Chibson’s absurd four-foot whammy bar is real, and you'll be surprised just how good it is

Usually when we see one of Chibson’s ingenious social media ad campaigns, we laugh at the sheer absurdity of the wacky hypothetical inventions, and then feel a tinge of disappointment that they will never exist in the material world.

After all, it's improbable that an 11-pickup, 15-knob, quadruple-switch-equipped Hoard’O’Caster will ever be built, nor do we expect the concept of push/pull guitar body extensions to catch on any time soon.

Well, it turns out there is one Chibson invention that actually exists. Not only that, it works – and it works really, really well.

Meet the Whammy-Caster: an electric guitar that is 90 percent hardware, thanks to the appointment of Chibson’s curly wurly, super-long whammy bar.

First introduced as the Whammy Davis Jr., the four-foot attachment recently made its way to YouTuber Rob Scallon, who in turn equipped it to a $150 almost-body-less guitar.

Just by looking at it, you’d think any tremolo system with a decent amount of spring tension would resist the multitude of metal trying to pull it out of pitch, but in reality the curious creation lends itself to a wholly unique whammy experience.

To put it to the test, Scallon teamed up with drummer Jessica Burdeaux for a jam session, and unearthed a whole collection of nuanced musical qualities.

In practice, a hefty tug on the Whammy Davis Jr. lets the pitch-shifting effect ring out in short two-second stints – ideal if you want a temporary tremolo sound without the hassle of engaging and disengaging a foot pedal.

It’s capable of more conventional effects, too, evidenced by Scallon using it for some delicately controlled bends. The benefit of having four feet of metal also means there is a huge spectrum of pitch-shifting to explore.

Specifically, Scallon says the bar can consistently and easily reach a whole step up and down, and can access anything in between. Pretty impressive.

And, if by chance you have a friend who’s willing to stand by and operate the Whammy Davis Jr. for you – as Scallon did – the quirky contraption can also conjure up single-note trems that could induce dizziness if operated without caution.

Scallon had also incorporated Chibson's Placebo pedal into his rig, but was markedly less successful in discovering any of its own musical qualities. That's not surprising, though: it's literally built to do nothing.

If you're unfamiliar with all the Chibson craziness, you're in luck: the company recently dropped an activity book filled to the brim with, erm, activities that bring its gags to life.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.