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Tell me more about...... Wah Pedals

Published: Wed August 20, 2008  News Feed

At some point, every guitar player in the world MUST own a wah pedal. The optional extras, are a fuzz pedal and leather trousers. Its in the Bible somewhere, honest.

Most wah pedals are associated with choppy funk licks from the 70’s or Hendrix's Voodoo chile, not to mention Jimmy Page's "Dazed And Confused" opening harmonics. George Harrison also used wah in later-day Beatles and even wrote a solo song called "Wah Wah". From Eric Clapton in his Cream days to Noel Gallagher of Oasis, the wah has found its appeal in each generation of rock'n'roll guitar gods.

This may be enough to hook many of us, but the wah is a much more versatile pedal: The wah pedal (also known as wah-wah pedal) basically works by changing the tone of your guitar in one fast, sweeping movement, controlled as an expression pedal by the foot.

Basically, anyone who has ever tapped their foot in time to music can qualify. Give yourself 30 minutes with one and that’s when the guitar faces come out.

Some wah users go the other way and use the pedal on a stationary position, to get a different tone this way.

And, like any effect pedal, the only limit to its usage is your creativity! Wah pedals have been used not only plugged to guitars, but also to basses, keyboards and even DJ turntables!

With so many Wah models out there to choose from, it might be hard to make a decision, so here's our guide to some of the best models available at Dolphin Music!

Entry Level Wah Pedals:

Behringer Hellbabe

This multi-functional Wah-Wah pedal offers everything you need for virtually all styles and sounds. Perfect as a first wah pedal for those who are still not sure of what they want. view more

Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah-Wah

This is the original wah-wah pedal used to create many classic rock sounds. Despite it's modest price-tag, it's the very same model used by many famous guitarists. A fast-reacting effect for unmistakable tone bending. view more

VOX V847 Reissue Wah-Wah Pedal

Retro-style wah, that unlik ethe other ones look like the 60's models. This Wah-Wah is totally authentic right from its classy chrome top to its legendary growl. An original-style, vinyl carrying case is also included. Very cool!  view more

Fender Fuzz-Wah

The Fender Fuzz-Wah puts the freak-out at your feet and the fuzz in your beat, all in one rugged, smart-looking pedal. view more

Signature Wah Pedals:

Ambassador’s for the wah in this century include Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde, Tom Morrello, Dimebag Darrell and Slash.

Most of these guys even have signature models available, with modified voicing or added boost, depending on what tone they want to achieve. Taking it to a different level, and perfect for guitarists who want a wah that's truly special.

Dunlop Crybaby Zakk Wylde Signature Wah

The toughest, meanest Crybaby wah pedal on the planet! Built from the ground up with great tone and rugged durability in mind, the Wylde Wah pedal can stand up to the crushing stomp of metal’s reigning king of lead guitar. view more

Dunlop Dimebag Signature CryBaby from Hell

That's what we call a hot-rodded wah. With an extended sweep so you can go more high-end sounding to deeper than usual wahs. There’s a 5-way selector on the side so you can pick what frequency you’re gonna play within.  view more

Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Signature Wah

The Jimi Hendrix Signature Wah reproduces these timbres, and more, with startling accuracy. Throaty and expressive, it will fire your imagination. The vintage classic look is 100% authentic too. view more

Dunlop Slash Crybaby Wah

Like the man himself, the new Slash Wah from Dunlop is both revolutionary and classic, right down to its hot rod metallic red finish and cutting edge circuit design. view more

To fasel or not to fasel??

According to legend, and to some experienced players, the secret of the 60's wah-wah tone lies with the fasel inductors, which most newer models don't feature. However, some of the best new wah pedals on the market do come with it, which some regard as the "holy grail" of wah componets.

Dunlop Cry Baby Classic

This wah faithfully recreates the vowel-like sweep and lush harmonic sparkle heard on so many classic recordings. If you want that vibe, you need Fasel inside And the Original Crybaby has it. view more

Homebrew Medicine Bawl Wah

Vintage styled Wah with modern features and striking looks! view more

Dunlop Buddy Guy Signature

Cited as a major influence by wah-wah masters such as Hendrix, Clapton, and Vaughn, Buddy Guy helped establish the wah-wah as part of the blues vocabulary Perfect for warm and bell-like wah tones. view more

Looking for your own experimental virtuoso tone?

Besides the traditional wah pedals we mentioned above, there are other, more esoteric wah effect pedals, that provide wah-like tones in different and sometimes surprising ways. here's a few:

Digitech XSW Synth Wah - The Digitech XSW Synth Wah isn't just one wah, 7 selectable and modifiable wahs are included in a single pedal. Modify your vowel sounds and various wah types to provide rich variety to your leads.

Boss PW-10 V-Wah Pedal - A Wah Pedal for the 21st Century The amazing BOSS PW-10 V-Wah is likely to be the last wah pedal you'll ever need or want-to buy. This first-of-its-kind programmable modelling wah gives you instant access to six classic and modern wah pedal sounds, as well as all-new "Double Resonance," "Uni-V" and "Voice" sounds never found in a wah pedal before!…

Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal - It will have your audience screaming for more with its shrieks, cries, wails, and seductive siren songs. Features: spring and normal footboard action selectable wah range fine tuning controls.

Z-Vex Ooh Wah II - This improved version of the Ooh Wah holds at step #1 when in bypass mode, and starts in time when turned on. Z. Vex makes another pedal called a Seek-Wah, but this new one does everything that one does and more.

Behringer ULTRA WAH UW300 - Ultimate Auto-Wah Effects Pedal that offers auto-wah effects for all styles and sounds. Control the wah effect with your string-picking strength and add an awesome funky touch.

Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah - The world's first compact pedal to produce human-voice type wah sounds using a "Humanizer" effect. EXP Pedal mode allows foot control, plus dedicated Bass input for processing bass guitar.

Essential Listening

Here's a selection of some of the most classic rock songs that feature a wah pedal...

  • Jimi Hendrix - voodoo chile
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Psycho sexy
  • Guns'N'Roses - Sweet chile o mine
  • Metallica - pretty much anthing Kirk doe's pre 1990!
  • Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses
  • Led Zepplin - dazed and confused


...and here's some videos from You Tube. Watch, get inspired, and get your wah today!

Jimi Hendrix - Voodo Chile

Led Zeppelin-Dazed and Confused

Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses


Want to learn more about wahs? Check this other article

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