Watch the Wah Wah online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Guitar Effects Survival Guide
The Wah Wah pedal is one of the coolest guitar effects ever. Released in 1967 as the Vox Clyde McCoy. Oddly enough Clyde McCoy was a trumpet player as the pedal was to be used when amplifying the horn. Fortunately guitarists picked up on the almighty wah. The name Cry Baby has become de facto for the wah as it became the most popular. A wah is basically an active tone control that boosts lower frequencies through higher ones by using the sweep of the pedal. A guitar’s tone knob is passive and just rolls off high end, the wah electronically boosts frequencies. What makes the wah so timeless is its versitility, it can emulate a human voice, be a rhythmic device, boost a screaming
lead, a tone shaping tool, among other uses.The first known commercial recording of a wah pedal is Cream’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses”. As we know the distinctive sound caught on with just about every guitar player on the planet! There are too many uses of the wah to mention here, almost 50 years later it is still a must have pedal for every guitarist. For an in-depth look at wah history and a great read please check out “Analog Man’s Guide To Vintage Effects”.