In this lesson, Matt shows you the ins & outs of bending.
Taught by Matt Brown in Rock Guitar with Matt Brown seriesLength: 27:48Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
The way in which your guitar is set up will have a profound impact on string bending. A guitar's set-up most typically refers to the gauge of strings used, the tuning (standard tuning, down a half step, etc.), and the action height.
Most rock players prefer to play with lighter strings (usually 9 or 10 gauge) because they are easier to bend. The tone of smaller gauge strings is also more appropriate for this style. When it comes to blues and country however, most professionals prefer a heavier gauge set (usually 11's or higher). Heavier strings are more effective for producing a biting,twangy sound.
The disadvantage to playing with heavy gauge strings is that they are much more difficult to bend. I recommend starting with a lower gauge string and gradually working your way up to a larger set. Also, it should be taken into consideration that some people simply have smaller, weaker hands than others. If bending the strings causes any discomfort or unnecessary fatigue, it's definitely a good idea to switch to a smaller set. Many players in the 80's injured their hands as a result of bending large strings. Stevie Ray Vaughn popularized using very large strings (13 gauge) to create his signature tone. What people didn't realize was that Stevie had absolutely massive hands and tuned his guitar down a half step.
*Note: If you decide to change to a new string gauge, a new set-up must be performed. Some intonation, action, and minor truss rod adjustment may be necessary. Have this work done by a reliable professional.
As a rule, it is always important to play with good classical technique. Solid left-hand technique is contingent upon several factors. First, the thumb must be perpendicular to the neck, resting approximately halfway up it. The rest of the left-hand fingers must be perpendicular to the fingerboard. They must be arched and bent at each individual finger joint.
Left-hand technique for bending is the only exception to this rule. In the context of the bend, it is highly beneficial to allow the thumb to come up over the neck. This enables you to have better leverage on the string. Using classical technique, you are relying solely on the strength of your fretting fingers to perform the bend. By bringing the thumb over the neck, you are combining its strength with your fretting fingers.
This exercise is directed toward practicing bends in conjunction with a fretted note on an adjacent string. Begin by fretting a note with your pinky on the B string. Then, bend the note on the G string that is one fret lower. The interval of this bend should be a whole step. The beginning of the "Enter Sandman" solo illustrates this bend very well.Exercise 2: Unison Bend
Unison bends can be performed between the G and B strings and between the B and E strings. Play a fretted note on the E string with your first finger. Then, bend the note three frets up on the B string. The pitch of the bent string should match the pitch of the fretted note. When applying this technique to the G and B strings, bend the G string note that is two frets higher. Try playing the major scale horizontally using unison bends between these string pairings.Exercise 3: Bend plus Vibrato
Vibrato can be added to any of the aforementioned types of bends. Performing a rapid series of bends and releases produces a vibrato. First, bend the string up to pitch. Then rapidly bring the pitch down a quarter of a step and return it up to pitch. The faster this process is performed, the clearer the vibrato will be. Be sure to practice bending plus vibrato with all four fingers!Chapter 6: (1:44) Final Exercise This exercise develops your ability to perform bends on the low strings. Simply pick any note on any of the three bass strings. Then practice bending it downward using different intervals. Start with the most common intervals such as the half step and whole step.
Chuck Berry among others pioneered the style of rock and roll in the 1950's. Today, rock and roll remains the most popular genre of music. Over the years the genre has progressed & spawned many sub-genres: soft rock, classic rock, punk rock, and more. Dive into this Phase 2 set of lessons to become a master of rock.
Learn how to get the most out of your time when practicing.Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown discusses some of the fundamentals to playing lead.Length: 15:41 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt shows you the basics of figuring out any note on the guitar.Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn the basic minor, natural, and major scales. Quite a few techniques & ideas start with scales - they're an essential building block.Length: 34:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In this lesson, Matt takes you through the major scales & helps you to understand how they can be used.Length: 20:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Matt teaches the most common natural minor scale patterns.Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learn & master the most popular types of bends.Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn sweep picking and string rakes.Length: 18:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learn various techniques to use when improvising / soloing.Length: 12:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Matt explains the most effective way to tune your guitar down.Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn how to establish finger independence and a few tips and tricks with barre chords.Length: 37:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Matt Brown introduces a rock lick and shows how several famous players have modified it.Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In this lesson Matt teaches some crucial rock sequences. He also explains how these sequences can be integrated in to your playing.Length: 34:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown focuses on string skipping technique. He provides several exercises designed to improve this aspect of your playing.Length: 33:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15 in Matt's rock series is all about intervals.Length: 34:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown demonstrates lead guitar techniques using Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" as an example.Length: 29:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt Brown explains which scales can be used when playing a solo over a diatonic progression in a major key. As an example, he teaches the solo section to Candlebox's song "Far Behind."Length: 33:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson covers the natural minor scale and diatonic natural minor progressions. Matt uses the solo section to "Stairway to Heaven" as an example.Length: 24:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In lesson 19 Matt provides instruction on developing right hand skills including string skipping.Length: 26:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In lesson 20, Matt discusses chord progressions that don't follow a diatonic tonality.Length: 29:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt begins to discuss and demonstrate the harmonic minor scale.Length: 29:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In lesson 22, Matt continues his discussion of the harmonic minor tonality.Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In lesson 23, Matt takes a look at the solo section for the song "Sweet Child O' Mine."Length: 19:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt will be taking a look at the solo section from the live version of the Smashing Pumpkins song "Today".Length: 7:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt Brown reviews and discusses the solo section to AC/DC's hit "Back In Black".Length: 9:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In lesson 26, Matt covers the solo section from the Alice in Chains song "Brother".Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt Brown discusses lead guitarists, what makes a good solo, and tips for your own lead playing.Length: 41:06 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Matt Brown teaches a number of exercises aimed at improving your legato playing technique.Length: 37:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown demonstrates a few exercises to build skill and speed in your right hand.Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown teaches Heitor Villa-Lobos' 1st Etude as a lesson in string skipping.Length: 38:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Matt Brown demonstrates how to play three octave versions of the minor pentatonic and the major scales in all 12 keys.Length: 16:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown demonstrates how to play all seven of the diatonic intervals within the framework of a horizontal major scale.Length: 23:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown discuss diatonic arpeggios as a theory lesson as well as demonstrating the technique.Length: 9:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown explains how to play the diatonic seventh chords of the major scale. Similar to lesson 32, this lesson takes a horizontal approach to the fretboard.Length: 10:46 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown teaches a progression and accompanying solo to demonstrate ideas for creating your own.Length: 21:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown takes a look at another chord progression and solo.Length: 17:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In lesson 37 of the Rock Series, Matt Brown demonstrates and talks about legato playing ideas.Length: 21:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt Brown switches gears in lesson 38 to start talking about rhythm concepts for rock playing.Length: 27:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown discusses some often used techniques to build effective rock compositions.Length: 17:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Matt Brown takes another look at his approach to soloing. He demonstrates ideas you can use in your own playing.Length: 12:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown adds practice to his lead approach by giving you another chord progression to solo over.Length: 7:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown has another chord progression and solo exercise to go over in this lesson on lead approach.Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Matt Brown takes another look at string skipping. He breaks down some key areas of Matteo Carcassi's Allegro as an exercise.Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
About Matt Brown
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Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."
Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.
Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."
Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.
Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.
Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.Free LessonSeries Details
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Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...Free LessonSeries Details
Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.Free LessonSeries Details
Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.Free LessonSeries Details
Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...Free LessonSeries Details
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JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...Free LessonSeries Details
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Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".Free LessonSeries Details
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JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.Free LessonSeries Details
Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...Free LessonSeries Details
Joel Kosche talks about creating and composing a guitar solo. He uses his original song "Sunrise" as an example.Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...Free LessonSeries Details
Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...Free LessonSeries Details
Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...Free LessonSeries Details
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