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Tremolo/ whammy bar necessary for hard rock/metal

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Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 21
Topic starter  

Its probably too late now because I already told my parents what guitar I wanted for my birthday (2 weeks), but the guitar I told them I liked doesn't have a whammy bar (its a Schecter Omen 6). I want to play mostly hard rock and metal, so is it ok that it doesn't ahve a whammy bar (I am just getting started so it probaly doesn't matter anyway). When I asked the guy at guitar center I told him what kind of music I like and the style guitar I liked and this is one of the guitars that he reccomended. Thanks.


Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

Very few songs NEED a whammy bar.

Some sounds are only possible with one, but it's not a requirement for any musical style.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 414

Agree totally with King. Don't worry about that whammy bar. The Omen 6 will be a great guitar for your rock/metal tastes. It's a very good first guitar for you.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

Lots of Metal players use guitars without a tremelo or whammy bar.

There are ways to get this effect anyway.

1) You can push or pull upward on the headstock. Play any open string and push up on the headstock with your fretting hand. Or, you can fret a note or chord, and reach over with your picking hand and pull up on the headstock.

2) You can push downward on the guitar's horns or body while pushing upward on the neck with your fretting hand.

3) You can bend individual strings by pushing down on them above the nut. This is the opposite of the whammy effect in that it raises the pitch. Gives a similar effect though.

4) You can quickly detune and retune a string using the machine heads (tuners). This trick is very popular with Country players.

Here is a site with a sound clip of a neck bend.

All of these techniques take lots of practice, but work well.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162

You can always get a pedal like a Whammy or Super Shifter.


Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 393

Agree with Steve, I have a tremelo pedal. I also play soft rock, hard rock, metal and acoustic rock as well. I used to have a guitar with a whammy but i may have use it maybe once just to make sure it work i guess. So unless you plan on using it for every song you isn't really all that important. Like steve said, you can always get a pedal to make the sound.

Like I have a tremelo pedal, but only use it for one song. So really all it does is collect dust.

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1106

I have guitars with and guitars without a bar. I enjoy both. I don't miss the bar on the guitars that don't have one. As a beginner, it is probably better to have a guitar without a bar - it can make tuning more difficult.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480

I've got two guitars with whammy bars, but I've taken them off. I never use them.

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 59

Angus Young of AC-DC gets by just fine on his Gibson SG! I think the whammy bar is unproductive to learn on and a fixed bridge without the whammy gives you one less thing to worry about. More often than not, a whammy bar makes keeping the beast in tune more difficult! Also, not having a whammy bar forces you to learn fingering techniques like string bending etc, and when/if you graduate to the whammy bar you'll be more well rounded.


Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1409

Tremolos tend to create tuning instability - one of the great banes of beginning guitarists. Better to start with stable tuning, as you would get with the Omen 6.

Most of the changes in sound that you hear in rock music actually comes from bends on the fretboard. Most of the time tremolos only come into play during the solo.

Anyway - I think you are super fine. In fact, as RP stated, many players simply "block" their tremolo anyway.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"

Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 525

I'm with rparker, I take mine off. I don't really like the sound of the tremelo bar, it gets kind of boring for me, I like experimenting with random things to get new effects constantly.

"That’s what takes place when a song is written: You see something that isn’t there. Then you use your instrument to find it."
- John Frusciante

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261

I hate 'em, mine's chocked up with a stack of pennies. I'd avise anyone against learning to play guitar on one - people just starting out get stressed enough at changing/tuning strings without all the extra hassle. - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer