Whammy Bar Tricks with Dream Theater's John Petrucci

We recently found this video by the gang at Reverb.com (opens in new tab), 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.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.