If you use your whammy bar only to bend notes and add vibrato, you’re missing out on some of its more nuanced, and more extreme, applications.
This article has created to help you. It demonstrate 8 Essential techniques to use whammy bar on your guitar. Check it out!
1. Get comfortable with the bar
Plug your guitar into an amps and try playing a note. Gently push the whammy bar down. This will drop the pitch of the sound. Practice playing chords and riffs and add the whammy bar.
2. Pull up on the whammy bar
Now try to lift up on the whammy bar, but don’t pull too high. Originally, the whammy was only made to dip the notes. Pulling up on the bar stretches the strings. This raises the pitch instead of lowering the pitch.
3. Do the dive
The dive is a classic technique for the whammy. Stroke a note or chord on the guitar and press firmly on the bar towards the strings. Famous heavy metal solos begin and end with the dive. As the name suggests, the dive is when the sound of your guitar quickly ‘’dives’’ into a deeper register.
4. Perform the flutter
The flutter is when you waver the notes of your guitar in a short burst. Practice the flutter by tapping down on the bar and releasing the bar suddenly. Some players prefer to position the whammy towards the bottom of the guitar. The flutter is best used on a Floyd Rose whammy bar.
5. Practice the shriek
The shriek is when you create a shrieking sound out of your guitar by using the whammy. You need to play an open harmonic or pinch harmonic. Play an open harmonic by gently touching a string on the fifth, seventh, or twelfth fret. Once you hit the harmonic, pull up on the whammy bar to create a higher pitched shriek.
6. Use the shoe gaze grip
Shoegazing is a genre developed in the late 80s and early 90s. The name is derived from guitarist who are constantly modifying their tone through pedals and guitar work. From the audience’s perspective, they’re looking (or gazing) at their shoes. Hold the whammy bar in your hand and move it to the beat of the song.
7. Play surf guitar
Surf guitar is all about using the whammy bar sparsely, unlike shoe gaze. Surf guitar is usually centered round riff or two that is played using tremolo picking (or alternate picking). Tremolo picking is when you play a riff by alternating upward and downward picking at a rapid pace. The whammy is best used in surf guitar at the end of a verse or melody.
8. Practice the guitar
The best way to improve your whammy bar skills is through practice. Don’t neglect scales and chord shapes because you can use a whammy. The best guitarists know their scales and when to properly use the whammy bar. Keep an ear open for the use of whammy bars in music as you begin to develop your own style.