String bending is one of the most expressive guitar techniques we have at our disposal.
From bluesy quarter bends to over the top bends of a 3rd or 4th - it's a technique guitarists of all styles put to great use. Any fretted note can easily be bent up to a different pitch.
But what about open strings? Is there any way to bend those notes?
YES! Open strings can quite easily be bent if your guitar has a floating bridge system. Simply pull up on the whammy bar.
But even if you don't have a floating bridge, bending open strings is a possibility.
The trick - bend the string behind the nut. Place your finger between the nut and the tuning peg and push the string down towards the headstock.
This allows you to bend any open string you want!
This is a really useful technique for emulating a pedal steel sound on your guitar. But country music isn't the only application for this technique. Get creative!
Doyle Dykes and Greg Koch are two players that come to mind that put this technique to work. Check them out.
Have fun with this technique. And be aware that a nut lubricant will help out, especially in terms of tuning stability.
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