Bending Question

This may be tablature related, but not sure. In a Justin blues lesson, for example, there is a full bend on the 12th fret B followed by a 1 1/2 bend on the same fret. My presumed understanding was that a full bend would be a whole step. Since B to C is a half step, a full bend would make it C#. However, he says in the lesson that the 1 1/2 bend is C#. So, not sure what to think now. Can someone clarify please? Thanks

Thanks but I’m not sure why. The example is from a blues lick lesson I think grade 4. But that was just an example. The question is more general - If there is a full bend tab notation, do you raise the pitch a whole step? I always thought so. A full step bend for C would be a D. A full step bend for B would be C#. A 1/2 step bend for B would be C. Is my thinking wrong?

I didn’t consider that it might be an error. I assumed I was doing something wrong. So, what is the correct method??

You are right. On TAB, a bend symbol labelled “full” means a full tone bend, i.e. you bend the note up a full tone.

The method for what, exactly?

Hi Dennis @dblinden,
Just a beginner here…but several sources I read on the interwebs all indicate that your initial thinking is correct: a full bend is a full tone (two half tones). So yes, a full bend on B takes you to C#. That is the correct method for understanding a full-tone bend in TAB.

Thank you Judi. That’s what I needed to confirm.

I guess “method” was not a good word choice. Procedure?

When Tabs are presented alone, it can lead to some confusion, at least for me. When presented together with regular sheet music notation, it’s easy to confirm what notes to play.


hi @dblinden

You will find each has shortcomings. Tab doesn’t give you much feel for rhythm, sheet doesn’t tell you what string+fret to play. Tab does have reasonable bend information, but I don’t recall anything from sheet.

Yes, the sheet music displays the “grace note” aka starting point as a small note next to the the note you’re bending to which is displayed as regular size. Hope that makes sense.

As an aside - my initial guitar teacher informed me at the first lesson, “I don’t do tabs”. I didn’t even know what tabs meant and didn’t understand why there were six lines instead of five. He’s a session player and composer that works on writing new music everyday. I do best when the tabs and the regular sheet music are both provided.