Deep where he's playign chords through the wah wah and just doing some really cool things. That record is hands down one of the greatest psychedelic records, as well as one of the greatest metal records.
Oh, and I also have to mention Pete Cosey, who played with Miles Davis circa 1973-1975. He got some of the nastiest, sickest fuzz/wah wah timbres on Dark Magus, Pangaea and Agharta. More great psychedelic music.
Also, I love Frank Zappa's wah wah solos on his albums Hot Rats and Burnt Weenie Sandwich. He also uses the wah wah on the melody of Toads Of The Short Forest, from his album Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
Then there's Michael Schenker, who used to use a wah wah on all the time, when he was in UFO and the 80's era MSG records (he said he stopped using wah wah because all of his old Cry Baby pedals stopped working, and "the new ones don't sound the same"). He was sort of famous for leaving the pedal in one position, but at least on One Night At Budokan, I swear I can hear him rocking the pedal, but he's doing more subtly than most guitarists.
Oh, and if you ever wonder what happens if you plug your wah wah in backwards, listen to Pink Floyd's Echoes. That's how David Gilmour got the seagull sounds during the middle section. In fact, when English pedalboard guru Peter Cornish built a board for Gilmour in the mid 70's, he had Cornish include a switch that reverses the connections, for that very purpose.
As for Hendrix, my favorite wah wah track from his Burning Of The Midnight Lamp. The wah wah jazz chords on Up From The Skies is pretty cool too.
Oh yeah, and a mention for Stevie Ray Vaughan's Say What, which was a great wah wah track, which always felt to me like SRV's homage to Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining Still Dreaming.
Oh, and my favorite wah wah is the English made Colorsound pedal from the early 70's. IT has a longer than usual pedal travel, or whatever you call it, so you can sweep across more of the pot's range than you can with a Cry Baby or other similar pedals. I believe Jerry Garcia used one of these circa 72-73.
I remember seeing ads for Boss' wah wah pedals back in the early 80's, that used something called the Hall Effect, which did away with pots, so they didn't scratchy the way a Crybaby or Colorsound might. Anyway, in the ads they mention that the pedal has an adjustable range control, as well as a switch that selected different center frequencies. Always made me interested in trying one to see how it stacks up against the Colorsound, but I've never come across one on the used market.
Well, I bought my first wah 6 years ago - after nearly 30 years of playing guitar.
Wah for me was like "White Room" from Cream or Hendrix tunes and I never was much into those sounds.
Even now I prefer the wah with a clean tone or a slight break-up clean.
I use it mainly for funky rhythm-stuff like "Papa was a rollin' stone".
When it comes to soloing, I try to use it like a human speaking voice, i.e. how would a melody sound like in a conversation - it's not onlöy the notes, it' how to play them....
My favorite is the old Thomas Organ cry baby wah. I have two. One made in Sepulveda and one made in Chicago. Got them cheap at pawn shops because they thought they were just a run of the mill Cry Baby.