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Watch the Level 3: Blues Bends online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Take 5: Blues Bends

One of my favorite bends is the half-step bend. We've been mostly dealing with the the minor pentatonic scale up until now, which is made up of whole steps and minor 3rds. In this example, we're going to dig into a full minor scale and use the half-steps the scale now gives us.

A minor pentatonic scale is a minor scale without the half-steps, just as a major pentatonic scale is major scale without the half-steps. Ever wonder why a pentatonic scale is so much easier to use than a full 7 note scale? It's more than just the fingerings — the half-steps are the notes that can actually cause more tension and clash for better or worse. The half-steps require more attention, but they can also really add another dimension of expression.