Full Access Members Only

Tips for Bending the 3rd String


Get Full Access Today To Learn

Bending the 3rd String

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

Product Cost Lessons Instructors Instructor Help New Lessons Return Policy
Guitar Tricks $19.95 11,000+ 45 Instructors Yes Yes, Weekly 60 Days
Guitar Dvd's $30 - $60 20 - 30 1 Instructor No Interaction No No
Guitar Books $20 - $40 30 - 40 1 Instructor No Interaction No No
Other Sites $20 - $40 100 - 500 1-5 Instructor Sometimes Sometimes 3-7 Days
In-person $40 - $80 1 Hour 1 Instructor Yes Yes No
This is a few tips on bending the 3rd string, to make it a little easier for you to do. As I said in String Bending, all great guitar players bend strings. This useful technique has been heard on country recordings, and in other genres as well. James Burton, Roy Nichols, Brent Mason, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Vince Gill, and many of today's great players do a lot of string bending in their solos.

This technique will require practice to get it right, and it may take some time to get used to bending the string without overbending, or underbending. You will have to learn where that sweet spot is, so your bends will be consistent. All of the bends in this tutorial are whole step bends, and are all played the same way.

You can use different fingers to bend the string with, depending on what you're doing after the bend. Here I used the ring finger first, and then the middle finger to bend the string.

The first tip using the ring finger to bend, I showed how using the middle finger in the fret before can give you more power, and control over the bend. By doing this you'll be able to push the bent string up to pitch, and it will also help you hold the bend, or add some vibrato to it after you get used to doing it.

The next tip is using the index finger to block the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings, this will take care of those unwanted notes. It just gives the bend a clear sound, without other strings ringing out because you touched them with a nail, or a finger, or something like that. This will take plenty of practice, but will be worth it in the long run.

You can do all sorts of things after a bend, and using the pinky in the next fret on the 2nd string is a great way to start. You will have to hold the bend, and then play this note.

Next I'm bending with the middle finger, and here you use the ring finger in the next fret on the 2nd string.

You can also put the pinky in the next fret on the 1st string, below the ring finger.

I'm bending the string up a whole step in the 7th fret, from the D note up to an E note. This bend works with a C chord, figured this may be easier to do in the 7th fret. So I'm bending the 2nd note of the scale, up to the 3rd note of the scale.

I'm playing the 2nd, and 3rd string by pulling up with my fingers, but you can use the pick with an upstroke.

I do use the pick with upstrokes on the 1st, 2nd, and then the 3rd string for the last bend. After you play the 3rd string, bend it up a whole step, and hold it.

We will be covering different positions using this method, and the chords they work with in this tutorial.

Feel free to post a message for me in the forum, if you have any questions, comments, or want to be added to my mailing list.

Open In New Window
lesson notation