Reply To: Bending Notes


Hey big benders,

I’ve tried a lot of bending these days and I’ve found out an improved technique which I’d like to describe to you; maybe I’m right with this, maybe I’m totally mistaken, you will tell me if you may…

First and most important requirement is a playing technique where the hand with all its fingers should rest upon the keyboard while playing, not only the finger that plays a note! (Look at Troy’s irish reel video and you’ll see what I mean, it’s perfect!) Otherwise it will certainly be possible to bend single slow notes but will be very difficult to bend notes in a faster melody.

Now, if you play a note you just press down a key with a finger, meaning only the muscles that move the finger are working and nothing else, right? When bending a note you press the key just a few millimeters maximum which, as each of us knows, is damn difficult. But there’s another way of pressing a key down: if you keep the finger stiff and then turn your wrist, the finger will also move down, but much slower in comparison to the turning movement. So you can move your finger with much more subtlety.

So, let’s have a look on a C-major chord. The fingers rest on C,D,E,F,G and you want to play C-E-G-E-C and so on while bending each C. Try the following: turn(C)-press(E)-press(G)-press(E)-turn(C) and so on. Always try to turn into the direction opposite to the next key you want to press. So it would be best to play turn left(C)-press(E)-press(G)-press(E)-turn left(C) and so on.

Next example: again you want to play C-E-G-E-C and so on while now bending each C and G. Do this: turn left (C)-press(E)-turn right(G)-press(E)-turn left(C) and so on.

With a little luck you will discover that bending now is much easier (at least I hope so!). But take your time, begin slowly, be patient with yourself – and remember: try to keep the fingers on all keys while playing! (I don’t know why exactly this is so important for that technique, but it is – perhaps it keeps the finger that shall be moved more stable…).

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