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Wah-wah pedal

Wah-wah pedal

Overview
A wah-wah pedal is a type of guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 effects pedal
Effects unit
Effects units are electronic devices that alter how a musical instrument or other audio source sounds. Some effects subtly "color" a sound, while others transform it dramatically. Effects are used during live performances or in the studio, typically with electric guitar, keyboard and bass...

 that alters the tone of the signal to create a distinctive effect, mimicking the human voice
Human voice
The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. Its frequency ranges from about 60 to 7000 Hz. The human voice is specifically that part of human sound production in which the vocal folds are the primary...

. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a filter up and down in frequency to create the sound (spectral glide
Spectral glide
A spectral glide is a "modification of the vowel quality of a tone" . Since the vowel quality of a tone is determined by the overtones, spectrum, or timbre of that tone, a spectral glide is a move from one spectrum characteristic of a vowel to another...

), also known as "the wah effect."
The said wah-wah effect was originally intended to imitate the supposed crying tone that a muted trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

 produced, but became an expressive tool in its own way.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A wah-wah pedal is a type of guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 effects pedal
Effects unit
Effects units are electronic devices that alter how a musical instrument or other audio source sounds. Some effects subtly "color" a sound, while others transform it dramatically. Effects are used during live performances or in the studio, typically with electric guitar, keyboard and bass...

 that alters the tone of the signal to create a distinctive effect, mimicking the human voice
Human voice
The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. Its frequency ranges from about 60 to 7000 Hz. The human voice is specifically that part of human sound production in which the vocal folds are the primary...

. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a filter up and down in frequency to create the sound (spectral glide
Spectral glide
A spectral glide is a "modification of the vowel quality of a tone" . Since the vowel quality of a tone is determined by the overtones, spectrum, or timbre of that tone, a spectral glide is a move from one spectrum characteristic of a vowel to another...

), also known as "the wah effect."
The said wah-wah effect was originally intended to imitate the supposed crying tone that a muted trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

 produced, but became an expressive tool in its own way. It was, and is, utilised when a guitarist is soloing, or being used to create a "wacka-wacka" funk styled rhythm.

History


The first wah-wah pedal was created by Brad Plunkett at Warwick Electronics Inc./Thomas Organ Company
Thomas Organ Company
The Thomas Organ Company was a manufacturer of electronic keyboards and a one-time holder of the manufacturing rights to the Moog synthesizer. The Company was a force behind early electronic organs for the home....

 in November 1966. This pedal is the original prototype
Prototype
A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον , "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος , "original, primitive", from πρῶτος , "first" and τύπος ,...

 made from a transistorized MRB (mid-range boost) potentiometer
Potentiometer
A potentiometer , informally, a pot, is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. If only two terminals are used , it acts as a variable resistor or rheostat. Potentiometers are commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on...

 bread-boarded
Breadboard
A breadboard is a construction base for prototyping of electronics. The term is commonly used to refer to solderless breadboard ....

 circuit
Electronic circuit
An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic components, such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes, connected by conductive wires or traces through which electric current can flow...

 and the housing of a Vox Continental
Vox Continental
The Vox Continental is a transistor-based combo organ that was introduced in 1962. Known for its thin, bright, breathy sound, the "Connie," as it was affectionately known, was designed to be used by touring musicians...

 Organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 volume pedal.

The creation of the wah-wah pedal was actually an accident which stemmed from the redesign of the Vox
Vox (musical equipment)
Vox is a musical equipment manufacturer which is most famous for making the Vox AC30 guitar amplifier, the Vox Continental electric organ, and a series of innovative but commercially unsuccessful electric guitars and bass guitars...

 Super Beatle guitar amplifier
Instrument amplifier
An instrument amplifier is an electronic amplifier that converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal from musical instruments such as an electric guitar, an electric bass, or an electric keyboard into an electronic signal capable of driving a loudspeaker that can be heard by the...

 in 1966. Warwick Electronics Inc./Thomas Organ Company had bought the Vox name due to the brand name's popularity and association with the Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

. Warwick Electronics Inc. also owned Thomas Organ Company and had assigned Thomas Organ Company to create a new product line called the all-electric Vox Amplifonic Orchestra; the project was headed by musician and bandleader Bill Page. While creating the Vox Amplifonic Orchestra, the Thomas Organ Company needed to re-design the Vox amplifier into a transistorized solid state
Solid state (electronics)
Solid-state electronics are those circuits or devices built entirely from solid materials and in which the electrons, or other charge carriers, are confined entirely within the solid material...

 amplifier, rather than tube, which would be less expensive to manufacture. During the re-design of the USA Vox amplifier, Stan Cuttler, head engineer of Thomas Organ Company, assigned Brad J. Plunkett, a junior electronics engineer, to replace the expensive Jennings
Jennings Musical Instruments
Jennings Musical Instruments is a manufacturer of musical instruments, notably the original owner of the Vox brand. The company was founded by Thomas Walter Jennings.-History:...

 3-position MRB circuit switch with a transistorized solid state MRB circuit.

Plunkett had lifted and bread-boarded
Breadboard
A breadboard is a construction base for prototyping of electronics. The term is commonly used to refer to solderless breadboard ....

 a transistorized tone-circuit from the Thomas Organ (an electric solid state transistorized organ) to duplicate the Jenning 3-position circuit. After adjusting and testing the amplifier with an electronic oscillator
Electronic oscillator
An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. They are widely used in innumerable electronic devices...

 and oscilloscope
Oscilloscope
An oscilloscope is a type of electronic test instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages, usually as a two-dimensional graph of one or more electrical potential differences using the vertical or 'Y' axis, plotted as a function of time,...

, Plunkett connected the output to the speaker and tested the circuit audibly. At that point, several engineers and technical consultants, including Bill Page and Del Casher
Del Casher
Del Casher is an American guitarist and inventor. His many creations include the Wah-wah pedal, which significantly influenced the development of rock and roll guitar style. He also devised the Ecco-Fonic, and later the solid state Fender Electronic Echo Chamber...

, noticed the sound effect caused by the circuit. Bill Page insisted on testing this bread-boarded circuit while he played his saxophone
Saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

 through an amplifier. John Glennon, an assistant junior electronics engineer with the Thomas Organ Company, was summoned to bring a volume control pedal which was used in the Vox Continental Organ so that the transistorized MRB potentiometer bread-boarded circuit could be installed in the pedal's housing. After the installation, Bill Page began playing his saxophone through the pedal and had asked Joe Banaron, CEO of Warwick Electronics Inc./Thomas Organ Company, to listen to the effect. At this point the first electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

 was plugged into the prototype wah-wah pedal by guitarist Del Casher who suggested to Joe Banaron that this was a guitar effects pedal rather than a wind instrument
Wind instrument
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator , in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of...

 effects pedal. Joe Banaron, being a fan of the big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 style of music, was interested in marketing the wah-wah pedal for wind instruments as suggested by Bill Page rather than the electric guitar suggested by Del Casher. After a remark by Del Casher to Joe Banaron regarding the Harmon mute style of trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

 playing in the famous recording of "Sugar Blues"
Sugar Blues (song)
Sugar Blues is a song that became popular by Clyde McCoy featuring the sound of the growling wah-wah mute. He recorded it no less than four times. It became his trademark song. It was written in 1920 by Clarence Williams and recorded for the first time by Leona Williams and her Dixie Band in 1922....

 from the 1930s, Joe Banaron decided to market the wah-wah pedal using Clyde McCoy
Clyde McCoy
Clyde McCoy , was a jazz trumpet player whose popularity spanned seven decades. He is best remembered for his theme song, "Sugar Blues", written by Clarence Williams and Lucy Fletcher...

's name for endorsement.

After the initial invention of the wah-wah pedal, the prototype pedal was then modified by Del Casher and Brad Plunkett to better accommodate the harmonic qualities of the electric guitar. However, since Vox had no intention of marketing the wah-wah pedal for electric guitar players, the prototype wah-wah pedal was given to Del Casher for performances at Vox press conferences and film scores for Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
-1920:* White Youth* The Flaming Disc* Am I Dreaming?* The Dragon's Net* The Adorable Savage* Putting It Over* The Line Runners-1921:* The Fire Eater* A Battle of Wits* Dream Girl* The Millionaire...

. The un-modified version of the Vox wah-wah pedal was released to the public in February 1967 with an image of Clyde McCoy on the bottom of the pedal.

Warwick Electronics Inc. assigned Lester L. Kushner, an engineer with the Thomas Organ Company, and Bradley J. Plunkett to create and submit the documentation for the wah-wah pedal patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

. The patent was submitted on February 24, 1967 which included technical diagrams of the pedal being connected to a four-stringed "guitar" (as noted from the "Description of the Preferred Embodiment"). Warwick Electronics Inc. was granted US patent 3530224 (foot-controlled continuously variable preference circuit for musical instruments) on September 22, 1970.

Early versions of the Clyde McCoy featured an image of McCoy on the bottom panel, which soon gave way to only his signature. Thomas Organ then wanted the effect branded as their own for the American market, changing it to Cry Baby which was sold in parallel to the Italian Vox V846. Thomas Organ's failure to trademark the Cry Baby name soon led to the market being flooded with Cry Baby imitations from various parts of the world, including Italy, where all of the original Vox and Cry Babys were made. Jen, who had been responsible for the manufacture of Thomas Organ and Vox wah pedals, also made rebranded pedals for companies such as Fender and Gretsch and under their own Jen brand. When Thomas Organ moved production completely to Sepulveda, California and Chicago, Illinois these Italian models continued to be made and are among the more collectible wah pedals today.

The Snarling Dogs range of wah-pedals featured a large chromed foot-shaped pedal with a luminous snarling dog label in the centre, the eyes of the dog are red LEDs which light up to show when the wah and/or distortion features are enabled. Jeff Beck featured one of the distinctive "Snarling Dogs" wah pedals on one of his more recent albums.

Function



The variation in the peak response frequency of the filter resembles the change in formant
Formant
Formants are defined by Gunnar Fant as 'the spectral peaks of the sound spectrum |P|' of the voice. In speech science and phonetics, formant is also used to mean an acoustic resonance of the human vocal tract...

 frequency in the human vocal tract
Vocal tract
The vocal tract is the cavity in human beings and in animals where sound that is produced at the sound source is filtered....

 when saying the word "wah", making the wah-wah pedal a crude form of speech synthesizer
Speech synthesis
Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware...

. The traditional "wah-wah" effect does not affect the guitar's volume, although many modern models offer a volume boost and distortion options.

The most common function of the wah-wah pedal is as a lead guitar booster. Frequently, lead lines do not cut through the mix of the band sufficiently, so some sort of effect is utilized to push the lead part to the front. A wah-wah inflected lead guitar part varies its timbre with the motion of the pedal, thus creating a distinct space within the sound of a band. Moreover, it mimics some of the sounds of human speech, which are typically picked up more readily by the human ear. Many people also find that use of the wah-wah pedal adds emotional expressiveness to single-note guitar lines, such as the solos on Cream
Cream (band)
Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker...

's "White Room
White Room
"White Room" is a song by British "supergroup" Cream. The song was a psychedelic rock number written by bassist Jack Bruce and poet Pete Brown. It originally appeared on the US release of their double album, Wheels of Fire, by Atco Records in July 1968 and was released as a single in September 1968...

", Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
"Voodoo Child " is the closing track on Electric Ladyland, the third and final album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The song is known for its wah-wah-heavy guitar work. It is #101 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs of all time....

", Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco.-Introduction:Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the Bay Area and, through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe and several of their albums ranked...

's "The Fool", Supertramp
Supertramp
Supertramp are a British rock band formed in 1969 under the name Daddy before renaming to Supertramp in early 1970. Though their music was initially categorised as progressive rock, they have since incorporated a combination of traditional rock and art rock into their music...

's "Goodbye Stranger
Goodbye Stranger
"Goodbye Stranger" is a song by Supertramp, which first appeared on their 1979 album Breakfast in America.The main "body" of the song is backed by a simple Wurlitzer electric piano melody; the arrangement intensifies as the song progresses. This is eventually joined by intermittent electric guitar...

", the Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The band has released six studio albums, three EPs, and one live album...

 hit "Sweet Child o' Mine
Sweet Child O' Mine
"Sweet Child o' Mine" is the third single by American rock band Guns N' Roses, and the third from their 1987 debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction. Released on August 17, 1988, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band's first and only number-one single in the U.S...

", Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder , Jeff Ament , Stone Gossard , and Mike McCready...

's "Alive", Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull (band)
Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969.Initially playing blues rock with...

's "We Used to Know", Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

's "Enter Sandman
Enter Sandman
"Enter Sandman" is a 1991 song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the first single from their eponymous fifth album, Metallica. The music was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich...

", the main riff of The Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

's "Peace Frog
Peace Frog
"Peace Frog" is a song by The Doors which appears on the album Morrison Hotel. It was released on vinyl in February 1970 by Elektra/Asylum Records and produced by Paul Rothchild...

" and U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

's "The Fly
The Fly (song)
"The Fly" is a song by rock band U2. It is the seventh track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and it was released as the album's first single on 12 October 1991. "The Fly" introduced a more abrasive sounding U2, as the song featured hip-hop and industrial beats, distorted vocals, and an elaborate...

".

Other Function of the Wah pedal is to use it to boost certain frequencies by keeping it in a single position. Notable players to use the pedal in that way are Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.Jimmy Page...

 and Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

.

Brian Robertson
Brian Robertson
Brian "Robbo" David Robertson is a Scottish rock guitarist, best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and Motörhead.-Early life:...

 of Thin Lizzy pioneered the use of a wah-pedal "as an extension of the instrument" [guitar], moving the pedal expressively with is playing, for example during bends, rather than rocking the pedal rhythmically back and forth, or parking the pedal in a fixed position, as an active band-pass filter. It is a distinctive characteristic of his playing style.

An envelope filter or envelope follower is often referred to as an auto-wah
Auto-wah
Auto-wah is a type of wah-wah effects pedal typically used with electric guitar, bass guitar, clavinet, and electric piano etc...

 or T ("triggered", by the input signal's amplitude)-wah.

Other instruments



Many bassists have also used the wah-wah effect, for example Michael Henderson
Michael Henderson
Michael Henderson is an American bass guitarist and vocalist best known for his bass playing with Miles Davis in the early 1970s, on early fusion albums such as A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Pangaea, and Live-Evil.- Biography :He was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well...

 on Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

's album On the Corner
On the Corner
On the Corner is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, recorded in June and July 1972 and released later that year on Columbia Records. It was scorned by critics at the time of its release and was one of Davis's worst-selling recordings...

(1972). Bassist Cliff Burton
Cliff Burton
Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton was an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the American heavy metal band Metallica....

 of Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

 used a Morley
Morley Pedals
Morley Pedals is the name of a guitar effects pedal company, famous for manufacturing wah-wah pedals and other treadle type effects for guitar. Morley pedals use electro-optical circuitry rather than a potentiometer to control the effect. The foot treadle controls a shutter inside the pedal that...

 Wah pedal (along with a Big Muff
Big Muff
The Big Muff is a fuzzbox produced in New York City by the Electro-Harmonix company, along with their Russian sister company Sovtek, primarily for use with the electric guitar...

 Distortion) extensively, including on "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth", which is primarily a bass solo recorded for Kill 'Em All
Kill 'Em All
Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on July 25, 1983. Since its release, it has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA, having sold over 3 million copies in the United States alone.-Music:...

(1983), and "The Call of Ktulu" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica song)
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third and final single from their second album, Ride the Lightning....

", both recorded for Ride the Lightning
Ride the Lightning
Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on July 27, 1984 through the independent record label Megaforce Records. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on November 5, 1987 and was most recently certified 5x platinum on June 9, 2003...

. Geezer Butler
Geezer Butler
Geezer Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and lyricist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was also involved in Heaven & Hell from 2006 to 2010.-Career:Butler formed his first band, Rare Breed, with old friend John "Ozzy" Osbourne in the autumn of...

, bassist of Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...

, used it when playing his solo "Bassically", along with the bass line in "N.I.B.
N.I.B.
"N.I.B." is a song released by the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It first appeared as the fourth track on the band's 1970 eponymous debut album, Black Sabbath. The lyrics are in the first person from the point of view of Lucifer...

". Chris Squire
Chris Squire
Christopher Russell Edward "Chris" Squire , is an English musician, known as the bass guitarist and backing vocalist for the progressive rock group Yes. He is the only member of the group to appear on every album.-Before Yes:...

 of Yes
Yes (band)
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

 used a wah-wah pedal on his solo piece "The Fish
The Fish
"The Fish " is a mostly instrumental rock song by progressive rock band Yes from their 1971 album Fragile. It was written by Chris Squire....

" on the album Fragile
Fragile (Yes album)
Fragile is the fourth studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records. It is the first to feature keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who replaced Tony Kaye in 1971, and the first to feature cover art by Roger Dean, who would design many of the band's records.Upon its...

.

John Medeski
John Medeski
Anthony John Medeski is an American jazz keyboards player and composer. Medeski is a veteran of New York's 1990s avant-garde jazz scene and is known popularly as a member of Medeski Martin & Wood...

 of Medeski, Martin, and Wood uses a Wah pedal with his Clavinet.

Melvin Ragin better known by the nickname Wah-wah Watson, was a member of the Motown Records studio band, The Funk Brothers, where he recorded with artists like The Temptations
The Temptations
The Temptations is an American vocal group having achieved fame as one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. The group's repertoire has included, at various times during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music.Formed in Detroit,...

, The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 , later known as The Jacksons, were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana...

, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & The Pips
Gladys Knight & the Pips
Gladys Knight & The Pips were an R&B/soul family musical act from Atlanta, Georgia, active from 1953 to 1989. The group was best known for their string of hit singles on Motown's "Soul" record label and Buddah Records from 1967 to 1975, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Midnight...

, and The Supremes
The Supremes
The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

. He played on numerous sessions in the 1970s and 1980s for many top soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

, funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

 and disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

 acts, including Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock is an American pianist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's "second great quintet," Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound...

.

Keyboardists have also made use of the wah-wah effect both in the studio and during live performances. Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson
Eric Garth Hudson is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist. As the organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for Canadian-American rock group The Band, he was a principal architect of the group's unique sound...

 famously used a wah-wah pedal on a clavinet
Clavinet
A Clavinet is an electrically amplified keyboard instrument manufactured by the Hohner company. It is essentially an electronically amplified clavichord, analogous to an electric guitar. Its distinctive bright staccato sound has appeared particularly in funk, disco, rock, and reggae songs.Various...

 in The Band
The Band
The Band was an acclaimed and influential roots rock group. The original group consisted of Rick Danko , Garth Hudson , Richard Manuel , and Robbie Robertson , and Levon Helm...

 song "Up on Cripple Creek
Up on Cripple Creek
"Up on Cripple Creek" is the fifth song on The Band's eponymous second album, The Band. It was released as a single in November 1969 and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100...

" to emulate a Jaw Harp. Rick Wright
Richard Wright (musician)
Richard William Wright was an English pianist, keyboardist and songwriter, best known for his career with Pink Floyd. Wright's richly textured keyboard layers were a vital ingredient and a distinctive characteristic of Pink Floyd's sound...

 of Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

 played a Wurlitzer electric piano
Wurlitzer electric piano
Wurlitzer 200A|250px|thumbThe Wurlitzer electric piano was one of a series of electromechanical stringless pianos manufactured and marketed by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, Corinth, Mississippi, U.S. and Tonawanda, New York...

 through a wah-wah pedal in their song "Money
Money (Pink Floyd song)
"Money" is the sixth track from English progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. Written by bassist Roger Waters, it opened side two of the original vinyl LP, and is the only song on the album to enter the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100...

" to give the impression of many consecutive chords being played. Jordan Rudess
Jordan Rudess
Jordan Rudess is an American keyboardist best known as a member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater and the progressive rock supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment.-Biography:...

 of Dream Theater
Dream Theater
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to further concentrate on the band that would...

 made an extensive use of the wah-wah pedal on Dream Theater's album Train of Thought
Train of Thought (Dream Theater album)
-Chart performance:* Billboard 200: Train of Thought - #53* Billboard Top Internet Albums: Train of Thought - #53* UK Album Charts: Train of Thought - #146* Norwegian Album Charts: Train of Thought - #9-Personnel:* James LaBrie – lead vocals...

.

Many jazz fusion
Jazz fusion
Jazz fusion is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations,...

 records feature wind and brass instruments with the effect - Miles Davis's trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

 being a well-known example. Davis first used this technique in 1970 (at concerts documented on Live-Evil and The Cellar Door Sessions
The Cellar Door Sessions
The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 is a boxed live album released in 2005. It was recorded on several 1970 concerts at the Washington-based nightclub The Cellar Door....

) at a time when he also made his keyboard players (Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett is an American pianist and composer who performs both jazz and classical music.Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music; as...

, Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea is an American jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer.Many of his compositions are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis' band in the 1960s, he participated in the birth of the electric jazz fusion movement. In the 1970s he formed Return to Forever...

) play electric piano
Electric piano
An electric piano is an electric musical instrument.Electric pianos produce sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electrical signals by pickups. Unlike a synthesizer, the electric piano is not an electronic instrument, but electro-mechanical. The earliest electric pianos were invented...

s with a wah-wah pedal. Napoleon Murphy Brock
Napoleon Murphy Brock
Napoleon Murphy Brock is an American singer, saxophonist and flute player who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa in the 1970s, including the albums One Size Fits All, Roxy and Elsewhere, and Bongo Fury...

 played a saxophone
Saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

 amplified through a wah-wah pedal in the Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

 movie The Dub Room Special
The Dub Room Special
The Dub Room Special is a film produced by Frank Zappa for direct-to-video release in October, 1982. The video combines footage from a performance at the KCET studios in Los Angeles on August 27, 1974, a concert performed at The Palladium, NYC on October 31, 1981, some clay animation by Bruce...

, as well as on some of Zappa's albums. David Sanborn
David Sanborn
David Sanborn is an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school...

 can be heard playing an alto saxophone modified by a wah-wah pedal on the David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

 album Young Americans
Young Americans (album)
Young Americans, released in 1975, shows off David Bowie’s 1970’s shift to his “obsession” with soul music . For this album, Bowie let go of the influences he had drawn from in the past, replacing them with sounds from “local dance halls”, which, at the time, were blaring with “…lush strings,...

. Noted saxophonist King Curtis
King Curtis
Curtis Ousley , who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer...

 was also known to use a wah-wah pedal. Dick Sims, the keyboard player with Eric Clapton in the late seventies, used a Hammond organ in conjunction with a wah-wah pedal, sat on top of the organ operated by his palm.

The effect is also extensively used with the electric violin. Notable examples are Jerry Goodman
Jerry Goodman
Jerry Goodman is an American violinist best known for playing electric violin in the bands The Flock and the jazz fusion Mahavishnu Orchestra. Goodman actually began his musical career as The Flock's roadie before joining the band on violin. Trained in the conservatory, both of his parents were...

 with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Jean-Luc Ponty
Jean-Luc Ponty
Jean-Luc Ponty is a French virtuoso violinist and jazz composer.- Early years:Ponty was born into a family of classical musicians on 29 September 1942 in Avranches, France. His father taught violin, his mother taught piano...

, Don "Sugarcane" Harris and Shankar
L. Shankar
Lakshminarayanan Shankar, also known as L. Shankar and Shenkar, is an Indian-born American violinist, singer and composer.-Early life:...

, with Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

, all usually engaged in long wah-wah violin/guitar duels. Boyd Tinsley
Boyd Tinsley
Boyd Calvin Tinsley is an American violinist and mandolinist who performs as a member of the Dave Matthews Band. Within the band, Tinsley has collaborated in writing songs, harmonizing, and singing backing vocals.-Early life:Tinsley was raised in a musical family...

 of Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band, sometimes shortened to DMB, is a U.S. rock band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. The founding members were singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews, bassist Stefan Lessard, drummer/backing vocalist Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. Boyd Tinsley was...

is known to use a wah-wah pedal live.

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