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Ever wondered what bassoon, accordion or bagpipes would sound like through a guitar amp and effects pedals?

Mad Professor Amplification
(Image credit: Mad Professor Amplification)

We all know that guitar effects pedals can come in handy in all manner of situations. The bass guitar player can borrow them. Those that sound good with electric guitar work well with keyboards. And as Emily Hopkins has proven, there a few sounds heavier than a harp through a distortion pedal.

Even our pedalboard reservists serve a purpose, making a great paperweight. But Mad Professor Amplification has taken this a little further, and hired a cast of musicians to demo the Finnish brands guitar amps and pedals using accordion, banjo, bassoon and bagpipes.

This might be crazy and foolish, and it’s definitely not in the manual, but perhaps in doing so Mad Professor has found auto-wah’s true calling, using the Snow White with a Deep Blue delay pedal on bagpipes to give Scotland The Brave a touch of the Studio 54 funk vibe. Or with the Sweet Honey overdrive pedal and Electric Blue II vibrato, a combination that may make some reach for the motion sickness pills.

Mad Professor Electric Blue II Chorus/Vibrato

A Mad Professor Electric Blue II Chorus/Vibrato – the piper's secret weapon?  (Image credit: Mad Professor)

But then once you hear an accordion using an auto-wah, it’s game over for it as a guitar effect, and a new dawn rises for the accordionist’s pedalboard. 

That the banjo is the most successful combination of them all is perhaps no surprise – these effects were originally voiced for a stringed instrument. But let it not be said they don’t work for bassoon.

For a double-reed woodwind player stuck in a rut, delay and auto-wah can give you a monophonic synth vibe route out. No, not for everyday, but then that’s the beauty of effects: in case of emergency, break glass. You can check out these demos below, and head over to Mad Professor to look at the effects in more detail.

Accordion

Bagpipes

Banjo

Bassoon

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.