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Whammy Bar Tricks with Dream Theater's John Petrucci

We recently found this video by the gang at, in which Dream Theater guitarist—and certified shred master—John Petrucci gives an inside look at his technical and creative approach to the whammy bar.

“Whammy bar technique is one of those ways you can make the guitar sound bad,” Petrucci says in the clip.

Petrucci demos a variety of approaches to incorporating unique whammy methods into your playing: creating “the Horse” whinny made famous by Eddie Van Halen; Allan Holdsworth’s approach of using the system to slide into notes; and even more avant-garde techniques, like some of Petrucci’s own tricks.

Petrucci also demonstrates "the Satch method" and more—and offers plenty of helpful tips and guidelines.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.