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Old 12-02-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
Agent51
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Wah Pedals; Usage and Techniques?

I'm starting to branch off into experimenting with tones and effects and such and I'm kind of "stuck" when it comes to Wah. My main band is a punk rock band, an while we have riffs/licks/solos that are very classic/hard rock-inspired, Wah is something I've never even had in my pedalboard, nevermind incorporated into my playing. For about a year now I've had the Dunlop Slash Wah, which I've been meaning to start experimenting with but haven't really ever had the time to dedicate to it. I'm doing a side project that is very blues-rock driven (stuff from SRV-style to 70s/80s rock style like old Aerosmith and GnR etc) and so now I want to dedicate time to learning to use the pedal.

Currently I just play my lick/solo and just move the pedal when I think it will sound good, and sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I want to get consistent in knowing when it would sound good or not, so I can use it during on the fly improv (eventually). Are there basic rules to Wah playing, Luke when you should lift and when you should depress? Or maybe timing/rhythm guidelines to using them? I find it hard to believe the coolest wag uses we've heard in music are all just improv or accidents, there has to be SOME sort of basic "rules" to it sounding good?
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Last edited by Agent51 : 12-02-2012 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
crazytjeuh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent51
I'm starting to branch off into experimenting with tones and effects and such and I'm kind of "stuck" when it comes to Wah. My main band is a punk rock band, an while we have riffs/licks/solos that are very classic/hard rock-inspired, Wah is something I've never even had in my pedalboard, nevermind incorporated into my playing. For about a year now I've had the Dunlop Slash Wah, which I've been meaning to start experimenting with but haven't really ever had the time to dedicate to it. I'm doing a side project that is very blues-rock driven (stuff from SRV-style to 70s/80s rock style like old Aerosmith and GnR etc) and so now I want to dedicate time to learning to use the pedal.

Currently I just play my lick/solo and just move the pedal when I think it will sound good, and sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I want to get consistent in knowing when it would sound good or not, so I can use it during on the fly improv (eventually). Are there basic rules to Wah playing, Luke when you should lift and when you should depress? Or maybe timing/rhythm guidelines to using them? I find it hard to believe the coolest wag uses we've heard in music are all just improv or accidents, there has to be SOME sort of basic "rules" to it sounding good?



I'd listen to a GnR record and try to mimic it. You should see it as a virtual mouth aswell, so when the notes get more 'intense' slightly press it to get that sound (listen to famous vocalists and how they put more feeling into notes). If there were rules to it, expression would be hard!
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
Agent51
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Haha, that's how I try to do it now, I just wasn't sure if Wah was ALWAYS just "feelin" it, or if maybe there were common "timing patterns" or something, like common foot-tap patterns for it. But if it's all basically just how you want to express it then I guess I'll just keep practicing with it and getting used to the different intensities of the note manipulations in relation to the pedal. At least it sounds cool to practice with, even when it doesn't necessarily sound like you want lol.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
Facecut
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The wah usually sounds good if it supports the rhythm of your phrases, not randomly open and close it. Slower motions sound better most of the time. You can use tremolo picking for more resolution of the tonal alternation. There is a sweet spot where the tone changes dramaticly on a very small part of the whole pedal range. Find it and be aware of it, play around with it. It changes with the pitch of your notes and the strings you use. Unfortunately there is a pitch limitation, go very high up and your wah won´t go the whole range anymore. Bridge pickup supports a wah better than neck pu.

Try to copy artists like steve vai or zakk wylde or other good wah users
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