Whammy bar tricks to enhance your guitar solos

Dimebag Darrell

Whammy bar tricks to enhance your guitar solos

Today’s lesson is about creativity and how to use whammy bar tricks to enhance your guitar solos.  Now if you don’t have a whammy bar on your guitar that’s fine, you can still learn some great tricks with this video.  Maybe get a guitar with a whammy bar in the future.

One fun way to add enhance your guitar creativity (especially for guitar solos) is to add effects.  That is what’s great about playing rock guitar.  You can add weird sounds and it’s acceptable.  This would not work so well for other styles of music Like Jazz, blues, or country.  Not to say you couldn’t do it, but it’s not as popular.

The whammy bar

The guitar (any guitar) is designed with some really neat features to adjust the sound signal.  You have a volume knob and usually a tone knob and sometimes a vibrato bar.  These things can allow you to create your own original sound.

A tremolo car is sometimes called a whammy bar.  And if there is one way to grab attention with your guitar it would be the whammy bar.  You can grab the bar for a slight “vibrato” effect.  You can push down on it for a “dive bomb” effect, or in some cases, you can pull up on the bar to raise the pitch.

Types of whammy bars

Fender Stratocaster bridge

This is the typical type of bridge you see on a guitar like a Fender Stratocaster.  These are great for a slight vibrato.  But if they are used too much they can throw the guitar out of tune unless the guitar is set up a certain way. So it is best to be careful with this type of guitar bridge. This bridge was designed by Leo Fender in the ’50s and a great invention for its time.  But not the best for what I am talking about here.

Floyd Rose bridge

In the ’80s Floyd Rose invented a more enhanced version of the bridge system that Leo Fender invented a few decades earlier.  As you can see from the picture, it is a little more advanced.  Designed to keep the guitar in tune better when using it.

Revolutionary invention

This was a revolutionary invention for guitar players who used the whammy bar but kept dealing with tuning issues.  The person who made people take notice of the whammy bar was Jimmy Hendrix in the ’60s.  Then in the late ’70s, Eddie Van Halen inspired everyone to want to use a whammy bar with his advanced techniques.

With this new type of whammy bar and multiple versions of it since it came out, you can now do all kinds of cool things with it.  Push down really hard to make the guitar growl.  Raise the bar up to create a whale scream.  Push on it repeatedly to make a flutter type of sound. You’re only limited by your creativity.  And all this can be done while keeping the guitar in tune.

Watch the video lesson below

Jimi’s inspiration

Whammy bar tricks have been around since Jimi Hendrix inspired people in the ’60s with his guitar playing creativity.  Just watch some of his concert footage on YouTube, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.  You’ll also notice (if you watch enough of them) that he was having issues with keeping the guitar in tune.

His rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 69 proves this point. He makes the guitar sound like rockets taking off and bombs going off.  Truly a revolutionary performance for its time.  Actually, for any time.

Guitars with whammy bars

The Fender Stratocaster is a great guitar, but to do the kind of tricks I’m talking about in this video, we need a guitar that has more of a Floyd Rose type of bridge to it.  Here is a couple I recommend if you don’t already have one but may be interested in getting one.

Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez RG450DX

This is the guitar that started it all.  Most guitar players who play with whammy bars choose this type of guitar.  Why?  Because it is specifically designed for this type of playing.  A true rock guitar in the sense of the word.

This is a solid body electric with a mahogany body, dual humbucker pickups, (for high gain output) maple neck, and a very stylish shark-tooth inlay fretboard.  This is a true Rock Guitar!  Not to mention the whammy bar and locking nut to keep it in-tune under any kind of playing condition.

Schecter Omen Extreme

Schecter Omen Extreme FR

This is another guitar that is specifically designed for this type of playing.  Schecter Research has created a monster with this guitar.  This has a solid wood body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, special Schecter pickups, Floyd Rose special tremolo with locking nut and a black cherry finish that is to die for.

In my opinion, either one of these two guitars would do the job if you were looking to get a guitar with a whammy bar.  Of course, there are many more to choose from and I recommend you do research and look up reviews before purchasing one.

Lead Guitar Development

Now, before you start looking for a guitar with a whammy bar, or try out tricks with a guitar you already have, make sure you have your lead guitar development under control.  You want to make sure that you have a firm grasp on at least the fundamental principles and concepts of playing guitar solos.

This where a simple method book like lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1 can come into place.  This is a book that I have personally published to teach you in a simple step-by-step format on how to play lead guitar with easy learning and quick results.

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1

Lead Guitar Wizardry will teach you:

*How to read music notation

*The blues scale and the 12 bar blues

*Chord progression to solo over

*Major and minor keys

*All 5 pentatonic scales

*Pull-offs, hammer-ons, bends, trills, etc

*Harmony notes, finger tapping, and arpeggios

*Music theory, ear training, & how to stay in key

Along with much, much more.  Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1 will teach you how to build a solid foundation of lead guitar skills that you can continue to build on for years to come.  You’ll develop a better ear and have a better understanding of how music works.  Even if you have no previous music knowledge.

No more frustration!

Learning to unlock the mysteries of how to play quality guitar solos can be frustrating!  I know, because I struggled to try to figure it all out.  I talked to friends, fellow guitar players, read books and looked at magazines.  It took a while but I eventually figured it out. When I did and started teaching guitar lessons I decided that no one I teach will ever struggle like that.

Hence my book I’ve published, Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1.  For beginners looking to dive into the magic, sacred world of playing jaw-dropping guitar solos.  Not only that but looking to build a solid understanding of how it all works.  In fact, if you study and practice the spells and incantations in this book enough, you’ll develop into a lead guitar wizard!

Lesson conclusion

In conclusion, If you’re looking to add something to your “bag of guitar tricks” (most players always are) my recommendation is to add a whammy bar.  The sounds you can make with it are literally out of this world.  Especially when you add the volume knob and harmonics.  Not to mention the effects pedals.  But that’ll be for another lesson.

For now, just focus on the whammy bar. I tell you, this one little item if set up properly on your guitar ( a well-invested cost) can spark your creativity into the stratosphere.  And if you need a guitar with a whammy bar, look into the ones I suggested.  There are others as well by Jackson, ESP, and Dean.  All great choices to choose from.  But like I said, do your research.

And as always, if you haven’t already, I recommend you also grab my FREE action-guide Guitar Solo Secrets to give you a head start with more insider tips to getting moving in the right direction of playing guitar solos.

Best of luck and contact me if you have any questions.

Until next time,

Dwayne

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