Author Topic: That's not a tremolo bar.  (Read 212 times)

Offline TheBuddha

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That's not a tremolo bar.
« on: March 03, 2018, 10:14:01 AM »
That thing on the side that you call a whammy bar? Yeah, it's not a tremolo bar.

Tremolo is done in your amplifier or, in some case, you have a tremolo pedal. Tremolo is a cyclic changing of volume or, if you want to be professional sounding, amplitude. It's usually reserved for rapid changing of volume. Turn your radio on and turn the volume down low and then back high as rapidly as you can. That's tremolo. It comes from a longer Latin word meaning to tremble.

Vibrato is a cyclic change of pitch. The whammy bar tightens and loosens the strings causing the pitch to change. Even there, it's technically supposed to be regular - and some people just stretch and release, with nary a cycle involved. I suppose it's just an unfinished cycle.

So, that funny looking stick you have on the side of your guitar? Yeah, it's not smart when someone aloofly refers to it as a "tremolo bar." You might just as well keep calling it a whammy bar. It's technically a vibrato bar, if it's to be called anything. (It's part of a vibrato system.)

Just call it a whammy bar.

Citations follow:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrato

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremolo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrato_systems_for_guitar