For Valentine's Day: Tell me about your wiggle stick
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Thread: For Valentine's Day: Tell me about your wiggle stick

  1. #1


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    For Valentine's Day: Tell me about your wiggle stick

    This was touched on a little in an unrelated thread a few years back but I'm dusting off the topic.

    Just recently got a couple of my favorite guitar back up to 100% and one of the things I've been lacking for a while was a good working trem and whammy bar. Being someone that focused primarily on metal most of my life, I think I got the EVH, Dimebag and Alexi diveboming down pretty well. Never really occurred to me to use the tremolo for, you know, actual trem/vibrato stuff until recently.

    So anyway, I dedicated the last couple noodle sessions specifically to trem work. It's definitely an under appreciated technique, considering vibrato with your fretting hand only really give you your note+sharp where as a vocalist can oscillate sharp AND flat in a vibrato. Anyway it always eluded me, the biggest issue was that I always assumed you just grip the whammy bar hard with your picking hand and try to move it up and down in perfect pitch but it always felt jerky and inconsistent. The technique I developed the last few days, I have my hand open about the size of a quarter with the whammy bar in the center, and I'm moving toward and away from the guitar at the speed I want my vibrato, so there's a gap between basically 'bumping' either side of the trem arm that seems to make the pitch and speed more consistent rather than feeling like I'm fighting the spring tension.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Anyway, anybody else using they bar for vibrato at all? Any tips on technique or how you have your guitar setup?
    Argbadh - RHLC©

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  3. #2


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    Paging Pete Stark!



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  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2011
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    90% of my trem usage is doing a single fast, shallow dip right after I play a chord, and I like to keep the bar out of the way as much as possible, so I usually just sweep the bar up towards me while pressing down with my open hand about halfway up the fingers. If I want to do more up and down stuff, I'll pinch the tip with my thumb and forefinger and use them to pull up, and use the edge of my palm where the third and fourth fingers meet to push down.

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  6. #4


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    mine has a slight kink in it.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    The only constructive piece of advice I can give is that I caught George Lynch in a clinic YEARS ago, and he did a ton more subtle bar stuff than I realized - he basically kept the bar palmed at all times for his slower melodic playing, and choked up on it, seeming to hold it about the midpoint. That probably helps when doing subtle effects.

  8. #6


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    i really struggle with being able to pick properly whilst still resting the bar in my hand all the time. Feels so unnatural to me, but i also haven't really put much time into getting used to it. I just fall back on the "swing the bar up when i need/want it and then drop again so it swings out of way when i'm done" technique.

    Is there a magic formula for holding it all the time and still keeping a strong picking hand, or is it just a practice thing?
    Spoiler
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  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKindred View Post
    i really struggle with being able to pick properly whilst still resting the bar in my hand all the time. Feels so unnatural to me, but i also haven't really put much time into getting used to it. I just fall back on the "swing the bar up when i need/want it and then drop again so it swings out of way when i'm done" technique.

    Is there a magic formula for holding it all the time and still keeping a strong picking hand, or is it just a practice thing?
    No clue. It feels weird as hell to me too.

  10. #8


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    FWIW, Gilmour has always used a shortened wiggle stick, for the same reason, likely, that Lynch chokes up on his; to keep it subtle.

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