String Bending Technique

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Hello :wave:,

I’m currently trying to develop my bending, that is one of the techniques that made me fall in love with guitar and rock/metal ( harmonics is another :guitar::metal:).

As an idea, the approach i’m using is a combination of ear + tuner. I try to get the bend on tune only by ear, and then check with the tuner.

A thing I realized is that is much more easier to bend the 3rd string than the thinnest. Is it because the 1st string has less tension than the 3rd? or is because the thickness? With the thin string I almost have to push as hard as I can for a whole step bend. so I don’t know how would I bend 2 whole steps :sweat_smile:

If bending is your thing, you should probably look into the effect of the neck radius on the bending capabilities of a particular instrument.

But why would you want to bend 2 tones anyway? :smiley:

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If you’re into B B King then you would, If I recall correctly there’s a song he does with a 5 semitone bend - no idea how he does it :joy:
Best I’ve ever done is the 2 tone bend!


@Rumil what guitar are you using Jozsef is correct in neck radius is a big part of how easy bending is. Smaller radius harder to bend. Shorter scale guitars like Gibson with a 12in radius are easier to bend than Fender with a 9.5in radius and 25.5 scale.

Strings like super slinky also help.

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Don’t know :sweat_smile:. 3 semitones or higher isn’t used often?

I’m using a SG-like guitar. With 42-9 strings. I don’t know the exact expects because I bought it long ago, and it is a brand I think have disappeared

If it’s a true SG copy it should have a 12in radius. You can check by drawing a 12 inch circle and see if it matches the neck

My classical with a flat radius and nylon strings bends real easy! Doesn’t sound right doing it though. Oh well. Can’t have everything.

BB would rather bend 1. 5 stops than move a finger and he could hit the right pitch every time. He did use thin strings though.

You don’t need that tuner, you have the right note 1,2, 3 frets up just use that as reference it’ll help your ear


Hey Edgar,

Once you get the basic mechanics and pitch accuracy going OK, try learning some short solos with lots of bending in them. Thats what’ll really help develop both the technique and the ear. Gary Moore Peter Green, BB King etc.

Cheers, Shane.


Yeah honestly messing around with the ‘bb box’ for a few days would be a good start

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Do you think it won’t help as a second check? I mostly do it only by ear, but when I think I get it right, I look at the tunner.

Yes! I would love to add some solos with bendings. For now, I’ve been using it during improvisation

Not sure, you wont have a tuner handy when you are playing things, so you’ll have to learn to play by feel and ear in the end, and as I said you have those notes handy and if you cant tell the difference by ear it should be close enough

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I see. I’m not using the tuner anymore because I’m more confident now. However I found it useful at the very beginning :man_shrugging:t2:

Well another tool for who wants :stuck_out_tongue:

I used the same technique when I was learning. Guitar teachers on Youtube seem split as to whether it is a good idea. My reasoning is, if I go by ear and then check the tuner surely I’m training my ear? If I just go by ear and my ear is bad then no ear training is happening?


Yep, is tricky to get a definitive answer. So I guess it is all about preferences of what makes you feel more comfortable