Impressed by that double Whammy pedal footage? Jennifer Batten did it first

Jennifer Batten – one of the first guitarists to experiment with two Whammy pedals
(Image credit: Jim Steinfeldt / Getty)

Guitar Instagram has been alight in recent months with footage of Sean Long’s innovative double-whammy technique – a dual-footed approach that uses two Whammy pedals at once to serve up some epic pitch-shifted tones.

However, as we mentioned in our coverage of Long’s excellent clips, he’s not the first guitarist to experiment with the possibilities of using two Whammy pedals simultaneously. That honor (as far as we can tell, anyway) belongs to Jennifer Batten, the virtuoso who at various points was Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck’s go-to guitarist.

“I discovered the DigiTech Whammy pedal not long after they released it in 1989.” Batten recently told us, for Guitar World’s pedals issue.

“I used it all over my debut record, Above, Below and Beyond. I mostly used the whole- step-down mode for slide effects. I loved it so much; it inspired several tunes, including Cat Fight – [using] the octave-up mode, I discovered you can make it sound like an angry cat.”

Batten has stuck pretty faithfully to DigiTech gear (and used some form of Whammy pedal) ever since. By 2015, she favored the DigiTech RP1000 over the standalone unit, but was still using a lot of Whammy in her playing. 

“Most of the time in my solo sound,” Batten told Premier Guitar at the time, “I have it set for Whammy to go down a whole step. I love the sound of slide, but I suck at it… so I love [the Whammy].”

Of course, if any of Batten’s own work can be said to most truly represent that love, it has to be 1992’s Whammy Damage – another cut from her first solo record and Batten’s first recorded use of two Whammy pedals. 

“I had a Whammy pedal under each foot so I had to sit down to play it,” Batten told Guitar World. “I had my left foot set to an octave down and the right set to an octave up. I played three octave riffs and arpeggios in the same spot.”

Batten’s experimentation with the effect has not ended there, either. As evidenced in a clip from 2021, in which she blends both a whammy bar and a Whammy pedal on a cover of Imagine Dragons’ Believer – delivering yet another form of double-whammy.

You can check that out above and, if you’ve not seen it yet, we highly recommend you take a second to watch While She Sleeps guitarist Sean Long’s incredible double-whammy technique, which takes the approach into EDM/metal territory using the Whammy DT’s Momentary switch.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.