Adding Bends to your Solos 

Add bend notes to your guitar solos for a better sound.  Check out this video where I show you exactly how to do it.  If you like what you learn, used the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share with your friends.


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

Today we're adding bends into our Panasonic scale to make it sound a little more interesting. When we're playing guitar solos the first thing you can do to sound better is to stop picking so much. That might mean sliding to the nose, that might mean doing hammer-ons and pull-offs. But today it just means bending. When you learn how to bend it sounds really bad. Alright, it's one of the worst sounding practices you can do. It's like somebody that's learning to play the violin, which is just like screechie and atonal and noisy. Bending gets that way and the reason is because you're going in between the notes. That's like jumping out of your safety net. On a piano you can't go in between the notes. It's just one note to the next note. A lot of guitar by bending you're now leaving the home pitch and you start getting into some really dangerous territory. On a guitar we have to train ourselves to bend things only in half steps and whole steps. What we're going to do today is take a look at three notes in our pentatonic scale that are bendable, and it'll sound good when we bend them. The first note that we're going to look at is on the third string in a pentatonic minor. That note right there. It's the seventh fret on the third string. I love bending this note because you can get away with bending at a half-step which is just one fret or you can get away with then you get a whole step which is two frets. Now, I really encourage you to play your target note before you actually bend your note. For example, like I'm bending the seventh fret but I want it to sound like the eighth fret so I'm going to keep playing the eighth fret over and over. I'm gonna get that note stuck in my head. That's what my bend should sound like when I'm done bending. The same thing if I'm practicing a whole step. I want it to sound like that so I'm going to try and hear that note in my head before I bend it and you'll know if you under bend it or over bend it. For example, if I keep hitting my target note and then I do something like that, you can hear that's higher than I want to go. But if you're not hitting your target note first you really aren't trained to tell if you're bending high enough or low enough and bending is all about muscle memory.If you're bending constantly in practicing to the wrong note because you haven't been checking to see if it's the right pitch, then that's a bad sign. I always encourage you to play your target note first and then practice your bends. Okay, what I want to show you now is just doing the half step bend on the third string here and what that sounds like over the jam track. This jam track is available in the description. It's kind of an alternative rock it's a very simple ban just a half step anybody can do that. All right so you can hear it's got a lot of flavor too. It's got a lot of attitude that half step bend is nasty. It's a grungy note and just for a little theory here that's a tritone though you're adding into the key and that kind of makes it a blues pentatonic scale instead of just a regular pentatonic scale. It's kind of becoming a blues scale when you have that note in but we can also bend it a whole step and listen what that sounds like. I think it's much more of a Mladic, it's much more bright and it sounds more like, I don't know, Rocking! I don't know there's a lot of descriptors for but check it out this is bending that same note a full step right Lot of attitude, but it fits in better. Cool! All right now we'll stay in the same spot here for this next little trick. That's the only little trick I'm going to show you. We're gonna talk about three bends but then there's one thing you can do on all the bends. It's just keeping the bend to lift it up and then constantly picking it and while you pick it you can just release that bag and it's awesome. I abused this one. I really do. I do it a little too often you can do staccato for the note still ring out or you can keep blasting away to note but either way it's a nice little technique to use so check it out in use. Little move there so moving on we're going to go to the second string and we have this note on the second string it's the eighth fret and that note can only be bent a whole step if we bend it a half step it's out of key and it sounds really nasty in the key of a so we're only going to be able to bend it. It turns into this note. I'm also gonna hit my A and then I'm going to bend my note. I'm going to practice hitting that exact pitch. Not under bending it. You hear that that's bending too low that's bending too high that's bending just right. Like I said it's muscle memory so you do it a hundred times you really don't have to think about it your pinkie will just automatically bend to that note. Llisten to what that sounds like here.Now I'll add in the 3rd string and the 2nd string at the same Jam. I mean that sounds good and I'm not doing much all I'm doing is these big slow bands picking things over and over again there's no shredding going on here. It's simple picking and just some slow bends but it sounds good. That's the point. You can if you use things correctly you don't have to you know freak out on your fret board just to sound melodic and tasty.Alright last part. First string same exact concept we can take this note and we can bend it up a whole-step it's the eighth fret and we can bend it to make it a D. Alright… like that if we do it a half step it's going to sound really bad. Actually let me show you what it sounds like if you bend these notes under and this is normally where people get discouraged. They start practicing bends and they don't know why it sounds good and it's because they're not quite getting that bend up high enough and listen to what that sounds like if I just get in a half-step instead of a whole step. That's fast… nobody wants that right? Nobody wants to hear that so definitely practice until you can get that full step bend.And it's hard on the first string, I get it, but I mean, I remember learning this stuff and being convinced I would never be able to play it for some reason I kept doing it against all of my natural inclinations. I just kept practicing it and sure enough it happens and that's usually how most people are if you just keep doing it your fingers will learn how to do it but it is frustrating and it will sound bad when you start I get that but I also get that you know you can do this if you just do it a few hundred times.If you really think about what we've gone through here we've got to bend on the third string for a half step we've got to bend on the third string for a full step we've got a bend on the second string for a full step and we've got to bend on the first string for a full step and with just that all right I don't even think I'm going to play any sixteenth notes here I'm going to put together a little bit of a lead just using those bends and then this move we talked about bending holding and then releasing and let's hear what it sounds like if I put those things together [Music] all right you get the idea there it's got a lot more flavor to it a lot more flow back and forth it's not just so pointy you're not getting stabbed with notes the whole time you know and like I said I think that's one of the first things you can do to start making your solos more interesting to stop picking all right slide Bend hammer on anything but pick and bending is difficult but I think this is a good place to start off so thanks for watching you.

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