Guitar Bends

Doing Guitar Bends

Bend a string after picking a note will raise the pitch of a note depending on how far we bend it.  A half bend is a bend that raises the pitch one step.  A full bend raises the pitch a whole step.  It is possible to bend even farther than a whole step, using lighter gauge strings makes guitar bends a bit easier.
You will need to use your ears to know just how far to bend each string.  Once you get the feel of how far you need to bend a string in order to make it up to the desired pitch, it will become like second nature.  One way to help you in your practice of whole step bends when bending on the third (g) string, is to also play the second string two frets below.   Then bend the third string up to match the pitch of the second string.  When you play them simultaneously there will be a lot of dissonance but as you bend the third string up to pitch, the notes will ring in unison.  This will give you an idea of just how far to bend it.  This will also work on half step bends but you need to move your finger on the (b) string up one fret so it is only a half step below the finger on the (g) string.

You can also add vibrato to a bend.  Make sure you let the note get all the way to the desired pitch or even hold the bend for a second before you start your vibrato, otherwise the it will just sound sloppy.  You can even bend the note to the desired pitch, then pick the note and start your vibrato.

A Release is when, after we bend the note we bring it back down to the original pitch.

A prebend is a bend, where the string is bent before it is picked, after it is picked the prebend is released back to the original pitch.
When bending a string, when possible you can use more than one finger to bend a string, this will make it a bit easier.  If your not used to string bending, it can take a toll on your fingertips, even pulling the skin away from your fingernail.  If this starts to happen, just pace yourself and give yourself time to heal.  After a while your fingers, will get calloused and stronger and won’t hurt anymore.

 

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