Jim Dunlop – Inventor of the Wah Pedal – has passed away

If you are old enough, you know the sound, even if you don’t know it. The Passing of Another Rock Music Giant You Never Knew.

It has been said that the sound of modern rock was invented by a handful of guys.

  • Les Paul for inventing the iconic guitar bearing his name. It has almost become a class of guitars with kit makers referring to the body shape as an LP guitar
  • Leo Fender for inventing the Telescaster and Stratocaster guitars as well as vacuum tube amplifiers that are still sought after for their tone
  • Jim Marshall The Father of Loud, for his amplifiers. Often informally called a Marshall Stack.
  • Seth Lover for inventing the “humbucker” pickup that overcame the horrible line frequency audio hums that haunted early electric stage performances.

I find it easy to accept the argument that Jim Dunlop should be added for the Wah pedal. With his passing, all five of these greats are no longer with us.

The list of people who use the Wah pedal – Cry Baby – is a list of some great bands. Alice in Chains, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Dave Matthews, Slash (Guns n’ Roses), Justin Chancellor (The bass player for TOOL) and anyone who wanted to imitate their styles.

Hendrix’s Voodoo Child is unrecognizable without the Wah pedal, as is the guitar solo in Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4 and hundreds or thousands of more songs. (BTW, I’d recommend you just listen to the sound track on Voodoo Child and not watch the random, disconnected video).

I usually find the videos distracting, even when they aren’t this random.