Unusial Bending Techniques

Hey all, this lesson is on some different sounding ways to bend notes. Some of these examples will require a whammy bar that can be pulled up; If you have one that normally only works one way, email me and I'll tell you how to mod it so it bends up, if you want.

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Hey all, this lesson is on some different sounding ways to bend notes. Some of these examples will require a whammy bar that can be pulled up; If you have one that normally only works one way, email me and I'll tell you how to mod it so it bends up, if you want. Ok, this first example is reasonably well known. You bend a note up, and then then reach over with your right hand and push down on the string behind the nut. This won't work with locking nut systems where the nut is locked, but on those you can generally bend up with the whammy bar anyway. You can use this to perform very wide bends or add heavy vibrato to bent notes. It's also handy for bending open strings or harmonics. bn = bend behind nut ~n~ = vibrato behind nut Ex1: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|---------------------------------------------------| G|--2b(4)bn(5)rbn(4)rb(2)------2b(4)~n~rb(2)---------| D|---------------------------------------------------| A|---------------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| This next one uses an adaptation of the classical vibrato technique - the one where you push the string towards the bridge and pull it back towards the nut in quick little horizontal movements. In this case, you exaggerate the "pushing forward" movement to push the string towards the bridge and actually bend the pitch down. This is very tough unless you have a low action and light strings. Ex2: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|--9b(8)--------------------------------------------| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|---------------------------------------------------| A|---------------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| Note that it's very tough to use this to bend down by even as little as a semitone, you're more likely to get about a quarter tone. This one is also known well, amongst whammy bar users. Here, you hit the whammy bar lightly (or heavily) as you fret each note, rather than picking the notes. This causes an effect known as 'scooping', because you scoop the pitch of the note from below its original pitch back up to the original pitch. You can also turn the bar around and 'reverse scoop'. V = scoop Ex3: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|---------------------------------------------------| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|--2-/-3-/-5-/-7-/-9-/-10-/-12ZYABLA~HUYABLA--------------------| A|--V---V---V---V---V----V----V----------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| A cool variation on this is to slide up the fretboard while applying heavy whammy vibrato in either direction. Steve Vai uses this one a bit. VVVVVVVVVV = whammy bar vibrato Ex4: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|---------------------------------------------------| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|-VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV---| A|-1////////////////////////////////////////15-------| E|--(this is a gradual slide)------------------------| While we're on the whammy bar theme, this one is cool, but requires practise to get right, and it also requires a whammy bar that bends up. What you do is grab the whammy bar in your right hand's last two fingers, pick the 7th fret on the G string, pull the whammy bar up one tone, then push it back to it's normal pitch, and quickly hammer on the 9th fret. This effect sounds great when done really fast! Of course, it can be done on any string and all over the fretboard, and using any interval that can be bent with the whammy bar. wb = bend with whammy bar Ex5: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|---------------------------------------------------| G|--7wb(9)rwb(7)h9--7wb(9)rwb(7)h9-------------------| D|---------------------------------------------------| A|---------------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| Ever heard some of those Jimi Hendrix solos that were taped backwards? You can approximate a 'true' 'reverse bend' effect using your fingers and your guitar's volume control, or a volume pedal. Or, if you're really lucky, you can use the Snarling Dogs Erogenous Moan Tape Reverse pedal. Ok, what you do is, set up your guitar and amp for a long sustaining distorted lead tone and turn the volume on your guitar (or pedal) to 0. Pre-bend a note, pick it, and as soon as you do, start simultaneously releasing the bend and turning the volume back up to 10. Sounds great when you get it right! <<<<<<<<< = fade volume in. pb = prebend Ex6: e|-<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<------------------------| B|-7pb(9) grad release--rb(7)------------------------| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|---------------------------------------------------| A|---------------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| Have you ever accidentally bent a string off the fretboard? I have, but I've also done it deliberately, cause it sounds good! Steve Vai is a master of this. Check out the 'sitar' bends in the outro to "The Boy From Seattle". You can do this on any string, provided you use a low enough gauge, but most people will only get the high E, B, low E and A. Simply bend the string so far it goes off the fretboard, for some very wide interval bends! This works differently in different areas of the fretboard, so experiment! Ex7: e|-----12b(20)---------------------------------------| B|-------(bend string downwards and off fretboard)---| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|---------------------------------------------------| A|---------------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------------| This next technique is one of my favourites. Bend a note up normally, then tap a higher fret with your right hand, pull off, release the bend, and pull off to a lower note. Or, hold the bend with your left hand, tap the note and bend it up as well while holding the first bend, and finish the same way. It tends to look more confusing than it is. Ex8: e|---------T--------------------------------------------------| B|--15b(17)19p(17)rb(15)p12-----------------------------------| G|---------------------------------T--------------------------| D|-------------------------12b(14)22b(23)rb(22)p(14)rb(12)p10-| A|------------------------------------------------------------| E|------------------------------------------------------------| This one is known as the "Joe Satriani lizard-down-the-throat effect". You slowly slide a note up the fretboard, which ordinarily would mean that the pitch of the note would rise, but at the same time, you push the whammy bar down so that the pitch never changes throughout the slide. This is a great sounding effect which can be heard in Joe's song Ice 9. Ex9: e|---------------------------------------------------| B|---------------------------------------------------| G|---------------------------------------------------| D|----(gradually push bar down so pitch stays same)--| A|--5///////////////////////////////////////////12---| E|--(grad slide)-------------------------------------|

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    metallik1013
    Well done. Though, your bending techniques are not so unusual as your spelling of unusual. But again, well done.
    applesquire
    yea id like to kno how to have my whammy bar bend up please contact me at rhscowboy_43@hotmail.com thank you
    Elestor
    to make a normal tremillo system double floating (So it can bend up) you will need to open up the back of the guitar, there should be a plasic panel. Open that up and you should see some strings conected on one side to the bridge and the other side to a metal bit with screws going into the guitar. Losen up those screws and it should move the bridge up into a floating position. Alternitavly you can take a spring or two out and achive the same effect.
    Guitargod12345
    Oswald : What is the nut? Is it where the strings end at the head of the guitar? I mean where they split and reaching the tuning screws????
    Yes
    BlumeCrew
    Purely amazing article. Can't wait to experiment with all these techiniques... I have a whammy bar but I have been having trouble with it and this article might be what I need to get it down.
    caughtinamosh
    metalhead10691 wrote: cool lesson dude but i tried dat off da fretbord bend n da string snapped
    it's people like this that make me lose faith in humanity, otherwise, great article. It's easier to do bends if you tune low, by the way.
    EddieVanAidan
    i've got an ibanez with a floating trem and i get the high pitch sreeches by playin a string (i like to use g or b)do a dive bomb, then place you finger lightly over a harmonic, i can do it over 3,5,7,12,15,17,19, 22 and 24 release the trem slowly and pull it up,(only a little) if you get it right, 15 and 17 sounds really high
    metalhead_65
    HIMKTR3000 : my whammy doesnt work at all. i would like to kno why.thats it.
    It probbally dosent work because you are turning the wammy bar instead of pushing down on it. dont worry i did the same thing too when i first started out. o and by the way this lesson is really good.
    greifvogell
    Reaper1515 wrote: How do u make ur guitar screech??! Need to know, plz help if u know
    pinch harmonics bro
    TheSoother
    [quote]greifvogell wrote: Reaper1515 wrote: How do u make ur guitar screech??! Need to know, plz help if u know pinch harmonics bro[/quote well that or if u have a whammy bar you can play a Natural Harmonic with the bar in, then let off and add vibrato with the bar.
    frantic_saint
    Okay to the people asking about the dimebag squeals, here's how to do it. I seen a video of it on youtube where dime explains it himself. First pluck the string with your finger. next dump the bar (push it down). Then tap the harmonic on the string you plucked. Realease the bar. you should get a squeal. Hard as hell to get at first but then it's easy as hell
    DIKBUTTKISS 93
    thomas_wh wrote: How do you mod a whammy bar that goes only one way?
    i use to loosen the springs in the back a little and the bridge would come up a little bit. then you can raise you notes up to.
    omerfayyaz2001
    nice work on gettin these info's. u should also show some lesson on the cricket technique cuz thats also related to the whammy bar.....also some1 should make a detailed lesson on weird animal sounds by harmonics....like van halen used a lion roar once, & stevie vai uses that bird like sound.....that would be nice
    leadg
    SMITH05 wrote: I have the same question as Chuckee.Like in the chorus of "Cemetery Gates"...what the hell does he do that makes that insane screech. It's been pissing me off for weeks. I asked someone and they just replied..."I don't know it's Dimebag,he's a maniac"
    ok...he did a pinch harmonic and after that he did an upward bend with the whammy bar. if you have a whammy just learn how to pinch then test it out. I don't have a whammy bar...
    Reggy
    Great lesson man, some cool techniques, the bending off the board thing is an absolute killer. Just one thing, use your plectrum to bend stuff behind the nut, unless you like pain.
    Chuckee
    how does dimebag darrell bend his notes to such earpiercing pitches?
    me(n)tal man
    !!!..please can you help me!!!.. yesterday i got whammy bar and im interested how could I (if i can) make double floating system (so i can pull up and push my whammy down)i want to do that because i cant pull the whammy up!!!! please somebody help me!!!!
    SMITH05
    I have the same question as Chuckee.Like in the chorus of "Cemetery Gates"...what the hell does he do that makes that insane screech. It's been pissing me off for weeks. I asked someone and they just replied..."I don't know it's Dimebag,he's a maniac"
    grimreaper65
    hey Oswald, yes the nut is the thing between the first fret and the head, the part that the strings rest on.
    poot
    you just pull it up instead of pushing it down.. that's what works for me.
    ibanez1324
    hey id like to know how to mod my bridge so it bends both ways with the wammy
    mkay?
    Dime is a maniac who could nail eruption after nine bottles of jack daniels, he can do anything with a guitar
    metal_man696
    dime hits a natural harmonic on the 4th fret G sting while his floyd rose is dumped. then he pulls up on the bar to the pitch needed.
    Chomp
    Dude, its called and floyd rose tremelo, you use it to bend the strings over huge notes, Dimebag uses it, You cannnot make a normal trem system do that, you need a floating tremelo, there are ways of making one bit its extremely hard and time consuming
    Oswald
    What is the nut? Is it where the strings end at the head of the guitar? I mean where they split and reaching the tuning screws????