In the song 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins, there is a re-occurring downward slide when the guitar changes chords at the end of the first bar (from 7x9 / 2x4):

$5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.6.$4.x.$3.8 $5.7.$4.x.$3.9 $5./.$4./.$3./ $5.2.$4.x.$3.4  $4 6h7p6.$5 7h9.$4 6h9

Note: Tab taken from here.

You can hear it first right after the nine second mark (0:09)


There seems to be some added effects though...I think delay and compression. Is this done with one guitar or was it multitracked? Does he quickly turn on and off the delay (because it doesn't seem to be happening for the rest of the guitar parts)? How can you achieve this effect live?

3 Answers 3


It sounds very much like he just uses Chorus, Reverb and Delay for most of that intro - possibly with a little fuzz. There is also another guitar part tracking what he is doing.

The odd part of the sound almost sounds like an envelope filter - I can almost recreate it with a volume controlled wah, with the Q set very flat.

Most times he doesn't seem to play the slide at all when he does this live - have seen a few live videos where he just place the main chords - it may be that it is tricky to switch in and out fast enough in a live environment. Not sure - it wasn't easy to do with mine.


Was having a go at recording 1979 during lockdown this week and found this little gem... not claiming any credit, this was from someone else in another thread, just connecting the dots :)

It's Billy singing 'today, yeah.' this apparently came about because he and Flood were humming this line together while doing some of the tracking. realizing that the first note of the line as held for all four beats wasn't already found in the song, Billy decided to record it as a vocal effect.


Cs-3 boss thru a Marshall JCM 800 with high gain

  • 2
    Do you have a source for this? The answer is pretty thin by itself.
    – Aaron
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 23:34

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