Jeff Beck Guitar Tremolo

A variety of mechanical vibrato systems for guitar have been developed since the 1930s. They are used to add vibrato to the sound by changing the tension of the strings, typically at the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar using a controlling lever (often referred to as a whammy bar, vibrato arm/bar, or tremolo arm/bar). The lever enables the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento or pitch bend effect.
Instruments without this device have other bridge and tailpiece systems. The mechanical vibrato systems began as a device for more easily producing the vibrato effects that blues and jazz guitarists had long produced on arch top guitars by manipulating the tailpiece with their picking hand. However, it has also made many sounds possible that could not be produced by the old technique, such as the 1980s-era shred guitar “dive bombing” effect.
Since the regular appearance of mechanical vibrato systems in the 1950s, they have been used by many guitarists, ranging from the gentle inflections of Chet Atkins to the exaggerated twang effects of early rocker Duane Eddy to the buoyant effects of surf music aficionados like The Ventures, The Shadows and Dick Dale to art rock innovator Frank Zappa. In the 1960s and ’70s, vibrato arms were used for more pronounced effects by the psychedelic guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page,[1] and Jeff Beck. In the 1980s, shred guitar virtuosos such as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and metal guitarists ranging from Ritchie Blackmore to thrashers like Kirk Hammett used the “whammy bar” in a range of metal-influenced styles. The pitch-bending effects, whether subtle inflections or exaggerated effects, have become an important part of many styles of electric guitar.
Despite the common misnomer tremolo arm, these devices cannot produce tremolo in the normal sense of the word, but can produce vibrato; while some electronic “vibrato units” used by electric guitarists generally produce a tremolo effect, rather than vibrato. See “Vibrato or Tremolo”.

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