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string bending fundamentals

 

String bends are an important element of your overall playing ability. This technique is great for allowing feel and emotion to come out in your playing.

The two important aspects of string bending are finger strength and ear training.

The first problem you may encounter when learning to bend is not pushing up on the string hard enough to reach the target note.

Make sure you're using a light enough gauge string. Normally, I use "lites" for my electric guitar but you may want to use "Extra Lites" if you're just starting
out.

Lite Gauge Strings:
E 042
A 032
D 024
G 016
B 011
E 009
Extra Lite Gauge Strings:
E 038
A 030
D 022
G 014
B 011
E 008

The biggest secret to bending notes properly is that you MUST use supporting fingers!

Here's what I mean. Let's say you're doing a bend at the seventh fret, third string using your third finger. The bend comes much easier if you use your second finger to help the third push the string up.

Lay both fingers on the string. Keep your fingers together; no gaps. This technique provides good leverage to make the bend happen.

The same applies to bending with your pinky. Use your second and third fingers to help your pinky push that string up. In some cases, you may want to use your first finger as well.

Obviously, your bends won't sound good if you don't know what note you're shooting for. This is where ear training comes in. You need to practice your bends by alternating between the bent note and the regularly fretted note so that your ear will become accustomed to the correct pitch. This also serves to teach you how far to physically bend the string.

Let's continue on the next few pages with some video...

 

 

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