String Bending Masterclass

String Bending Guitar Lesson

In this weeks blog post we take a look at the popular technique of string bending. This technique is an absolute must in anyones playing and mastering this technique will make you stand out amongst the crowd. In this article we will offer advice on the best approach to getting this technique under your fingers, excuse the pun. We will also take a look at best practices to get this into your playing as quickly as possible. 

What Is String Bending?

  • String bending is a technique used mainly in Rock & Blues guitar.
  • The technique is used to travel from one note to another without moving your hand position.
  • The main types of string bends are 1/4, 1/2 (Semi – Tone – 1 Fret), & Full bend. (Whole Tone – 2 Frets)
  • A bend is achieved by raising the string with your left hand across the fretboard. This motion is all in the wrist and not the fingers. Your fingers should be locked in place, let your wrist do all of the work.
  • The string gets tighter, and the pitch always goes up.
  • On the three high strings (G, B, & E) you will need to bend upwards and on the three low strings you will need to bend downwards (E, A, & D.)
  • The fretboard has edges so to not slip over the edge you will need to be bending in the correct direction.

Bending Start Position

Support The Bend

  • It’s very important when bending the string you use more than one finger. Usually fingers 1 & 2 are lined up behind the bending finger to give support.

Find Your Pitch

  • It’s really important that you can hear the pitch you are trying to bend the string to.
  • If you are bending a ½ step bend, this is one fret higher on your guitar. A full bend is two frets higher.
  • Play the notes one or two frets higher and then try to bend to the pitch you are hearing. It must be the exact pitch otherwise your bends will not be properly intonated and will sound out of tune. This is not good.

How Do I Apply This Technique To My Playing?

  • Use the exercises I have created in the video below to take your string bending to greatness.
  • The exercises will require around 15-20 minutes of your practice routine for you to see an improvement on this technique.
  • Once you have mastered the technique use them in your improvisation area of practice.
  • Look out for songs that include string bending. Try and listen out for the technique in context. If you can hear the technique being applied, then you will find it easier to learn and will be able to recognise at a later date.

Snapped A String?

Don’t forget all of our students receive a 7.5% lifetime discount at Strings direct. Read more about our partnership here Strings Direct Discount – Partnership With MGTB.

Bending Finish Position

Thanks for reading this months blog post article. I hope you enjoy getting to grips with this lesson and find the content useful. Don’t forget if you’d like more direction or to book a lesson with us on this subject, simply click the button below.  


Rich @ MGTB 🎸 

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