I'm currently learning to play the guitar and watch a lot of tutorials. I noticed that on long playing chords they often wave their guitars (slowly move neck up and down).

What is the reason?

Does it actually do anything to the sound?

Is it to help the guitar resonate, or maybe to change distance from listener so he hears more a interesting sound?

  • 2
    If you don't hear an effect on the sound, this could just be natural movement caused by the "flow state" of playing music. Similar to dancing, playing an instrument can cause your body to move in ways that you're not intending to do on purpose, as if your body and skills are just a passive vessel for the music itself. It feels good to move your instrument as you play it.
    – JacobIRR
    May 31, 2019 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


It's a way to produce a vibrato:

By bending the neck up and down you change the pitch a little bit.

Vibrato (Italian, from past participle of "vibrare", to vibrate) is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch.


Keep in mind that you can actually break your guitar neck this way, so don't overdo it.

  • 4
    Good point about breaking the neck. I saw a video somewhere where some guy snapped his (guitar) neck on an acoustic doing that. Hard to watch once you know what's going to happen. I'll post it if I can find it.
    – user45266
    May 31, 2019 at 15:16
  • @pro again, read the answer. The word "wave" was used in the question, not in my answer. I specifically said shaking the neck Jun 5, 2019 at 23:36
  • @pro exactly, where is the word wave? Jun 5, 2019 at 23:37
  • 1
    @pro exactly, yes. I didn't use the word "wave". I used "shake" , but bend is indeed the correct word. I'll edit my post Jun 5, 2019 at 23:40

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