Bending is a fundamental technique in guitar playing that involves pushing or pulling a guitar string to raise or lower its pitch. It’s a simple yet powerful technique that can add emotion and expression to your solos and melodies.
Bending is often used in various music genres, such as blues, rock, country, and jazz, to create a signature sound and add personality to a guitarist’s playing style.
Bending can be challenging for beginners, but with practice and patience, anyone can master the technique. In this article, we’ll guide you through the basics of how to bend on the guitar from scratch, so you can start adding this essential technique to your playing and take your guitar skills to the next level.
Why is Bending Important?
Bending is essential for guitarists because it allows them to play notes that are not available in the guitar’s standard tuning. By bending the string, you can play notes that are between the frets, giving you more freedom and flexibility in your playing. It can also help you replicate the sound of vocal expressions, such as vibrato and slides, which are difficult to achieve by just picking and fretting.
Types of Bends You Need to Get Acquainted With
There are several types of bends that you can use in your guitar playing, including half-step bends, full-step bends, and micro bends.
Half-step bends involve bending the string up one half-step, while full-step bends involve bending the string up a whole step.
Micro bends, on the other hand, involve bending the string just a little bit, creating a subtle pitch variation that adds nuance to your playing.
Tips on How to Bend on Guitar - Step by Step
Step 1: Start with the right guitar
Before we dive into bending, it’s important to have the right equipment. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need a fancy guitar, but you need to ensure that the guitar is well-tuned and comfortable to play. A guitar with lighter strings will also make it easier to bend.
Step 2: Learn the correct technique
To start bending on the guitar, you need to place your fretting finger on the string you want to bend and then use your other fingers to support it. As you push the string upwards, you need to maintain the pressure with your other fingers. This will help you achieve a clean and smooth bend.
Step 3: Practice, practice and practice
The key to mastering guitar bending is practice. Start with small bends and gradually increase the bend's range and duration. Ensure that each bend is in tune and that you’re hitting the target note. Practice regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, and you’ll see improvement in no time.
Step 4: Experiment with vibrato
Once you’ve mastered the basics of bending, you can experiment with adding vibrato to your bends. Vibrato involves rapidly bending the string up and down to create a shimmering effect. It's a great way to add personality and character to your solos.
Step 5: Learn from the experts
There are many resources available online to help you improve your guitar bending technique. You can watch videos of expert guitarists or take online guitar lessons from professional instructors. You can also read books and blogs on guitar playing tips and techniques.
Rhythm & Timbre: Quality Guitar Accessories for Your Instrument
Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to bend on the guitar from scratch, it’s time to focus on keeping your guitar safe and in optimal condition. Rhythm & Timbre is an online shop that offers high-quality guitar stands, hangers, and racks to ensure your guitar is always in its best shape.