Whammy Bar Tricks with John Petrucci of Dream Theater | Reverb Interview


This is John Petrucci I’m here at Reverb.com
hanging out we’re going to talk about gear and playing and lots of fun stuff.
So with any sort of floating whammy bar if you hold a note you know
obviously that the whammy bar is on Springs it goes you can bend a note both
up and down so it’s it’s floating in both directions it’s almost like if you
had a ruler on the end of a desk and you flipped it and it kind of
vibrates really fast that’s what you’re doing. you can do it the other way this way
it’s fun well you always have the horse right the
Eddie Van Halen yeah that’s fun was like it it’s kind of
neat you know you have the sach method where you you play
an artificial harmonic here The van Halen which which
you play a note you know we mentioned Holdsworth before
one of the things I picked up from him was using the bar to kind of slur up to
notes like And of course just
traditionally using it for vibrato which here’s a funny thing about guitar I talk
about a lot it’s very easy to make it sound bad especially because you can
manipulate strings and bend notes and they can go out of tune and everything
like that whammy bar technique is one of those
ways you can make the guitar kind of sound bad so so I always say you know
with your whammy technique as far as vibrato is that you want to try to go
for this kind of smooth thing now one of the things that you can’t necessarily do
with traditional vibrato is go above and below a note so when you vibrato a
note you’re going up to the pitch and back down right you can’t really go
below the pitch so what the whammy bar enables you to do is say the notes here
you’re able to go above and below and target that note in the middle and I
think it’s important to keep that in mind if you don’t do that you’re just
going to have one direction like it’s fine for a certain vibe but to get
a vibrato that’s smooth So imagine you’re kind of like bending the barb
you know it’s always kind of returning to the note it’s going below and above this is called the JP16 and
it’s part of our anniversary series it commemorates 16 years that I’ve been
with Music Man and whenever we offer a new version of the guitar we like to do
two things one of them is keep the features of the guitar that that are
tried-and-true but at the same time we want to offer something that’s new and
exciting. For 16 years I’ve been using the Music Man bridge which I absolutely
love but I wanted to do something different. Why not? It has a little bit different feel to it for players that like Floyd’s
they know what I mean. It’s a different sound it’s kind of a brighter sound to
the guitar as well if you like the locking nut system of course it
has that and the guitar will never go out of tune so yeah Floyd Rose is
another floating whammy bar that just has a different feel. It might be
slightly more sensitive I would say that that anything that you could do on with
The Music Man whammy bar you can also do with the Floyd Rose it just it has a
different kind of sound i think it’s a maybe a little bit more rubbery sounding
so the things like I was doing before like that the little
trick that I was showing you it’s almost like more floaty and a
little bit more sensitive I think to the touch and in those types of tricks.

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