How To Hold Your Guitar Just By the Whammy Bar - Nita Strauss Sunday March 3 2019, 2:53 PM
How To Hold Your Guitar Just By the Whammy Bar - Nita Strauss

During a conversation with Music Radar , Alice Cooper's guitarist Nita Strauss talked about holding the guitar just by the whammy bar, saying:

"So many things can go wrong if you hold the guitar up just by the bar!

"Make sure you have at the very least reasonably fresh strings - they don't have to be brand new, just don't do it with old ones.

"Whenever people bring their guitars to clinics, I always play their guitars and usually, they have these grimy strings. And that's exactly what will snap when you need it to hold.

"Using a trem arm that screws in tightly is imperative. Vai does it with the pop-in bar, but he doesn't fully hold his guitar by the bar. His forearm takes a bit of the gravity.

"If you want to do it Herman Li-style, don't try it with an original Edge or Lo-Pro. You'll be left with just the bar in your hand.

"There's one video online where I was showing off and said, 'Look what I can do!' before it all fell apart. Of course, that had to happen on camera!

"Finally, you have to commit fully to the dive... otherwise, it won't work. That goes for a lot of guitar playing in general: the only way you can fail is if you don't commit!"

Discussing the earliest days of her musical journey, Nita said:

"I grew up listening to classical music in the house; our dad instilled that into us - the importance of being aware of that lineage and, of course, living up to that!

"So we knew about [ancestor] Johann Strauss II even when we were little kids. I started out listening to Metallica or Maiden like everyone else and then when I finally heard Yngwie playing harmonic minor I thought, 'Wait a second, I know these passages!'

"That was like a lightbulb moment going off in my head - when it started to make sense. Before that point, I didn't put two and two together or understand how metal and classical could be linked.

"No-one can twist that scale like Yngwie - but to play in that style, I would recommend learning every sweep pattern within each chord of the scale and breaking them up into smaller chunks for your leads."

Nita concluded with a few words of advice, saying:

"For anyone who wants to sound more like me, I'd say find the most fun thing to play and go with that. Because I love playing guitar and everything about it.

"All my heroes made guitar fun - look at those videos of Jason Becker with a yo-yo. He made it so enjoyable. The greatest compliment I ever get is, 'You look like you're having such a blast onstage!"

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