Bending on the guitar is a technique to make your guitar playing sound much more expressive. It's almost as if you can give your guitar a vocal quality to it.
To bend a string, first play any fretted note (no open strings) on the guitar. Now you want to bend the string. As the note is being played bend the string by pushing the string higher. DO NOT move to a different fret. You stay on the same fret, bending the string. This essentially increases the tension of the guitar string causing it to have a higher pitch. Take the following example.
A bend is notated in tab with a 'b'. In the above example you first play the 8th fret of the B string and then you bend the string. You want to bend the string to the point that the string sounds the same as if you had played the 10th fret. Essentially, the B string fretted at the 8th fret and bended up produce the same pitch as if you had just played the 10th fret. The two should be the same exact pitch.
Tips For Bending
Bending can be difficult do to for a beginner, so here are some tips.
- - Bending is usually easier on an electric guitar then an acoustic guitar.
- - Shift your left hand thumb over the guitar neck. This will give you more leverage when bending.
- - Most bending should be done with your 3rd finger. Bending can and is done with the other fingers as well, but the 3rd finger provides the most power and stability.
- - In most cases, bend up when bending on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd string and bend down when bending on the 4th, 5th or 6th strings.