Advanced string bending techniques are essential for adding expressiveness, emotion, and virtuosity to your guitar playing. While basic string bends involve bending a note to reach a higher pitch, advanced techniques offer creative ways to incorporate bending into your solos and melodies. Here’s a guitarist’s guide to mastering advanced string bending techniques:
1. Whole Step Bends:
- Whole step bends involve bending a note up two frets to reach a note that’s a whole step (two semitones) higher. Practice these bends on different strings and frets to build strength and accuracy.
- Pre-bends are notes that are bent before they are picked or plucked. This technique creates a unique, expressive effect. Bend the string, then pick it to release the bend and return to the original pitch.
3. Double Stops with Bends:
- Incorporate double stops (playing two notes simultaneously) into your bends for a harmonically rich sound. Bend one note while keeping the other static to create a harmonious blend.
4. Unison Bends:
- Unison bends involve bending one note to match the pitch of another. For example, bend the G string at the 7th fret to match the pitch of the B string at the 5th fret.
5. Pedal Steel Bends:
- Pedal steel bends involve bending a note, then playing additional notes on the same string while maintaining the bent note. This technique creates a cascading, pedal steel-like sound.
6. Vibrato on Bends:
- Apply vibrato to bent notes for added expressiveness. Vibrato adds a subtle oscillation to the bent note, making it sing.
7. Quarter Step Bends:
- Quarter step bends involve bending a note halfway between its original pitch and the next half step. This technique adds a bluesy and expressive touch to your playing.
8. Bending with Multiple Fingers:
- Use multiple fingers to perform bends for added strength and control. For example, use your ring and middle fingers together to bend a note.
9. Combining Bends with Slides:
- Combine string bends with slides to create fluid and melodic transitions between notes and positions on the fretboard
Advanced string bending techniques require time, practice, and patience to master. Incorporate these techniques into your daily practice routine and explore their application in various musical contexts. With dedication and creativity, you’ll be able to use advanced string bending to elevate your guitar playing and create captivating solos and melodies.