Bending Technique

Bending is one of the techniques that really makes the guitar a unique instrument. It really takes your ability to express yourself on the guitar up a level. Bending gives you the ability to move a note smoothly from one tone to another without having to change frets.

Bending Technique

To bend on the guitar you’ll start off by fretting a note normally. When you’re bending, it’s best to use more than one finger to reinforce the bend. Because of this, you’ll typically use a finger other than your first finger.

In this example, we’ll use our fourth finger, and place all three other fingers behind it on the same string. With your picking hand, pick the string, and push upwards with the fingers on your fretting hand. As you bend the string, the other strings should gather underneath your fingers. If you find that your fingers are passing underneath the strings and not gathering them up, you’ll want to have the action adjusted on your guitar so that your strings sit closer to the fretboard.

Bending On The Guitar

Keep in mind that bending is a very physically demanding technique, so you may find your fingers get a bit sore until you’ve built up some more strength.

Half-Step Bends

There are two main types of bends that you’ll use. The first of these is a half-step bend. This simply refers to bending a note up to match the pitch of the next fret. It doesn’t require too much strength to bend up a half-step.

Practice listening to the note you’re bending to by fretting it normally, and then go back and bend up to it. Try and get the notes to sound identical.

Whole-Step Bends

Whole-step bends require a little more finger strength. Bending up a whole step means bending to a note two frets up.

Do the same thing as you did with your half-step bends. Matching the tone of the bent note to the note two frets above will help your fingers accustomed to bending to a note that’s in tune. A bend that’s a little sharp or a little flat can sound bad, so make sure you really practice your bending accuracy.

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