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Session 2: Paying Your Dues

Whole-Step Bends
In the blues, some great places to do a whole-step
bend are from… Playing Tip
When bending…
• the 2nd up to the major 3rd.
• the flatted 3rd to the 4th. • Use the other fingers for
• the 4th to the 5th. support in pushing up the string.
• the 5th to the 6th. • Bring thumb slightly up behind
• the flatted 7th to the root. the neck for added support.

Major Scale Exercise

This is a very helpful exercise for playing a major scale using whole-step bends. Finger numbers are indicated
in the circled numbers. Notice the fingering changes in the ascending and descending version.

Double Bends
Another option for bends that works particularly good with whole-step bends are double bends. This is where
two notes are being played at the same time and one of them is a bent note. While there are several
combinations that work well, a very common type is demonstrated in the session.

As demonstrated in the example given in the session, the 4th of the chord or key is being bent up to the 5th
while the flatted 7th is also played.

These notes are played in various rhythms in the session but here is the basic melodic line on the three
chords of the C blues--C7, F7, & G7.

Blues Guitar with Steve Krenz 29

Session 2: Paying Your Dues

Minor 3rd Bends

Minor 3rd bends require a lot of hand strength and muscle control. Common minor Great Blues
3rd bends in Blues are from… Guitarists
(a very incomplete list)
• the root to the minor 3rd.
• the major 3rd to the 5th. B.B.King
• the 6th to the root.
Robert Cray

Playing Tip Stevie Ray Vaughn

Bends require hand strength. Hand strength Robert Johnson

takes time to develop. Don’t be discouraged
if your bends don’t sound correct at first.
Albert King
Keep practicing them daily allowing time for
the muscles in your hand to develop.
T-Bone Walker

Buddy Guy

Muddy Waters

Eric Clapton

Johnny Winter

Earl Hooker

Clarence “Gatemouth”

Billy Gibbons

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Keb Mo

Lightnin’ Hopkins

Steve Cropper

Taj Majal

Elmore James
Steve at the Rutledge in Nashville with the band (and
a good assortment of guitars). Duane Allman

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