Guitar Flutter Technique

The guitar flutter technique creates a vibrating sound with the notes that are played immediately before and during the activation of the tremolo bar. Not all guitars have a tremolo bar installed. On guitars missing the tremolo bar, you can have one installed, but it is preferred to select a guitar that already has the tremolo bar installed.


The guitar flutter technique is most easily executed near the top of the fingerboard. You can do it at most any location, but the top will provide you with the best flutter sound. Somewhere around the twelfth fret is a good location to begin your flutter. Use one of the higher strings, such as the G-string, the B-string, or the top E-string. Lower strings don’t provide the same resonance and clarity as the higher strings.


You will need a properly equipped guitar with a tremolo bar to effectively play the flutter technique. You can also purchase an extension for your guitar, but it is better to use a guitar specifically equipped for the job. The tremolo unit consists of an arm that vibrates the strings quickly when struck. This creates a fluttering sound also known as a tremolo.


It is easy to damage your guitar, so practice this technique carefully and avoid slamming the tremolo bar against the guitar. To perform the technique, pick a note on one of the higher guitar strings. Pluck the note and then immediately slap the end of the tremolo bar quickly and let the bar vibrate. The vibrating bar will create a vibrato effect, also known as a guitar flutter. The arm acts as a sort of spring that when pulled, pushed, or struck will go back to its original position and vibrate.


Practice playing guitar flutter on several different strings. You can also create a flutter on the lower strings, but the technique is not as pronounced or effective. To improve the technique practice striking more than one note at a time to create a double-stop effect. A double-stop occurs when two notes are simultaneously sounded together. You can also play this effect with chords and while playing scales. To play a scale pluck the first note of the scale, quickly hit the tremolo bar, and then continue up the scale.


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