Technique: String Bending

String bending is awesome. I won’t bore you, (rather, myself), with the physics of string bending, but the gist of it is when you make a guitar string tighter the pitch becomes higher, just like when you tune a guitar, or add a tighten-up a new string. This can be useful when you want to reach a note with a bit more ‘oomf’ or ‘p-zazz’ than simply fretting it, as it adds a literal and emotional tension, making it that much more satisfying to hear when done well. Unfortunately, it’s also true that when you screw-up a string bend it sounds totally naff, and you spend the rest of the day wishing you’d just fretted the note like a boring person…

Great players who have really nailed this technique in a rock style would be Doug Aldrich, (Whitesnake, Dio), Joe Satriani, and Slash, (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver). I highly recommend giving them a listen and pay close attention to when, how and where on the neck they bend.

If you’re not into rock, I’d suggest studying BB King and Buddy Guy.