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Watch the Whammy Bar & Vibrato online guitar lesson by BJ Baartmans from Slapback, Billy & Twang Guidebook

Another way to change pitch was using a whammy bar - a Bigsby unit like most Gretsch guitars were outfitted with or the oddly named tremolo handle on a Fender stratocaster. Using it while picking means changing your way of picking a bit. Or, you can do what a lot of players did: just use it at the end of a solo or a song to shake up the final chord.

One of the things that make guitar players recognizable is the way they vibrate strings. The way they create a specific tone adding finger vibrato. It really comes out in clean recordings. But if that's not so clearly audible or plain hard to do, it comes down to different things to recognize a player. Timing and choice of notes become all the more important. So, that's also a good way of making yourself noticeable. Play where the others are not, just a bit before or after the beat and stay in a not so crowded melodic range. Like always, the devil's in the details...