How to Install a Strat Whammy Bar

Written by marlon trotsky
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How to Install a Strat Whammy Bar
A whammy bar adds vibrato to your sound. (Kazuhiro Tanda/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A whammy bar is an innovative accessory that, once attached to your bridge, creates a deep, vibrato sound on your guitar. It is also known as a vibrato bar, twang bar, tremolo arm or tremolo bar. Fender began producing the Synchronized Tremolo, or strat trem, in the mid 1950s and it became one of the most popular designs. To install the whammy bar, your guitar must have a hole on its bridge into which you can screw the bar. Some models don't support whammy bars, so always check with the retailer first before making a purchase.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Locate the hole on your bridge designed to hold your whammy bar. On most guitars, the hole is at the bottom of the bridge.

  2. 2

    Screw the whammy bar clockwise until it hugs your bridge tightly, but not so tight that it won't move. Insert a small spring into the arm screw cavity to keep the arm from loosening once you screw it in. When you do remove the bar, place a piece of tape over the hole so you don't lose the spring.

  3. 3

    Test out the bar to make sure you get the desired sound, by playing a few notes while holding down the bar gently. The bar should be pointing towards the peghead. Also, try playing a few chords, while experimenting with the direction of the bar.

Tips and warnings

  • Always remove the bar when storing your guitar.

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