How to Make a Guitar Cry

Learning to make your guitar "cry" or "wail" with the aid of a Wah-Wah pedal can produce a haunting effect that can bring a new level of emotion to any song or guitar solo. This effect has been used by many guitarists over the years. It is a favorite of players in the blues, rock and funk genres. Making a guitar cry can be a relatively easy task compared to the amount of emotion that you will be able to add to your playing.

Insert the battery into the battery slot on the Wah-Wah pedal. This will be located on either the front or underneath the pedal depending on the brand you own. The pedal will not be turned on at this point, not until both cables have been plugged in.

Plug one end of the first guitar cable into the output jack of the guitar. It is located near the bottom right-side of the body of the guitar. Any standard 1/4 inch guitar cable will work fine. Plug the other end of the first cable into the input jack of the Wah-Wah pedal that is located on either the left or right side of the pedal; that part depends on the brand you own.

Plug one end of the second guitar cable into the output jack of the Wah-Wah pedal, which is located on the opposite side of the pedal as the input jack. Plug the other end of the second cable into the input jack of the amp. Make sure the amp is still off at this point. This will activate the Wah-Wah pedal. Taking the cable out will turn the pedal off.

Turn the amplifier on.

Using your foot, push all the way down on the Wah-Wah pedal to activate it. You should hear a clicking sound when this occurs. The tone of the guitar will become thinner, and the motion of the pedal being pushed down will actually sound like the word "wah," hence the name.

Push down on the lower half of the Wah-Wah pedal to bring it into the upright and stable position. Your guitar should sound muffled at this point. Don't worry; this is perfectly normal.

Bend a note on the guitar. Start with a note on the first or second strings. Those strings are the easiest to bend.

Push down slowly on the Wah-Wah pedal as you are bending up on the note. Try to coordinate your foot and fingers so that you reach the top of the bend and the bottom of the pedal at the same time. This will produce the best results.

Practice this maneuver until you reach the desired effect. The bent note should have a "haunting" or "crying" sound to it when the Wah-Wah is applied to the note.

Practice performing multiple bends in a row with the Wah-Wah pedal. This will produce a series of "cries" or "wails" from your guitar.

Using a slower bend will produce a "cry" that lasts longer and has better tone to it. Try bending the note to different degrees in order to produce different sounds. A larger bend will sound more like a "wail," but a shorter bend will sound more like a "cry."

Do not plug the cables into the guitar, amp or pedal if the amp is on. This will cause a loud "popping" sound that could damage your amp.

Approved by Jesse Anderson