What is Joe Satriani doing at 0:55 onwards in "Searching" from "Is There Love In Space" in order to achieve the sounds he is making?

My first instinct is that it sounds like a synth with a glissando 'lock' turned on, where one would hold a note and then tap other notes and the syth will glissando between the notes... Is that what is happening here or is Joe doing something awesome with the guitar to get the same effect?

2 Answers 2


This was a Digitech Whammy pedal. The Whammy is a pitch-shifting effect that can be controlled in real-time using a foot operated treadle (similar to a wah pedal).

There are some photos on Joe's website showing the pedal boards he was using around this time. The Whammy is the red pedal on the left in the photo captioned "part two of joe's pedal board".


I Just watched Joe play it live at G3 in Tokyo, and it appears that he has an effect attached to an expression pedal and he uses it to glissando the notes. Mystery solved.

  • Yep - it may even be a Digitech Whammy. I can get a very similar sound using one, so I'm fairly confident, although in saying that, he could have anything:)
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Aug 23, 2011 at 23:05

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