With all the new questions from Guitars, we now have several questions regarding whammy bars. I've been tagging them , but I'm wondering if or something else might be better. I'm not sure if they're exact synonyms, but the reason I ask is because most of the questions seem to refer to them as "trems" and not whammy bars.

There's also the question that, if expert guitarists use "tremolo" and everyone else uses "whammy bar", which one should we use for maximum effect? It's not super important, since we can make one a synonym of the other, but the one we choose should be the one that comes most naturally to the most members of the community balanced with the need to attract new members.

Small note: As an intermediate guitarist myself, I use and much prefer "whammy bar".

  • Yeah, let's continue the misnomer! It was dear old Leo that got mixed up between tremolo and vibrato - both wrongly labelled on his products. I prefer to call a spade a spade, so whammy bar is at least vaguely in the right direction...Vibrato arm would be wonderful, but I doubt it'll ever catch on!
    – Tim
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 13:14

2 Answers 2


I prefer the term "tremolo bar", but don't really have a reason for doing so. Are there more questions already tagged as one or the other? If so, I suggest using that term, to minimize the amount of retagging work going forward.

  • Some of them were tagged on Guitars, but the tags did not carry over since they did not already exist on this site.
    – user28
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 14:59
  • How about using the term used in the question text more often? As you point out, one term's just gonna end up being a tag synonym for the other in any case. Commented May 28, 2011 at 15:49
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    @neilfein That's probably a good idea. I'll continue tagging them all whammy-bar for now, and then I'll count them later and see what the question text favors.
    – user28
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 15:55
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    Interestingly, "tremolo" is somewhat of a misnomer, even though it has gained widespread usage. "vibrato-bar" is more accurate, since tremolo is really defined as rapid repetitions of a note, or a change in amplitude (as opposed to frequency).
    – NReilingh
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 17:43
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    Alistair Maxwell has suggested "tremolo system" so that everything is covered, we'll go with that for now. If bars, floating trems, etc. need to be distinguished we can do that when the issue arises. I also created "tremolo" yesterday to refer to exactly what NReilingh describes.
    – user28
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 18:56
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    All posts that I mistagged with 'tremolo,' and posts with 'whammy bar' have been retagged to 'tremolo-system.' Hope everyone is cool with that :D
    – Ali
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 19:03

Maybe it would be simpler to just tag these "bridge" and be done with it?

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    Ooh. I think that's way too broad.
    – user28
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 23:02
  • @Matthew I don't disagree, but it's somewhere to start.
    – NReilingh
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 3:08
  • Breadth besides, I believe it's counter-intuitive for bar-related questions.
    – Kos
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 14:18

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