Guitar Neck is NOT a whammy bar! Does this bother anyone else?

The guitar's neck is acceptable for bending your notes


  • Total voters
    674

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
Messages
10,017
I knew a somewhat obese guy who sat on his guitar while he was very drunk. Now that is extreme... The guitar didnt survive...
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Silver Supporting Member
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20,734
"Acceptable" is a funny word in this context.

If it's your guitar and I don't accept you using the neck to bend notes, what does that even mean?

I don't do it but if others do that's their business.
 

Telefunky

Member
Messages
2,707
I don't understand the aversion. I've been doing dive bombs and all sorts of tremolo effects on a Tele for decades and I've never had a problem. I don't even think about it until I see threads like this.
 

NB_Terry

Member
Messages
2,923
I don't do it, but when I see guys like Jake E Lee do it, it looks cool.

I have a PRS Mira that I think would break pretty easily if I tried it.
 

Warkli

Member
Messages
340
It does not bother me at all. I enjoy when I see people using that technique, it's one of the smoothest possible vibrato sound.

I rarely use it though. I'm little anxious pushing the neck too hard.
 

Daka3

Member
Messages
2,010
If its good enough for Frisell, its good enough for me. Also, it sounds good, and also, I have done this for years and years, and no necks have been neither hurt nor snapped in the process. Move on, nothing to see here.
 

gray/

Member
Messages
131
I’ve always gone by the rule that if it’s a set neck: no
Bolt-on: sure

I do it all the time on my Duo Sonic. To the point it’s a normal part of my style.
 

misterg71

The premier Hack Guitarist
Silver Supporting Member
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1,414
What the crap do I care if someone wants to use the neck as a whammy? It’s not my guitar, they can do whatever the heck they want.
 

lns

Member
Messages
346
Have you ever heard or seen Michael Schenker? He is very god at bending the neck for a whammy effect.
I never heard it could damage the neck - as long as you don’t bend too far ofc
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,819
I just cringe when I see people using their guitar neck as a whammy bar by holding the body and bending the neck to get some whammy or vibrato effect.

Yes, I have tried that... when I was a teenager (a trillion years ago </hyperbole>).

But now when I see people doing that I get a somatic aversion that ties my stomach in knots. I guess I feel for the guitar and after performing my own set ups, truss rod adjustments, saddle piece intonation, string height, and all that myself for my instruments I just think that it is a reckless move. Sure some people smash their guitars on stage which is also a waste of sorts and by now totally cliche. Yes, I do still like seeing footage of the Who smashing up their gear and even more so like watching the footage of Hendrix burning his axe at Monterey Pop but those innovations of performance are not innovative anymore </tangent>

Does it bother you to see people using their neck as a whammy bar or for vibrato? Do you do it too?
I don't think it is reckless at all. I push as pull against the neck to get vibrato all time. It really does nothing to the neck. you have to realize that guitar necks have much more tension on them than you think and wood is quite flexible. By pulling a bit or pushing again the neck to change the pitch or get a vibrato sound doesn't add much tension at all to the neck. Also, if you have ever seen Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands) his able to achieve vibrato very well with his guitar. He has been playing the same guitar since the late 70s at least.
 

Uffe Steen

Member
Messages
280
I will say, that using the neck vibrato with chords + adding a bit of reverb , sounds much better for pad sounds, than a stratocaster vibrato system, that sounds a bit cheesy to me, and goes out of tune. So yes, for chords im wiggling the neck.
 
Messages
1,315
Been doing it forEVERRRR .. Set necks .. Neck-throughs .. Bolt-ons .. Never a problem .. Never .. New guitars .. Decade old guitars .. My baby - My 30+ yr old Les Paul. ..do it all the time .. Did it 2 days ago .. No problem .. No neck adjustments required .. No intonation issues .. And .. For the love of God .. No broken headstocks .. TBH .. I had to laugh when reading the broken headstock posts .. Wow .. That stinks .. Sorry about your luck .. Might wanna bend less next time .. The technique is for vibrato .. Subtle .. Instead of flatting that G Barre Chord a greedy 6 half steps .. Let's just simply execute a subtle neck-friendly waver
 
Messages
1,315
Im just glad to see so many mentions of Adrian Belew .. Most amazing talent i have ever met .. Cool guy .. Totally normal ...good humored .. Damn that man can PLAY! .. I am glad that so many people keep him relevant
 

dotlikeimpact

Member
Messages
1,025
I’m a big fan of doing it, but ONLY on other people’s guitars.

I regularly break into all of your houses at night so I can do it to your guitars while you sleep.

(There’s a really weird, “Ain’t nobody allowed to drive my Camaro but me” vibe in here.)
 
Last edited:

mcknigs

Supporting Member
Messages
8,021
I wouldn't do it with a set neck guitar. Telecasters were made for doing it. I don't push it as far as some I know, but I'm risk averse. I read an interview with Adrian Belew years ago in which he explained why he will often bend the neck over using a whammy bar. I think it may have been in this Guitar Player mag from the 80s:

 


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