In the past, I used to be against the whammy bar on the electric guitar. I used to believe that the tool on the electric was a way for guitarists to show off. It’s like them saying, “Hey look at me, I can do all these cool tricks and now I’m an amazing player!” A lot of people believe that the whammy bar is just a way for a guitar player to show off but I don’t think so.
Now that I think about it, the whammy bar on the guitar can be a really expressive tool. You can actually create useful and creative licks on a whammy bar. If you think a whammy bar is just used to add vibrato and bend notes, think again. You can do so many crazy tricks on the whammy bar. Look at Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani. Those guys are wizards on the whammy and so is Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix used the whammy quite a lot on the Fender. Listen to Hendrix’s version of the “Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock, there’s whammy all over that.
Doing whammy tricks aren’t hard as they look. They’re actually very simple. Pretty soon I’ll be using the whammy bar when I’m playing lead. I got a guitar with a whammy bar ’cause I’m hoping to one day learn some of the my favorite shred songs. For example one day I’m gonna learn Satriani’s “Satch Boogie” and I’m gonna try to master Van Halen’s “Eruption”. Those are two of my favorite shred tunes and I want to learn how to play them myself and I will!
Yeah, admittedly I do want to play like a virtuoso and play shred guitar and I still got a lot of work to get there. The whammy is an awesome tool. Like they all say, “Don’t knock it until you try it”. The whammy bar really grew on me. I’m having a lot of fun with it.