whammy bar

noun
variants: or less commonly wham bar

Definition of whammy bar

:a lever attached by the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar that can be depressed to increase the tension of the strings and produce such effects as vibrato, portamento, and dive bomb
  • … he was also a distinctive guitarist with a biting, nasty tone, and was one of the first to make the whammy bar an integral part of his sound.
  • —Vladimir BogdanovAll Music Guide to Soul2003
called also trem bar, tremolo, tremolo arm, tremolo bar, vibrato arm, vibrato bar, wang bar

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First Known Use of whammy bar

1979


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