11. Bends

Bends have always been extremely popular, especially on electric guitar. There are really only 2 basic types—bending to and bending from. However, there are many variations on these, such as:

1. Play, then bend to and return

2. Play and bend to simultaneously

3. Play from then release

4. Play from and release simultaneously

5.  Bend to and stop.

Additionally, many different sounds can be achieved by playing a note, or notes, on the same string or other strings following the bend, or by bending two notes together. The number of notes actually played with the right hand creates variety also. A string can be bent anywhere from a microtone (less than ½ step) to two whole steps or more, though bends of more than 1 ½ steps are uncommon. There are too many possibilities to list, but here are some of the better known ones:

1. Play, then bend to and return:

 2.  Play and bend to simultaneously:

 3. Play from then release:

 4. Bend from and release simultaneously:

  5. Bend to and stop:

 A good way to familiarize yourself with bends is to mimic different types of simple lines that employ bends. Using your ear, try to duplicate the bend exactly. The biggest challenge those inexperienced with bending is bending the string far enough. Various other challenges exist, but again, all are well addressed by striving to copy lines precisely.

©2012  Jim Greenfield