Coming right on the heels of the previous lesson, this group of exercises is designed to help you develop a true feel for how far strings must be bent. This act of “pre-bending” is just that; the art of bending up silently before we eventually release the bend as part of the phrase.
If you listen to the great lead styles of Jimmy Page, Otis Rush, Mike Bloomfield, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and many others, you’ll see how this has always been an integral part of string bending, and in a way, represents the pure “art” of the bend as opposed to the “act”!
As you continue to refine your approach to this style, you will undoubtedly be training your ear as well, and the knowledge of just how far to bend will start to become second nature to you.
This is also a great way to begin to understand the art of vibrato of a bent note, which has a totally different character and physical makeup from normally fretted notes and their vibratos. So I hope you enjoy this particular lesson…it’s definitely a discipline, and one that is surely worth pursuing!—Arlen Roth