App for checking string bending in tune?

Hi - just started trying to learn string bending, following the guidance in Justin’s Blues lead lesson in grade 4. I know its good to use my ears to get the bend right in terms of going up a tone, playing the note a tone up before the bend to get it to match etc, but can’t help wanting to check how accurate I am as I’m learning.

Anyone recommend any phone apps that would let me see what note I’m generating, so I can compare the frequency I hit with e.g. I play the D on the 10th fret of the first string, and see if I hit the same D when I bend from a C to a D on the 8th fret of that string?

The guitar tuner apps I’ve got don’t really have the flexibility to check tuning against that D, only the lower D for the open D string.

I don’t know of an app that would do what you want. However my advice is “use your ears”. You have to learn partial bends, half tone bends, full tone bends and more.
As you said in your post, you have to keep comparing your bend to the note played further up the neck.
Training your ears is like training your fingers. You have to work at it.
Good luck.


I agree with Gordon @sairfingers, learning bending is first of all learning to listen and hear the intervalls. This is something you really need to learn and it takes time.

But, maybe to start out and get a feel and support your ears, you could check if you’re tuner apps have the option of “chromatic tuning”, there you can see any note you hit or try to hit. Some clip-on tuners also have a chromatic setting. I used it for initial attempts to get an idea how much I have to bend the string for a full bend. Still very much of a Rookie in the bending area myself, though. But I now rely mainly on my ears. :slight_smile:


Best to learn by ear, of course. But like you, I also like to “check my work” as it were. I also wanted to “see” how far a bend needs to go for a half or whole tone, so I am in the ball park.

Good news! You really don’t need anything special. Clip the ol’ clip on tuner on and see what it tells you.

I have used the clip on to check bending as well as finger pressure fretting (you can see how the pressure pulls the note sharp as it increases, and to check capo tension. You don’t need to do this all the time, just enough to get the idea.


Thanks - I don’t have a clip on tuner as I’ve been fine with just using tuner apps on my phone for normal tuning, so I guess I just need to find one that isn’t too clever and just shows the note, or get a clip on tuner.

I would think a tuner app would work fine. Which are you using? Doesn’t Justin’s main app have a tuner included? I use “Guitar Tuna” which is free and would work fine. Others may be better, just for how you visualize the deviation from tune.

I wouldn’t go buy a clip on just for that. Honestly, when I compare my clip on tuner to the app tuner, they are so close I wouldn’t know if one or the other was off. I think the clip on is a titch more stable when it shows you in tune, but there isn’t a meaningful difference.

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Your comment about a clip on tuner made me realise I just need a chromatic tuner app rather than a specific guitar tuner. Just downloaded Chroma and it works great for checking the bend.

I also use Guitar Tuna and it’s great for normal tuning but not so useful for bends in other octaves etc

I also use Guitar Tuna and as I mentioned above, you simply need to switch to chromatic tuning in the app. Should be available as option to chose where you see all the instruments listed (last option in the list in my version), so maybe check it out there as well. :slight_smile:

Guitar Tuna has a chromatic option, but only with the paid subscription version.

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As others recommended, just use your ears. They’re free, no subscription needed. Plus you have all the time in the world for practicing and fine tuning to get the string bend right.

Also, string bending in practice is not something isolated but part of the music you’re playing, so eventually you should be able to decide if it’s in tune or not with the key you play in.

Thanks, just saw your original reply!

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One of the biggest mistake this internet world of music makes is using you eyes to learn music. When you use your eye your ear tune out. This is why so many people can’t remember Lyrics, chord progressions, strumming patterns etc.
They look at tabs, they look at lyrics, they look at strumming patterns. If you Really Listen to music, sing along with you favorite songs the strumming patterns and chord progression become natural and you don’t need to look at anything to play.

This is how humans have learnt for thousands of years and it works. Throw away your apps and start listening to the music.


I suspect if the younger generation didn’t have apps they’d have no ‘friends’ and would be unsure if the food they were eating had sufficient calories to sustain life. :joy:



I agree mostly with not using visual aids and focusing on listening, but as I’m working on my own at the moment, while I’m using my ears as much as I can, I actually did find it helped double checking with a tuner app. In the end, I found that I was actually pretty accurate with my ears so it gives me more confidence to rely on what I hear, in the absence of another person to give me the same feedback. Recording also works for me to do this, but the instant feedback and ability to correct was useful at the early stage.


I use an android app called simply “vocal pitch monitor” that shows a trace like an oscilloscope so you can see just how close (or not) you are to your target note. I found it very useful for learning to recognise & sing intervals.

What a fantastic version of the song Rick. Great video! Thanks for sharing.

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