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The Whammy Bar (Basics & Weird Effects)

Basics and some weird stuff

OK, the first example is adding a slight vibrato to a chord or single note... you can do that with both a regular whammy bar and a Floyd Rose.
The advantage of all vibrato bars is that you can add vibrato that goes both up AND down pitch-wise... surely a different effect than regular finger-vibrato.

Jeff Beck is a master of that, and he even combines finger- and bar-vibrato, thereby shaping the notes in amazing ways, sometimes even creating an almost human voice...

OK, in the soundfile, I am first playing an A5 ( A powerchord ), add some vibrato with the bar, then I am playing the A at the 2nd fret of the G-String ( as an example for a single note ), and finally I am playing a natural harmonic at the seventh fret of the G-String. I add vibrato to each note with the bar...

Example 1-Adding Vibrato

In the next example, I am playing something that has frequently been used by players like Jimi Hendrix and Steve Lukather.

I am playing some kind of a doublebend, like this: I fret the D at the 10th fret, high E-string. At the same time, I fret the A on the B-String, 10th fret, with another finger. I pick both notes at the same time. While the notes are ringing, I pull up the A ( and only the A ! ) up one whole tone, to the B.
A very typical sound, especially if I, as in the soundfile, add some vibrato with the bar...

Example 2- Adding Vibrato to a Doublestop

Be careful if your vibratosystem is adjusted to be moved easily. If it is, it will move forward once you bend up on one string. So the note on the other string will be slightly out of tune.

OK, from now on, you will need either a double locking-system or a really well adjusted vibrato-system, because these really will mess up your tuning if you ain´t got one of those... these are some rather extreme effects.

Here is a classic, the "divebomb" on the low E-String. Just hit the low E-String, then slowly bring down the bar until the strings start to get really loose, then let the system come up again fast and immediately mute the strings to avoid unwanted noise... Here is how that sounds:

Example 3- Low E-divebomb

Those divebombs sound even cooler and more weird if you do them with harmonics. In the next example, I hit the natural harmonic at the 5th fret of the G-string, and pushed down the bar...

Example 4- Harmonic-Divebomb

Steve Stevens ( just an example ) was someone who got some WILD sounds by pulling up on the bar. Be careful, you might break a string when doing so... but try it, it´s fun... sounds like this:

Example 5- Same harmonic, going up this time

With enough gain, it´s a bit easier to get those harmonics at ( example ) the third fret... those are very high-pitched and tough to do some times. But when you get them and do a divebomb, you can get some alien-effects, similar to the wild divebombs in "Satch Boogie"

Example 6- Harmonics at the 3rd fret and bar

Got enough yet ? No ? So you wanna get to the REALLY sick and weird sounds that guys like Vai, Van Halen, Lukather etc. use ? OK, turn the page, let´s leave this planet...

Horses, cats and windmills >>