Songs Using A Whammy Pedal
The Whammy Pedal (a pitch shifter and harmonizer) is an iconic guitar effect that can give you a lot of inspiration when songwriting or jamming. Being able to shift your pitch at will, create a harmony or even simulate tuning your guitar down gives you so much freedom in your playing.
If you’ve bought a Whammy pedal and are looking at how to use it, start out with this lesson on Whammy pedal exercises. After you feel comfortable with those exercises, check out the songs in this list.
If you’re thinking about getting a whammy pedal but aren’t sure how much use you’ll get out of it, the songs in this list give you a good idea on the different type of things you can do with one. Check out this review on the DigiTech Whammy DT for a rundown of one of the best whammy pedals available.
Like a Stone – Audioslave
This is probably one of the more obvious examples of a whammy pedal in action. The solo in this song is a great example of how effective the whammy pedal can be in turning a simple melody into something incredible. The whammy pedal lesson here explains how to play this solo so check it out to learn more.
Other Audioslave songs using the whammy pedal include Revelations, Cochise & The Worm. Find out more about Tom Morello and his Audioslave rig here.
Searching – Joe Satriani
This song uses the whammy pedal to give the song a very distinct sound. Rapidly moving the whammy pedal back and forth is pretty common, but the rhythmic movement tied into the playing is what makes this part sound so good.
If you’re looking at trying to copy Joe’s tone or to jam along with his songs, read through my Ultimate Guide on Joe Satriani here.
The Blue – David Gilmour
David Gilmour uses a whammy pedal to produce very slow and smooth glides during the solo starting at 2:49. It’s a great example of a more subtle use of the whammy that almost sounds like very wide bends.
Another great example of how David Gilmour uses the whammy is in Marooned by Pink Floyd.
Know Your Enemy – Rage Against The Machine
Tom Morello used a whammy pedal in quite a few RATM songs. Know Your Enemy is a great example of using the whammy pedal’s harmony mode rather than the pitch shifting mode most people think of when they think of a whammy pedal.
The whammy is combined with the use of a toggle killswitch to produce a very unique staccato style of playing. Find out more on how he produced this sound in this guide on Tom Morello.
Two other RATM songs using the whammy pedal worth checking out are Killing in the Name Of and Guerrilla Radio. Both use the whammy in very different ways.
Becoming – Pantera
This song uses the whammy more to produce noise rather than melodically like the other songs. During the riff in the beginning you’ll hear a high pitched squeal. This is a great example of using a whammy in a rhythm section rather than lead. Have a listen to the song and see if you can come up with other ways of using a whammy in rhythm parts.
Touching Tongues – Steve Vai
Combining a whammy pedal with a long delay produces a really interesting sound as heard in this song. Steve Vai uses a lot of pitch based effects and depending on the type of pedal you buy you may be able to play almost all of the pitch effects from his songs.
Other examples of Steve Vai’s use of the whammy pedal include The Blood and Tears and Weeping China Doll. There are plenty of other songs that use pitch effects that your whammy pedal may be able to create. Find out more about Steve Vai’s rig and effects in this guide.
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
This song is an example of how you can use a Whammy pedal to mimic a bass guitar. The bass sounding instrument you hear in this song is actually a guitar with a whammy pedal shifting the pitch down an octave. Even if you aren’t interested in playing music like this, being able to emulate a bass guitar can be really handy when writing songs and riffs. The whammy pedal can let you hear how your ideas would sound on a bass guitar without needing to own one.
Another White Stripes song using the whammy pedal worth checking out is Blue Orchid.
Get the most out of your whammy pedal
Understanding how pitch based effects interact with other effects can help you come up with new ideas and develop a better tone. In the Guitar Effects Course, you can learn more about pitch based effects as well as how to combine them with other effects. The course also explains how to position any pitch based pedals in your rig to get the best sounds out of them.