Guitar Lesson: Accurate Bending

Many players neglect one of the most important techniques that make a professional sounding guitar part. String bending is often viewed as an after-thought, and there's an assumption that just bending the string with minimum practice and ear training will work. The player may get lucky from time to time, but to really be in control of the notes, and sound professional you need to be able to 1) hear in advance what the target note is 2) know (physically) how far you need to bend each string to reach the target note. This can be tested with pre-bend practice, where you don't pick the string but see how close you can be to the target note after bending the string silently. 3) Hear when the target note has been reached with the bend, and control the bend to stop at that point.

Obviously, there are times when musically you may want to hear the note slightly sharp or flat (blues bends) to add interest, but for the most part bends need to be VERY in tune.

A fast, flashy, or slow and melodic guitar line can be ruined if it ends with a bad bend. That's what will jump out at the listener...