6 creative ways to use a wah pedal

Foot resting on a wah pedal
(Image credit: Future)

When you think of a wah, the first thing that might spring to mind is a slow blues solo with the pedal used to give the notes a 'vocal' feel; one of the most common reasons people go in search of the best wah pedals. Then again, it might be the explosive histrionics of Kirk Hammett, using it to accent a blizzard of notes, or Joe Satriani smoothly articulating his lead parts on Surfing with the Alien. Or, perhaps it’s Matt Bellamy using it to thin out a guitar intro before the bass drops (a production trick commonly used in dance music). These are just some examples of creative ways to use a wah pedal, but there are plenty more to experiment with. 

Some of us may think that the humble wah pedal is underestimated and underused. In this article we're going to show you some creative ways to get more mileage out of one. First though, you need to get your hands on a wah. Two of the most popular options are the Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, a bright, aggressive wah, and the Vox Wah, which has a smoother but still bright sweep. There's also the darker, thicker Morley Bad Horsie, favored by players like Steve Vai.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.