Tuned In Guitar Lessons

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Executing Perfect Bends

Practice First In Isolation!

Ever wonder why some guitar phrases sound so cool or emotional? There are numerous techniques that you can use to evoke emotion onto your listeners, but one of the most influential techniques is bending. 

For many guitarists, bending a note correctly seems impossible at first, but there are a few tricks that you can practice which will help you achieve the bending technique much quicker and with perfect execution.

The distance you bend a note will generally depend on the key you are playing in. For our purpose today though, we don’t care about the key, we only care about fret distance and hitting the correct pitch.

If you do not practice your bending in isolation, bad habits will form and you will struggle with perfect execution for a long time. So do not skip this vital step and try to go right into application.

 

Wehave 2 types of bends we will focus on in this lesson: Half-Step Bends & Whole-Step Bends:

  1. W = Whole Step (the distance of 2 frets)
  2. H = Half Step (the distance of 1 fret)

Lets try this out…

We are going to use our “Ring Finger” for each of the bends we practice today. Yes you can use other fingers, but majority of the time you will use your ring finger to execute bends. To make the process of pushing the string upwards or downwards, we are going to use our pointer and middle fingers as reinforcement to help our ring finger push the string up or down.

*Tip : To start working on the bending, it’s best to only focus on the G/B/E strings because they are easier to bend. For each of these bends, we want to bend them upwards. 

Half-Step Bends!

Half step bends are generally easier than whole step bends, so we’ll start with those. 

  1. Go to the 7th fret on the “B” string and pluck it.
  2. Now pluck the note a half step (one fret) higher on the 8th fret. (Keep this pitch in your mind) 
  3. Once you get the sound of the 8th fret in your ear, go back and bend the 7th fret upward until you match the pitch in your head. 
  4. Repeat this exercise on the G & E strings as well. Move all over the fretboard and practice with different notes. Focus on the pitch you want to bend to and then keep pushing until you hear the note reaches the correct level.

 

Whole-Step Bends!

We’ll need a little more power behind these bends so we will be using all 3 fingers (Pointer, Middle & Ring Fingers) to push the string into the correct pitch. 

  1. Go to the 8th fret on the “B” string and pluck it.
  2. Now pluck the note a whole step (two frets) higher on the 10th fret. (Keep this pitch in your mind) 
  3. Once you get the sound of the 10th fret in your ear, go back and bend the 8th fret upward until you match the pitch in your head.
  4. Repeat this exercise on the G & E strings as well. Move all over the fretboard and practice with different notes. Focus on the pitch you want to bend to and then keep pushing until you hear the note reaches the correct level.