Miscellaneous Rumbles

how often do you really use your whammy bar


I have had them on a number of gits but never really used them on set other then to curse them when it became time to restring. OK Summertime Blues, but that's it. I do like the picture of all that hardware hanging on to a guitar however and that might be the reason that I buy guitars equipped with them. Am I just stupid?


That's a bit of a personal question, no?


I'm the opposite: I use mine a lot for adding gentle waver to notes and chords. I use it so much on my Gretsch that I look really stupid when I switch over to my Tele and find myself reaching down for its non-existent whammy at the end of a phrase. I think someone once called that "playing the air Bigsby."


Strum, you am one funny funny man. Good to hear from you.


I don't use it too often. I'm a rhythm player mainly, and I only have a wiggle stick on two of my guitars. I feel the extra mass does help with sustain.


I use it the correct amount, and any observations to the contrary come from wrongheaded Bigsbyphobes.


Every few seconds. I haven’t gone blind yet, but I did have to get new glasses.

The whole point of a guitar is to have a place to put a wigglestick, ainit?


With the style of music that I am currently playing, I use it all the time. For my taste, however, the key to the use of a vibrato is to use it gently, just enough to put a little quiver on the end of a phrase. Much like how a singer employs vibrato. But, not a manhandling of the device, if you will.


I use it a lot but gently on certain kinds of music and not at all on others. Perhaps because I came up as a 12-string picker I never became overmuchly attached to it.

But there is a time and place, for sure.


Not that much, but somehow it's nice knowing it's there. I probably push/pull on the neck for that effect as much as I use the actual whammy bar.


About every other bar. Almost always at end of the tune.


Many years ago, I used to play a version of 'Harlem Nocturne' - that version was the only tune I've ever played in my 55+ years of guitar playing in which I used the whammy bar. At the moment, I have two Gretsches - one is an Annie which never had a Bigsby on it, and was chosen in part because of that. The other is a G5122 which has been modded in various ways, including the replacement of the Bigsby with a 'G' tailpiece. So how often do I use my whammy bar - never, because the only Bigsby I own is in pieces on a shelf in my work room.


I use it VERY frequently -- light touch, no dive bombing. It's such a habit that I keep reaching for it on my Martin D-41.....

Side note -- I've seen photos of Bryan Adams playing a Guild acoustic flat-top with a Bigsby attached...


I use mine in almost every song. I feel like I’m lost when I play my white Penguin, I constantly reach for the Bigsby only to look down and see a bad ass Cadillac tail piece.


Not too often since the restraining order.

I'm semi-proficient with the vibrato on a Strat, after four decades of practice, but for the Gretsches I tend to leave it alone for the most part.


Heck Prote, I've been blind these many years, but whammy bar or not these days I need to be hit by a Grey Hound Bus for any effect at all.


I used to think I never used it until I was gretsch-less for a while, just a Tele and les paul; that's when I realized I used it a lot, so I got another jet and am happily wiggling away. I just use it subtly though, not any crazy theatrics


Fairly seldom. I have an instrumental tune that it adds a lot to, and another Quicksilverish song that just HAS to have those Cipollina-esque flourishes, and occasionally I attempt to get my Jimi, Jorma or Trower on with a touch of wiggle, but otherwise not too much.

If I recall correctly, out my 23-some-odd electric guitars, 8 have Bigsbys (or equivalents), and two others have a different type of whammy bar (Stagg Strat copy and Dillion PRS-style with Wilkinson bar); the rest are devoid of whammies, which is fine by me.


This picture tells it all:


I use it whenever I put the guitar back in its case. Other than that, it's mostly ballast.


I was restrained on them... just for certain things. Be Like Chet.


I think I have one on almost every guitar except my Hamer and PRS. I hear all the time about guys who deck their strats because somehow the whammy puts them out of tune so that's their solution. To me it removes a complete facet of sound from a guitar if it has one that isn't used. Over use??? Sure, there is plenty of that.


Per my earlier post about Bryan Adams playing a Guild flat top with Bigsby......


Since I do a lot of thumb style playing, I use it quite frequently. In fact I can't play "Mr. Sandman" on a guitar without a Bigsby. Another tune is "It's Only a Paper Moon." I had to figure out some left hand fretting tricks on my acoustic guitar. I'd rather play that tune on my Gretsch so I can do a few Chet-esque dips with the bar. So put me down in the "Uses It Often" column.

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