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Author Topic: Help with trem bar technique?  (Read 4268 times)

Offline cy2989

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Help with trem bar technique?
« on: May 20, 2007, 10:03:08 AM »
I have never before used a tremelo bar.  Knowing that my fly has one of the best systems available made me decide that I should learn to use it but I have some questions.

The bar really seems to be in the wrong position for me.  It seems to be  too long and too far away from the strings.  I know it can be bent but before I do anything permanent I wanted to see if I'm missing something about the technique.  Is it common to bend or even cut the bar?  I feel like I would like the rubber grip to fall about where the handle takes a little bend, about 2 or 3 inches below.  I'm trying to grab the bar with my little and ring finger.  I could sure use some help.

Are there any really good tutorials on trem technique that you know of?  BTW, I'm using the bend down only mode. It seems like there would be fewer tuning problems in this mode.  Thanks for your help.




Help with trem bar technique?

Offline simonlock

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 01:21:01 PM »
Yeah I'd like to do more with the thing too.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
 

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline cy2989

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 01:34:48 PM »
Well actually Simon, I just decided to apply some common sense to it.  I bent the bar the way it felt right, which almost opposite to the way it was originally set up, I cut about an inch and a half of its length off and it seem perfect to me now.  I'm try for a Keaggy type of technique.  I'll let you know how it's coming.




Help with trem bar technique?

Offline 908ssp

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 01:48:38 PM »
The effort it takes to push or pull the bars is directly related to the length. Too short and it will be much harder to move. So if you hadn't already cut the bar I would have suggested you go slowly in any case they aren't impossible to get. I made a couple from scratch both round and hex so if Parker should run out they are still attainable. If the bar is too close to the strings you won't have as far to go with the bar before you hit the top of the guitar. If you're just using it for shallow warbling, just slight pitch drops than it won't matter. I took mine off for a while and now have them back one all my trem guitars except the Artist. I am actually making slightly better use of it now than before.

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Alex

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Alex

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Help with trem bar technique?

Offline cy2989

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2007, 03:46:20 PM »
Alex,

I hear what you're saying.  I'm bending down a half or whole step to do the same sort of licks you would do by bending up a half or whole step.  The problem I was having and the reason I trimmed some off, was that the bar was putting my pick up by the fingerboard.  I think this will work for me.

chris

« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 03:47:44 PM by cy2989 »

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline prjacobs

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 11:49:43 PM »
For what it's worth, I like people who use the bar slowly, sort of like singers with a slow vibrato.  The fast, manic school of tremolo is, to my ears, horrible.  For blues, I like  to make the guitar sound like a slide guitar.  Jeff Beck does some really  musical bar work.....  You can also do some fun country licks with the tremolo bar and a volume pedal that sound very pedal steel like.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 11:52:04 PM by prjacobs »
 

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline cy2989

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2007, 02:17:33 PM »
prjacobs said

 "For blues, I like to make the guitar sound like a slide guitar. Jeff Beck does some really musical bar work..... You can also do some fun country licks with the tremolo bar and a volume pedal that sound very pedal steel like."

PR that's exactly the type of thing I'm trying to learn.  I've found some tutorials on the web but most are the metal techniques of squeals and dive-bombs.

Chris


Help with trem bar technique?

Offline bno

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2007, 04:45:52 PM »
Down to the actual technique issue.  This is only my point of view and how I've figured out to get what I find appealing.  I hold the bar at the end with my pinky over the top and my ring finger underneath - that way I can hold it while I'm picking and have control bending in both directions and can do the slow vibrato/tremolo without reaching for a swinging bar.  Be careful that your picking doesn't cause you to move the bar when you don't want to be bending notes - you'll wonder why you're out of tune. If you try to hold it in your fist, you really can't reach the strings to pick.  If you hold it with the pinky/ring finger grip your hand is flat and you can pick freely.

Some licks/tricks:

Think like a singer with a slow rich vocal vibrato. Use it on ringing chords and long notes in melodys.

Push the bar down first and THEN pick the note and let the bar/pitch rise up to pitch - usually up a 2nd.  That gives you that pedal steel guitar bend up effect - particularly if you then play a doublestop 3rd or 6th when the plucked string reaches pitch.

Bend down a 2nd, mute the note and then play the same note at its normal fret - like a reverse of that Hendrix slur to unison on two strings.

Slap it rhythmically and get really quick down/up bends.  Cool.  Particularly on disonant or hollow chord work (stacked 4ths or 5ths).

Pluck/flick it to get a really weird warbling effect.

The key is to be subtle and restrained.  Use it sparingly to add flavor and expression like a singer.  Watch some YouTube of Adrian Belew, he's a master of the bar.
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Help with trem bar technique?

Offline David Tomkins

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 01:57:20 AM »
for a genuinely artistic take on whammy bars listen to steve vai's "Whispering a prayer".  it's beautiful, lyrical and musical use of the bar (in my humble opinion, anyway)
then watch the rest of the concert and see just how much abuse a lo-pro edge can take!! man, they're tough!

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2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo signed by Steve Vai, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline cy2989

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 06:43:29 AM »
These are great suggestions.  Thank you!  I think I'm getting the hang of this and it's fun to learn something new.

Chris

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline Lwinn171

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2007, 10:24:40 PM »
I use the bar all the time. There was a long period when I played guitars without them, but I just love the things you can do with one. I usually go for the subtle effect, but am not afraid at all to get more aggressive: scooping notes up, dive bombs, pullback, all sorts of tricks. Controlled feedback loves a little whammy to make it really sing...

By the way, my Fly holds tune very well, no matter how I use the bar. It is a great design, far better than locking trems I've had in the past (no more wondering where my allen wrench is during a set)!!! I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to try the floating trem setting. It gives more luster to the subtle shimmering trem work, allowing you to raise and lower the pitch. Before long, we'll have you doing low E fifth fret harmonic, minor third pullbacks...[:D][:D][:D]


Lawrence Winn

« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 10:44:41 PM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline Lwinn171

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2007, 10:43:53 PM »
Another pullback trick for you, once you've taken the dive and gone "full floating"... play the top three strings of a open position D Major chord (5th, root, third) and pull back slowly all the way. On mine it resolves to a C major (root, third, fifth). This uses the variable between the string tension and the spring tension to illustrate an interesting concept. As you move the bar, the strings gain or lose tension, but the notes on different strings change at a different rate, due to the differing string tension.

Another trick: With as much distortion as your rig will muster, play a fifth fret harmonic on the G string and a seventh fret harmonic on the B string (the notes will originate at a half step interval), then crash the trem slowly. It howls with weird overtones and craziness.[;)]



Lawrence Winn

« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 12:19:24 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline David Tomkins

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2007, 09:41:54 AM »
would the d major not reseolve to an E if you're pulling up ar am i missing something?

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo signed by Steve Vai, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline Lwinn171

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2007, 11:11:11 AM »
Actually, the resolution is to a C. From the high E down to the G string resolution as follows: F# raises to G (1/2 step), D raises to E (whole step), A raises to C (minor third). Leaving a C E G chord (Cmaj) as the resolved chord. It's a neat trick, pulling up to get a chord a whole step down.[;)] I've used this trick with several different trems in the past, always seems to work... Remember the strings change tension at different rates, and this is one way to use that to your advantage.[8D]
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 11:15:15 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Help with trem bar technique?

Offline David Tomkins

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Help with trem bar technique?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2007, 02:00:35 AM »
knew i should have had lessons!!  thanks!!

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo signed by Steve Vai, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!