I have watched a number of guitarists do a certain technique before where they push on the upper body of the guitar near where they strum. I have seen it done on both on acoustic and on electric guitars, but have yet to figure out exactly what they are doing. I have attached a video clip (first two seconds) where this is being done. Can anyone tell me what this technique is called, and what it accomplishes outside of just bending the strings or using the whammy bar [if anything]?

I looked and could not find a similar question, but I am not a guitar player, so I might be missing the correct terminology.

  • 1
    Achieves no more than using the whammy bar. Except weakens the guitar possibly. Not having a whammy bar means this is a method of lowering the strings' pitch. But maybe they think it looks cool.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 18:26
  • @Tim Thanks -- this guitar does have a whammy bar; the guitarist uses it maybe 10 seconds later. Hence the confusion :) Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 18:36
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    Michael Schenker uses a similar tech on his flying V by bracing the V between his legs and cranking on the head stock. He has broken guitars with this tech. I would never do this, and wouldn't recommend it to a fellow guitarist.
    – user50691
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


I don't know of it having a name, per se, but the guitarist is essentially flexing the body relative to the neck by holding the neck firm and taking advantage of whatever play there is in the neck joint. This raises and lowers the pitch like a whammy bar but is much more subtle, like a very subtle all-strings vibrato. The player typically grasps the body close to the neck to get less torque and therefore reducing the potential for such movement as to damage the joint permanently.

One use of the technique is to compensate for less-than-perfect intonation on higher frets. If you play an A-shape barre chord on the 12th fret, for example, and find that the G-string is a little sharp, flexing the neck like this "blurs" the pitches and creates the illusion that the chord is in tune.

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