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This is an actual pedal, not just a box. It has a rocker pedal that is like the gas pedal on your car. Changing the angle with your foot changes the tone. Basically a wah wah is a tone knob controlled by your foot . There's also a switch to bypass the wah wah, usually under the end of the pedal in the front. So, to use it, you have to stomp the rocker pedal forward to turn the switch on, then move the pedal back and forth while you play. Some good use is in Portishead's "Roads," Morcheeba's instrumental "Who Can You Trust?," Dinasour Jr.'s "Little Fury Things," Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Sir Psycho Sexy," 31's "Freak Out."
Usually used four different ways:
For the clean, muted, "wacka wacka wacka" 70s funk soundpedal being rocked in rhythm with the strumming. (Think "Theme from Shaft.")
Combined with distortion and pushed back and forth slower for a screaming rude rock sound (almost any Jimi Hendrix). Also check out the rhythm guitar in the Bomb song, "All My References are Dead" on the CDthough one guitar is a wah wah and the other is an envelope filter.
Set in one place as a tone control. (Think Brian May of Queen's lead sound.)
Used wrong. Just randomly used, not in rhythm or with reason. Used just because it's there. This is the most common use of the wah wah.
I got help from my younger, hipper friends with song examples in this chapter. A lot of help. They also helped a bit with examples in Chapter 2, "Songwriting Basics," and all the equipment chapters. The younger , hipper friends are KTRU (Houston) radio DJ, Daniel Joseph Mee (www.thejonx.org) and Skip Frederiksen from the very cool Florida band Beauty's Confusion (www.beautysconfusion.net). Thanks, guys.
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