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Mastering Your Bending Skills

Henre Lobus

If you happen to listen to the song "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, the guitar solo part would not have been melodic without doing it with string bending. This is a skill that novices and intermediates may somehow taket time to master. Yes it's easy to bend strings but it is easier said than done because you have to hit the note without sounding it flat or sharp.

You can tell how skillful a guitarist is by listening to him do string bend some notes. This is my way of determining how good is he. Well at least as far as I'm concerned since I've been playing guitar for over 15 years now.

Back when I was learning to master string bending, I used to buy a lot of strings for I sometimes overbend that caused them to break. Plus, when I use different guitars I noticed that one may need its string to be bend a lot before reaching the desired note but to others may need less. I also experienced a string loosing from my grip because my fingers don't have enough strength to hold it down when bending.

Over the course of time, I finally mastered this "art". The first thing I look into a guitar before anything else is the height of string from the fretboard. The higher it is the higher pressure you put on it while bending. Else, when you see it closer the less bend you need to do. Also, I use my three fingers namely; index, tall, and ring. When you bend string numbers 1, 2, and 3 you need to push them up with the exemption for number 3 as this can also be pushed down like you must do with numbers 4, 5, and 6. Just remember if you will be asked to play guitar and unfortunately didn't bring your own then it is best to get a "feel" of the guitar you will be using before playing.

How do you master it quickly? What I do is bend the string first then strike it and listen if I get the right note I wish to reach. Release a little if you hear a sharp note and increase the pressure or bending if you hear a flat one. Do this often until you get the right touch and feel and by the time you know it you have acquired the bending skills of the pro guitar player.

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