I have started learning the string bending technique - and a lick or two

Sunday past a work colleague arranged for me to visit to meet her husband. She knows I am a keen learner and her husband is into guitars and playing.

He sure does collect guitars … 24 electrics, including a beautiful hollow-body Epiphone with a Bigsby tremelo. I also learned about stacked P90s … always something new to learn.

We also played a little. He is way above my play-grade, way above, which was brilliant. A pleasure to talk to and listen to somebody who can play things like Gary Moore’s Parisienne Walkways solo and highlight some of the nuances in learning it.

In the course of our playing and jamming The Thrill Is Gone he started teaching me a couple of blues licks. Now the bug has bitten. So I’ve watched Justin’s lesson on bending and will spend some time trying to get this down.

I’ve moved my amp from where it was standing gathering dust to the room where I work. Now I am set up and enthusiastic to get to grips with bending and then into the first 5 licks. Second baby step down the Blues Lead road, after posting the Blues Lead Study project based on Gr2M13 lesson.


Beware… the Blue(s) Beast is back :metal: :sunglasses:

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Whoa! People think I have a lot of guitars, but that’s a serious collection!

Oh, yes, that’s excellent. I’ve always found that playing with musicians who are farther along than I am not only inspires, but sharpens my own playing. Very cool that you’ve found another musician to jam with.


It’s always good to play with someone who is more advanced than you are, it’s a great source of inspiration and encouragement. For me it’s always been kickstart to get my a55 into gear and get on with it!
I make no secret about my love of the blues and it’s still the biggest part of my desire to carry on playing. Go for it and enjoy it!

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@brianlarsen VBB was growling away on Self Destruction. Now this. And I have the seed of another song. I’m inspired by Cinnamon Girl to play around with Double Drop D and shoot for something that channels my inner Neil Young playing with the Horse.

@J.W.C He buys nearly all these guitars used and not the big brand names like Fender, Gibson, or PRS. Then he does all the refurbishing to bring them back to good-as-new condition. Has all the skills to do refretting plus the electronics if needs be.

@DarrellW @J.W.C No doubting the benefits of playing with somebody more advanced. Comparisons are odious but would say he is in the Kasper and Mike league, based on the originals he played throughout the afternoon.

I’m certainly going to try and arrange regular visits. He is willing to share knowledge and teach but then expects people to make an effort, to try, and to practice.

So I didn’t know what stacked p90s were either…not sure I do now as it’s not very clear from the googles. As far as I can see its two horizontal coils stacked on top of each other with a pole down the centre…the aim is to cancel noise/hum a bit like a humbucker pickup does.

Sounds like you had a good time David and it’s given you another thread of guitar learning to investigate.

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@Rossco01 I understood it to be two pickups on top of each other. And the controls enable one to play with both engaged or just one, perhaps in some kind of blended way not just on or off. Not sure about the noise cancelling.

It was indeed and has nudged me down this path, a path that has always been on the wishlist and now seems to be the right time.

I would assume it works a bit like a humbucker with coil split where you can effectively “turn off” one coil so it theoretically sounds like a single coil pickup you’d get on a tele or strat. In practice it doesn’t always sound like that but good enough in most situations.

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I am glad you are taking this step David and looking forward to your progress. I believe you are more than ready to give it a go :slight_smile:

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Blimey that’s a collection and then some ! Good to see you going deeper into this rabbit hole David, its one of the nice ones and boy its a deep’en ! :sunglasses:

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Playing guitar with others is great fun, and playing with someone who’s such a good player is a great way to learn - if they’re happy to play as well. I remember many years ago a friend at about the same level as me had a friend miles above us, who used to play with her occasionally. She wanted to bring me to to ‘jam’ but he wasn’t interested in having 2 players so far beneath him. Wow.

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Wow indeed.

He is happy to play with anybody, just loves to play. Only thing is you must be reasonably committed, he told me he gets grumpy if somebody asks the same things for the third time and clearly has made no effort. I messaged him a question, and looks like a second jam will happen next week. Now there’s motivation for me to keep practising :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I imagine you’ll start off with something simple like this :wink:


I think that’s the test at the end of grade 1. No wonder I can’t move on.

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Bending a lick or two is definitely not enough. I have learned all the first 3 position licks, but still feel too less to put together and make something musical. The Blues Lick App is too difficult, waiting for Justin to come up with more basic licks to feed us.

The rabbit hole is deep, but I feel being stuck somewhere at shallow.


Have you tried just using those licks over other backing tracks, not just the app (which I have never used). I just find various BTs off of YouTube and worked the licks over them. Takes time at first and they will most likely be a lot slower than Justin’ slow, that’s normal.

Edit in the same key off course !


For sure, Mark. It is definitely another case of “A thousand mile journey that begins with a first step”.

If I had to lay down some Dream level aspirations (borrowing from Justin’s Three Types of Song idea) then I’d pop these on my list from Justin’s website:

And in my mind, perhaps I am delusional but I don’t think so, I see no reason that one day I am able to play this. Just lots of technique to learn and apply to get to this.

Now I am on more shaky ground. My belief is that with just a lick or two one can be able to play something musical over a BT.

Sure one will not be free-styling blues lead like your favourite players, and may take some perseverance but I believe it is possible.

BY way of an example to show what is possible, take a look at @CT’s bluesy jams. To my ears these are musical, beyond what I am currently able to play yet within reach with some practice.

My suggestion would be to put on a blues BT in whatever key is sweet to your ear and record a jam using just licks from minor pentatonic position 1, just a simple video recorded with your phone. Then share. I think I am safe in guaranteeing that you will receive encouragement, tips, and perhaps feedback to improve your playing.

Perhaps you’ve done this and I don’t remember, too many folk who were posting in the old Forum AVOYP for me to remember each and every person. If so, apologies for that and maybe re-posting will help you to get unstuck

David, I’m glad to see you know very well the way forward.

When I started guitar last year with acoustic rhythm, following the JG beginner courses, the progress was fast, recognizable and rewarding. I did post one or two in the old AVbYO session. But after started Blues, it slowed down. I have listened tons of blues and rock over the years, but what I can do now by my fingers has a huge gap from what I can almost sing out from my mouth, much wider gap than that of rhythm playing. Maybe I need to more patient. I’ll take your advice, do some recording with BT. Agree, recording makes huge difference.

We will meet somewhere deep in the rabbit hole. Merry Christmas.

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The train has left the station, the bending lesson watched and practice underway.

I’ve decided to make some short recordings of my practice. Firstly it is useful for me to look and listen. Secondly, useful for me to share in the Community. I’m long past worrying about how well I am currently executing. The possible benefits from sharing more than out-weigh what anybody may think about how well or not well I am doing. Thirdly, if I make regular recordings, perhaps eventually I’ll make one of those ‘learning journey/experience’ videos that may make me feel good to see the gap between departure point and that moment in time and perhaps encourage others.

Had to decide where to post the video and ultimately ruled out my Roadcase, AVOYP, and the lesson Topic. I think having declared intent here, it is fitting to share progress here.

So here it is. This was day 3 in the first week.

I am not so into detail and journaling that I can say how many hours etc and don’t want to be counting hours and days for the next 6 months, 12 months, as I progress to the point where I declare this leg of the adventure done and time to set the next objective with a new Learning topic post.

That’s another interesting thought, what would I have to be able to play to declare this Topic and leg of the journey done Perhaps a good enough (yeah, I know that is not specific) improv using the position 1 first five licks keeping the Using blues licks effectively pointers in mind but not yet giving focus to vibrato.

I’ve picked up some things watching and will keep those to myself. Free free to share your observations and suggestions.