Bending strings is the essences of what makes the guitar sing. It’s the soulful way of expressing yourself thru the instrument. Without bending … it’s just a bunch of notes put together like a jigsaw puzzle. But once you bend a note … a single string … it takes on a vocalist quality and now your starting to speak thru your instrument.
Now, while that’s all true … simply stated … Bending is just cool!!!
This first lesson in this series of lessons is meant to give a strong foundation on bending strings. Now this might seem like a topic for beginners … but trust me … I’ve been playing for over 20 years and at least half of my daily playing and practicing focuses on bending stings in unique and soulful ways.
Just like with any small Concept or Lick … the exploration can be endless. Bending a sting might be a simple concept … but mastering all the ways it can be done can take a lifetime.
So yes … Beginners will get a lot from this series of Lessons because of the initial simplicity of the concept. It can easily be picked up and applied without having to spend hours on learning a whole new confusing scale or technique.
In the same respect more Advanced players will hopefully find this series of Lessons extremely useful because even with the simplest of ideas … we will show different ways of exploring and how to expand the ideas and come up with new and unique ways of speaking thru the instrument.
We start out this lesson with simple (often overlooked) quarter step bends. These are the real soulful elements that guys like Jeff Beck, Michael Landau, Steve Lukather, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King and countless others use to make their playing so extremely expressive. It’s an easy concept but one that so many players forget about while on their journey of learning Licks and Scales and Technique.
Next we’ll take a look at a Lick I show my students that really helps the struggles with bending in pitch. This is a cool but simple bluesy type lick that will help you hear and play those half step and whole step bends.
Then we close out this first lesson with a few more Licks and Concepts all geared at building that solid foundation to prepare you for the more advanced ideas that we’ll be talking about in the coming lessons.
And throughout this entire Lesson Series … don’t lose sight of the fact that … exploration is the key to everything you learn. Especially with this Bending stuff … keep it fun and experiment a lot to find what works for you.
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