String Stretching

MAIN TUTORIAL

INFO & EXPLANATION

TECHNIQUEIt's important that we discuss the technique necessary for effective string stretching. Many players have difficulty with this. They do a fair job of stretching but it's not comfortable to them. It's "real work" rather than "real fun." So let's get to it.

HAND MOTION - Probably the best way to describe the motion your hand has to have in order to execute a string-bend in a relaxed way is the same motion you use to turn a door-knob. So go now to the closest door-knob and turn it.

FINGER PLACEMENT - If you stretch a string with the 1st hand, the turning motion discussed above is enough to execute the stretch. However, as you move progressiviely to the 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers, you'll find that it helps to place fingers on the string behind the one that's being stretched. In other words, if you're stretching a note with your 2nd finger, place the 1st finger on the string in the fret directly behind your 2nd finger to support the 2nd-finger stretch. If you're using the 3rd finger to stretch a note, place the 1st and 2nd finger behind it and so on. Watch the video in the HANDS file to get an illustration of this.

Now, with those 2 things in mind & your guitar in hand, do the following stretch taken from the exercise in the main lesson screen:

First play the E note (5th fret/2nd string) with your 1st finger then place your 3rd finger on the D note (7th fret/3rd string) and place your 2nd and 1st fingers just behind the 3rd finger on the 3rd string. Now stretch upward pulling the string using the door-knob motion described above. All three fingers (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) are used in executing the stretch. LISTENListening is the most important part of becoming a smooth string bender. You should pluck the string just before you stretch and listen as the pitch changes. This is the same thing you do when tuning a guitar. I'm a big fan of guitar tuners but they can become a crutch to a person with an undeveloped ear. Practice stretching to a specific note. The exercise in this lesson will help you do this.

HANDS/VIDEOS

AUDIO FILES

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PRACTICE AUDIO

NOTATION