What would Eric Clapton’s classic “White Room” guitar solo be without that meaty, ubiquitous wah effect? What if Slowhand had decided to opt for heavy tremolo or tape delay instead?
Of course, that issue is moot. Because, instead of these pointless questions, what we have instead is a timeless, iconic guitar solo on timeless track by a bona fide guitar god.
But seriously, just how much does the stompbox or processor chosen by a guitarist for a particular solo influence how that solo is perceived or enjoyed by the listener? Certainly there’s some logic when choosing an effect; tremolo won’t do your fast hammer-ons any justice, for instance, and a crunchy overdrive can truly turn your high notes into, well, mush.
A well-chosen effect for the guitar solo, however, can wind up being as important as a song’s lyrics, vocals, beat and chord structure. Take Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do.” The song is synonymous with the talk box Frampton used on the extended solo. Here are 10 songs that offer the same experience; 10 songs made special, classic or, dare we say “iconic” by the effect chosen for the guitar solo. By the way, we’ve left out Cream’s “White Room,” so feel free to consider that the 11th song. Enjoy!