Strat owners: Do you use your whammy bar?

Strat owners: Do you use your whammy bar?

  • Yes

    Votes: 341 60.4%
  • No

    Votes: 224 39.6%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


I use it sparingly just to add a touch of vibrato. I keep them on mine because its part of the vibe of the iconic instrument that a Fender Stratocaster is. Don't dive bomb!!!

Gibson Dog

Silver Supporting Member
Yep, not a lot but I definitely use it. If you have tuning problems from using a whammy bar your guitar isn't setup correctly. No disrespect intended - if you have a pro set the guitar up correctly you won't have to worry about tuning, intonation or any other issues.

I know a lot of people think they don't need to spend that money & are more than capable of setting up their guitars, they aren't. If they were there would be no worries or issues.


Supporting Member
Don’t own a Strat, but all of my guitars have whammy bars and licking tuners and I use them every day!!!!!


Supporting Member
One song I do an Adrian Belew ripoff solo, one or two I do some moderate wiggling, and a few I'll add some slight vibrato on clean sustained chords. I set it up as per Fender to float a bit, use locking tuners (though stretched strings work fine I like how fast the lockers are) and it stays in tune great. It's a two-post unit, which probably makes it easier. Just adds some fun to playing :)

mule train

Gold Supporting Member
Use and abuse all 5 of my Strats! All setup the same
Floating six screw vintage (Highwood saddles, Wudtone plate, Callaham block)
good cut nut (Tusq XL)
vintage style safety post tuners (Kluson Revolution)


Silver Supporting Member
What about using the palm on the bridge for a little vibrato, but not the arm?


FWIW, you can make a 6 screw vintage trem function just like a 2 screw by... wait for it... back off the center 4 screws about a turn or so. Not doing that is a recipe for a trem that won't stay in tune.

I'm actually glad so many eschew trem use or deck it. Heck, I wish everyone but me would stop playing Strats altogether. If I were the only Strat player on the planet, people would think me a genius. Otherwise, no hope of that happening.


For my first several years of Strat use I never used the whammy... because it was a hardtail model. I loved that guitar and wish I had never let it go. I kinda wished I had one at the time but I think I understood that it was almost a separate instrument that would need serious study, plus I was afraid of tuning issues. About 8 years later I finally got a Strat Plus with a 2-point bridge and roller nut. I was pleased that it stayed in tune very well even with vigorous whammy use. I've had several Strats since then and currently have three, and all of them with 2-point floating bridges; roller bridge is helpful but not required. This is my formula for success - tuning is always very stable. I've never owned one with a 6-point vibrato bridge.

I figure half the point of playing a Stratocaster is the whammy. I use it quite a lot for various articulations that I can't get with fingers alone. If I'm in a non-whammy state of mind I'll play something else. That said, I'd like to have another hard-tail Strat, but I consider that to be more of a Telecaster with different ergonomics than a Stratocaster.
Reply to myself... another preference for my whammy-equipped Strats is locking staggered tuners. The stagger is the main thing - it lets me dispense with string trees, which I consider to be a potential sticking point, and it allows me to do a few bending tricks behind the nut. The locking thing is nice for quick and secure string changes, but is less a factor for tuning stability, as long as the nut is cut well and lubricated. I swore by Sperzels for years but lately I like Hipshot Grip-Lock Staggered Locking Tuners. Easy to install and lighter than the Sperzels. Technology marches on!


I've had strats where I could dive bomb the trem arm into the pick guard all day and never have to re-tune. I've also had strats that would slip out of tune just from dipping it down a quarter step.


Supporting Member
I use unison bends often, and the Strat whammy screws that up.

I have a Hagstrom Viking with a trem bar, and I can do unison bends on that without going out of tune. So I kinda judge the strat whammy by that standard.
Very often for chord shimmers, here and there for inflections.

I reserve true wang bar strangulation for my Floyd and Kahler guitars. :wave


Silver Supporting Member
Played a Strat for my only guitar almost 20 years, but it was an ‘83 and had a Kahler so a little different
Had the snap in trem arm.
When it was setup absolutely perfect, I used it with good results but 95% of the time I never used it.
I love JMH too but my trem never performed like a normal Fender unit so I just left it off


Nope, mine’s decked. I never learned how to adjust when bending so that the other strings don’t sound horribly out of tune.

It works for Clapton and Mayer, so I’m certainly not going to question it

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