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Used Electric Guitar Is Fun To Play

by Daniel Wright

Occasionally, one may find a used electric guitar equipped with an odd bar dangling from its bridge. This bar is called a tremolo or "whammy" bar. There are also other names for this device, such as vibrato arm or wang bar.

Actually, you will find many electric guitars with the tremelo bar feature at any Guitar Center store. While new models are popular, vintage used electric guitars with intact original equipment are the most valuable.

During the late 1940's and 1950's, this device was introduced and developed for guitar players. The tremelo arm or bar is still produced on certain electric guitar models today. The intent of the guitar tremelo bar is to create a vibrato effect.

Vibrato is the correct term for the pitch variation used by guitar players, but tremolo (actually a variance in volume), was introduced in amplification technology first and thus guitar players continue to use the misnomer tremolo for pitch variation.

Two simple styles of such devices are the most common. In both styles, the strings are fastened to the rest of the guitar at the tailpiece and run over the top of the bridge. There are springs that allow the bridge to move or "float" where the tailpiece and bridge meet. In one style, a rotating tube is used along with the springs; in the second style, the bridge and the springs are simultaneously operated.

The pitch of any note played with the guitar can be changed by moving the articulated arm in either direction. The springs are used to move the bridge either up or down to tighten or loosen the string's tension. In this way, the vibrato sound can be effected if the action is replicated either in a slow or rapid fashion.

Some of those who pioneered the use of the tremelo bar include Lonnie Mack (whose song "Wham!" may have led to the moniker "whammy" bar) and Leo Fender. Innovators of the use of the device in later years include Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. More recently guitar wizards Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai have taken the use of the device to new levels.

I encourage you to go to a guitar center and try a used electric guitar with a tremelo bar. They are fun to play and you'll be quite surprised with the many variations of sounds that you can produce. Nothing beats tremelo bars on used electric guitars!

Browse hundreds of used electric guitars at Shop Guitars For Featuring the net's widest selection of electric guitars from names like Fender, Gibson, Gretch, Martin, Ibanez, and many more! [This article may be freely reprinted provided all links are kept in place.]

Filed in Hobby, Music

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