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Teacher - Wolf Marshall




Wolf Marshall: Welcome to our class on guitar licks using the Wah Wah pedal. Here's Lick 1:





WolfMarshall:  This lick is your basic scratchy wah, Muting the strings and rocking the pedal in time. This is the kind of thing Jimi started and which led to Shaft. You just think of the guitar as a percussion instrument. That was the classic Crybaby wah and a Strat on the first lick. This first lick is a good starting point for wah playing:

Crybaby wah-wah


Crybaby high-gain wah


Jerry: what's the difference between the two?

WolfMarshall: Jerry, they are essentially the same--just a later evolution. There are two basic types--normal and high-gain wah. The first lick can be played with any kind of wah. Here comes Lick 2:





WolfMarshall: This second lick is in B minor pentatonic and is an example of vocal phrasing with wah



WolfMarshall: Try to play it with the backing blues loop



Tom: Hendrix is the first thing to come to mind

WolfMarshall: Absolutely, Tom. The difference between the two licks is obvious tho--one rhythmic, the other melodic. The line itself is a simple scale in the blues box

Jerry: who are some of the best wah players ever?

WolfMarshall: Jerry--Jimi, Jeff Beck, Lee Ritenour, and of course Wah Wah Watson. Also SRV, Michael Schenker, Vai and Satch...

terry: who's the guy who played on Shaft?

WolfMarshall: Terry--that was Wah Wah Watson

terry: the MAN wah wah Watson

WolfMarshall: Wah Wah got his nickname from the pedal. He was the man in the 1970s for the Shaft type of thing. After Jimi, I think of Jeff Beck on the Truth album for great rock wah-wah. Like the track: I Ain't Superstitious

terry: How about Robin Trower

WolfMarshall: Yeh, Trower too. Uli Roth, Randy Rhoads

Jerry: I just bought a wah pedal and it's really stiff, do they loosen up?

stephen: I have a Mister Cry Baby wah and it seems TOO LOOSE now. no resistance

WolfMarshall: Jerry, try greasing the gears, Stephen--you may have to replace the gear shaft, but the Crybabys and the Voxes are the standard

stephen: yeah thought so is that the actual plastic gears or just the rubber belt thing?

WolfMarshall: Here comes another lick





WolfMarshall: This lick is more of the lead solo thing

stephen: Is that all wah on the bends or are you bending as well?

WolfMarshall: Bending and wah. You try to phrase your pedal action with the timing of the lick

terry: wolf, can you use your 2nd finger on the 3rd string and 3rd finger on the 2nd string of this lick?

WolfMarshall: Terry, sure---that's an alternate fingering--like Clapton. Hey don't forget Clapton, he was the first wah wah guy

terry: really, before Jimi?

WolfMarshall: The song was Tales of Brave Ulysses---Jimi said that was the tune that turned him on to the wah and then there was White Room--the sequel to Ulysses

terry: were Clapton and Jimi good friends at the time?

WolfMarshall: Yes, they were jamming and hanging buddies in London

Mutron vol-wah


Mutron vol-wah switches


WolfMarshall: That is the Mutron Volume Wah and a closeup of the switches. Here comes the next lick--this one is a volume pedal lick





WolfMarshall: That was in A minor played against Am9 and Fmaj7 chords

Tom: and what does the volume Wah do

WolfMarshall: Tom, it combines wah and volume in one handy pedal, you also can get unique combined effects. This one was a studio standard in the late 1970s



WolfMarshall: It ran on AC--no batteries to wear out, it's worth looking for these, they had a photoelectric cell instead of gears--very low noise

Jerry: who uses these?

WolfMarshall: All the LA studio guys--Tommy Tedesco etc

Jerry: any famous songs or albums?

Tom: Duane Allman used to do that kind of thing using the volume controls on his Les Paul

WolfMarshall: Tom. Exactly, Larry Carlton got everyone hooked on the volume pedal

Skedman: Eddie got me with Cathederal

WolfMarshall: Yeh, he fried his Strat with that one, that was actually played by Ed on an old Strat with echo

Shaft: How about Alex of Rush

WolfMarshall: Shaft, there's another.. It's a basic slap with volume swells, Sked, like Albert Lee with Larry Carlton mixed together. Eddie sure came up with some great stuff

335 with OJ Sqzr


WolfMarshall: Here'e something unusual, the famous Orange Squeezer compressor

Wolf's OJ Sqzr


WolfMarshall: This really helps when you use the volume pedal for crying licks

OJ Sqzr closeup


Shaft: do they still make those pedals?

WolfMarshall: No, Shaft, you gotta look, the compressor helps keep sustain while using the volume pedal. This OJ box was a studio standard in the 1970s--especially with ES335 and pedal

Shaft: I like using the E-Bow for sustain

WolfMarshall: Shaft, that's a great unit---but it's hard to change strings quickly

Skedman: You could go and have a bite and come back and you'll still be hearing that one

WolfMarshall: LOL, that's a Nigelism

Shaft: I saw this one guy play arpeggios quickly withan E-Bow, one the coolest things I saw

WolfMarshall: Any questions about wahs and related pedals?

TomHues: Are there better or worse pedals, or are they mostly a matter of individual taste?

WolfMarshall: TomH, depends on your style and how aggressive you are!

Shaft: how about the Vox Wah?

WolfMarshall: Shaft, yeh. Vox and Crybaby are the standard. The new Voxes are pretty good reissues

King Vox Wah


Skedman: Shiny

WolfMarshall: Sked, they go for the chrome, OK. See you all soon--c'mon back

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