Wah pedal tricks and techniques: how to expand your creativity with this classic effect

Creative use of the wah pedal
(Image credit: Future)

Invented in 1966, the wah pedal instantly added new dimensions to the sound of the electric guitar. Though simple, it offers limitless possibilities - here, we explore a few open-minded approaches to wah playing, and cover some different ways to conceptualize what it can bring to our music. And make some really psychedelic noises in the process.

Bradley J. Plunkett, though never himself a guitarist, is a bonafide hero of guitar history. He grew up tinkering with home-built radios, and was working as a young electrical engineer for the Thomas Organ Company in 1966 when his boss came to him with a challenge: could he find a good way to control the different tones of an amplifier using a potentiometer - a freely variable resistor - rather than a normal switch with a fixed set of positions?

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George Howlett is a London-based musician and writer, specializing in jazz, rhythm, Indian classical, and global improvised music.