7 Best Whammy Bar Tricks

7 Best Whammy Bar Tricks with a few helpful tips I have learned over the years. Easy and guided lesson by chusss for all guitar players. Using Ibanez RG-DX370 - Edge III bridge.

Ultimate Guitar
7 Best Whammy Bar Tricks

Hi, chusss here again

Today I'd like to share with you a few tremolo/whammy bar tricks. I don't consider myself an expert nor an advanced player regarding this technique, But I have learned a few tricks over the years that I like to mix in my playing. They allow me sometimes to express and get some various cool sounds

In the list of today we have a few popular ones, played by many of big names and guitar gods.
Namely Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Steve Lukather, Andy Timmons..etc

Now let's look at the whammy tricks list

1- Basic whammy press down
2- Sliding press down (Up/Down)
3- Whammy trilling
4- Diving/Rising bombs
5- Crazy noises / Bad horsie
6- Diving trill
7- Gilmour style tremolo
8- Other examples and personal favorites

All are explained in detail in the video lesson

(Find used scale maps at the very bottom of the page)

YouTube preview picture

Important notes while using whammy techniques

1- Keep your guitar maintained to avoid tuning instability problems
2- Don't change the gauge of your strings frequently and always re-setup your guitar when you change
3- Use both right and left hands to mute the strings to avoid noises and undesired sounds
4- Don't overuse this technique, always maintain a good balance of feel and technique to keep the music interesting to the listener
5- Focus on your sense of time, try to place your whammy phrasing right within the time/feel of the backing and rest of the music surrounding your solo/improve

Guitar Backing Track

Here is the backing track used in the solo sample. It's found on my youtube channel,

You can subscribe in a second here Only Guitar Backing Tracks

YouTube preview picture

Why is it called a "Whammy" bar anyway?

See when you use this bar you can change the pitch of any note quite rapidly up or down depending on the design and setup of your bridge. Years back a famous guitar effect pedal was released by Digitech and was called Whammy. The Whammy pedal was used to get those fast pitch shifting effects and is still used by top guitarists like Joe Satriani. The floyd-rose bar called whammy cause it can help get the same effect (with a smaller range)

Another name is tremolo bar, like the one found in Stratocasters. Tremolo is a vibrating effect that can be applied using that bar. Generally, tremolo is mild oscillating pitch shift compared to the long range pitch shift using the whammy effect

In another lesson I will share with you a few tips that help keep your bridge/floyd-rose and tuning stable and ready for whammy bar tricks and techniques.

Here are a few scale maps that are used in the examples in the video lesson

Natural Harmonics locations frets (5,7,9,12)

See you next time,


4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pretty sure "Whammy bar" predates the Whammy Pedal... (somebody check) Tremelo is technically a volume shift effect, what you are getting is obviously vibrato. See also Wang Bar...
    You are right, the bar came first and developed from older versions. What I meant is only the name, Pedal was first released in 1989. but again I'm not sure to be honest, it's just a conclusion.
    Zappa refers to "a Stratocaster with a Whammy bar" on Joe's Garage in about 1979ish, I don't know who first coined the name tho...?