Watch the Bends online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Blues Guitar Survival Guide - Lead

Bends. We play one of the few instruments where we can bend a pitch. I can't imagine playing guitar without bending strings, especially the blues. The nuance string bending allows can emulate the human voice and add a highly emotional quality to our playing. Like any technique bends need to be practiced consciously and with intent to ensure they are in tune. By practicing the bends we are working on two essential things. Ear training and muscle memory. We can develop our ears by making sure we match pitches, take time and listen to each note. Really take in the sound of the note. The second component is hand strength and muscle memory. It is important to know what a whole step or half step bend feels like in your hands. By practicing bends we gain control over the instrument. I wish somebody had hipped me to this long before they did!