I love the sound of a wah pedal. I have used it for many years while playing electric guitar. I decided to give it a try with my nylon string. I’m using a Crybaby Wah pedal…
Here are a few of my favorite Wah moments….
Sweet Child O’ Mine solo by Slash. This is the solo that got me into playing guitar. The wah pedal begins around the 3:03 mark.
Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix. The classic wah opening and he uses the pedal on and off throughout the piece. I couldn’t find the studio version on Youtube but check it out for the beautiful wah wah pedal opening.
Gory Head Stump by Buckethead. Buckethead uses a ton of wah in many of his songs. He begins using the wah around the 2:21 mark.
For this video recorded the drone first. I recorded myself singing and playing a B (second fret, fifth string) and then I stretched it out by using the Paulstretch (I LOVE THIS EFFECT) on Audacity. I then used headphones and recorded this improvisation over the drone.
I am currently composing 10 etudes for the classical guitar. I am writing them for myself, to become a better guitarist, and I am also composing them for anyone interested in incorporating new techniques in their playing. Extended techniques are a great way to increase the expressive nature of this beautiful instrument.
So what do I think about while I improvise? Short answer is…not much. That’s the ideal–just let the music flow. The arrangement is in A minor so I figured I would improvise in A minor before going into the theme. Every now and then I’ll hit an unexpected note and the challenge is to make it fit. For example, around the 2:24ish mark I hit a C-sharp which I wasn’t planning on. The C-sharp would give the feeling of A major which is something I wasn’t looking to do. After I hit the C-sharp I decided to hit it again and then move down chromatically to the E. That’s the decision I made in the second or two after I hit that C-sharp. Little things like this are what I think about while I am improvising.
Here is the ending of my 8th Lament. Last year I composed rough drafts of twelve laments. I am currently going through and expanding them. I am currently through eight of them.
This one uses tapping with the right hand to play the bass part. Tapping is fun and is easier to get a good sound on an electric guitar than a classical. When you tap the bass strings on a classical there is a lot of noise. If you tap on the upper three strings it’s tough to get a loud enough sound. Here is the score for this section…