I realize that some people who view this blog are not guitar players but just bloggers who happen to come across my page from time to time. For those few, I want to bring different insights about guitars and techniques that us players use that are invisible to most eyes and ears of music lovers! This topic may just bend your mind! (ok, that’s a bad one)
The tool that I wish to talk about is the “B-bender”. Basically, this devise bends a string a full tone (going from one note to the one directly above or below it) without having to use your fingers. It is also known as “The Third Hand”.
Ok, now imagine this if you will. Have you or have you ever watched someone pick any string on the guitar and then with another finger go to the head of the guitar (the part that you tune with) and push down on that same string that they hit? You would hear a bending or a sliding of a note, it would have sounded like a wah, wah like sound, didn’t it? Now that is what the B-bender device does but on the fly. The Pedal or Slide guitar is where the sound originates from.
This sound is just so relaxing to play. When I do through this lick in somewhere in a song, it has this calming effect on me and others as well I guess! The most popular song that show cases this is on the Eagles tune called “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, it’s the beginning guitar lick. Although I’m not a country player, I just love to throw this sound in just for some dramatic flare whenever I can!
The list of guitarist who use this type of device is a literal who’s who of guitar legends! Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards …
You get the picture now don’t you. BTW The image above is the schematics of this device.
This device was made by a man named Gene Sez in around 1966, but the main idea for this came from Clarence White. Clarence wanted to be able to deliver this effect but having it tied up to his guitar strap and soon it became guitar history! The first recording of this sound was when they were the house band at the Nashville West in El Monte in 1966. This CD is now considered by Guitar Player Magazine, “One of the top 20 essential country albums of all time.” Not bad of an idea now is it!
Keep on Jammin’ (or should I say bendin’?)