Bending And Its Variations

author: JeffBrower date: 09/16/2008 category: for beginners
rating: 7.1 / votes: 7 
Hello citzens, most of you know this, but for those of you who don't, here is a lesson on bending and all of its variations.

Figure 1: Bend


1-|-5b7-|
2-|-----|
3-|-----|
4-|-----|
5-|-----|
6-|-----|
The first thing I should tell you is that bending is shown with the 'b' symbol. To start this excercise, place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string. Pick the 1st string and move your index finger toward the lower strings. Bend it up until it sounds like the 7th fret played normally. You just bent!

Figure 2: Bend / Release


1-|-5b7r5-|
2-|-------|
3-|-------|
4-|-------|
5-|-------|
6-|-------|
The symbol for release is 'r'. Start this excercise exactly how you did the 1st one, but once the string is bent, bring it back to normal on the 5th fret.

Figure 3: Pre-Bend


1-|-pb7r5-|
2-|-------|
3-|-------|
4-|-------|
5-|-------|
6-|-------|
The symbol for pre-bend is 'pb'. To do this one, just bend the 5th fret up to the 7th before picking, then pick it and release to the 5th. The last number is the number you should bend from.

Figure 4: Whammy Down


   (a)     (b)
1-|-7---7-|-7---------7-|-7--------7-|
2-|--\1/--|--\1/\1/\1/--|--\0.5/\1/--|
3-|-------|-------------|------------|
4-|-------|-------------|------------|
5-|-------|-------------|------------|
6-|-------|-------------|------------|
The symbol for whammy an 'n' step down is '\n/'. To do (a), pick the 7th fret, then use the whammy bar to decrease the pitch a whole step. To see what a whole step sounds like, pick the 5th fret normally. Then, return back to the normal 7th fret. To do (b), pick the 7th fret, and whammy down three times, each time returning to the normal 7th fret. Lastly, to do (c), start on the 7th fret, whammy down a half step (6th fret), return to the 7th fret, then whammy down a whole step.

Figure 5: Whammy Up


1-|-
2-|-
3-|-
4-|-
5-|-
6-|-
The symbol for whammy an 'n' step up is '/n\'. To do this excercise, do the same thing as whammying down, but don't pick the string first. Once you have it down, pick and bring the pitch back up. You can whammy up and down any number of steps, I just used half and whole in this lesson.

Figure 6: Nut Bend


1-|-5nb7r5-|
2-|--------|
3-|--------|
4-|--------|
5-|--------|
6-|--------|
The symbol for nut-bend is 'nb'. To do this excercise, pick the 5th fret, then move your right hand up behind where the nut is (the nut is the '0th' fret, behind the 1st). Then, push down on the first string, which should increase the pitch a whole step. Then release it back to the 5th fret. This can also be done in 'pre-nut-bend' form, which you would bend the note up before picking, just like pre-bending. The symbol for pre-nut-bend is 'pnb'. A good example of this is in Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man', where Tony Iommi pre-nut-bends the low E string, then slowly releases it.

~ Recap ~

b - bend r - release pb - pre-bend \n/ - whammy down an 'n' step /n\ - whammy up an 'n' step nb - nut bend (behind 1st fret) pnb - pre-nut-bend (behind 1st fret) half step - 1 fret whole step - 2 frets
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