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Guitar Lesson: Melodic String Bending with Dave Isaacs


String bending is a pivotal technique in lead guitar playing, instrumental in infusing solos with a dynamic, expressive, and vocal-like quality. A guitarist can smoothly transition between pitches by bending a string, creating a sound reminiscent of the human voice. This technique allows for subtle nuances in pitch, which can convey a wide range of emotions, from soulful melancholy to ecstatic joy. 


The microtonal shifts achieved through string bending mimic the inflections and phrasing of a singer, making the guitar sing and speak in ways that straight notes cannot. This expressive capability makes string bending indispensable for lead guitarists, enabling them to connect more deeply with their audience and elevate their musical storytelling.


In this online guitar lesson, premier Nashville guitarist, lifelong music educator, and ArtistWorks multi-style guitar instructor, Dave Isaacs, teaches how to execute string bends properly in order to remain in control and create moving, expressive melodic lines and solos.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play guitar from a master musician like Dave Isaacs? Try some free online guitar lessons now!


Remaining in control when bending a string on the guitar is crucial for achieving the desired pitch and maintaining musical integrity. Precise control ensures that the bend reaches the exact pitch intended, preventing sour or off-key notes that can disrupt the musical flow. It also allows the guitarist to modulate the speed and intensity of the bend, adding emotional nuance and dynamic expression to their playing. 


Additionally, controlled string bending helps to preserve the guitarist's technique and prevents unnecessary strain on the fingers and hands, reducing the risk of injury. Mastery of this skill demonstrates a guitarist's technical proficiency and enhances the overall impact of their performance, making their music more compelling and resonant with listeners.


“When you bend a string, you’re raising the pitch of the original note on the fret,” Dave explains. “Therefore, you have to have a clear sense of the target note that you’re bending up to in order to play accurately and in tune.”


To learn more about how to properly bend strings, keep your bends in tune, and incorporate the technique into your lead playing, dive into this online guitar lesson from Dave Isaacs:


Melodic String Bending with Dave Isaacs:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar? Through our comprehensive guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Dave Isaacs, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Dave's course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced performance techniques and music theory utilized by modern-day session musicians. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will develop the skills needed to become a well-rounded guitarist fluent in a variety of styles.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

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