Suggestions on How to Learn B-Bender Guitar

Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by Rockerfeller, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I've been playing B-bender style guitar for years. I have to admit that most of my learning has been by trial and error and I can pretty much figure out the "typical" bender style licks. Recently, I watched a live performance of Marty Stuart playing "Running Kind" and I learned a cool new bender idea for myself.

    I can learn anything by ear, but some of the really cool Bender stuff is puzzling to me. It would help if I could see it and hear it. There doesn't seem to be much out there in terms of lessons, videos, or books, but maybe I am missing something.

    Do you fellow Bender-holics have any suggestions?
     
  2. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought the B Bender Extreme lessons by Doug Seven. Im assimilating small pieces gradually. For me most of it is extreme.

    My mission is probably different than yours. I’m not trying to emulate any particular player, or emulate steel guitar. I work up a few songs with a ton of bending, a lot of songs with moderate amount of bending and maybe 1/3 with no bending.
     
  3. rod

    rod TDPRI Member

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    There are number of things on youtube, which vary in quality. I would suggest checking out Bob Warford, especially the" Bender Instruction Album" he did for Gene Parsons. There was a concert with the Everly Bros., in Australia as I remember, that has Bob playing a lot of bender stuff. He did sessions with Chris Hillman, Linda Ronstadt, Ian Matthews, Herb Peterson and others. He is certainly worth listening to.

    The Clarence White forum is not very active, but there are some tabs of his work there. Unfortunately, the audio clips seem to be dead.

    There was a booklet, with cassette, called "Hipshot Supercharged Guitar" by Charles Crews. It contains some good moves, but I don't know where one could find a copy now as it was done in 1985.

    My other suggestion would be to buy the "Amazing Slow Downer" program so you can listen to licks that you are interested in, at pitch, but at a slow speed.

    I've had benders for years and they are a lot of fun. Hope some this will be of help.
     
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  4. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Theres also an 18+ minute recording of Clarence warming up before a concert...its on youtube, audio only, no video...lots of licks there...

    There isn't much "how to do it" bender instructional material...Doug 7, and a couple other...most of the learning is sitting down and working things out...a lot of "learn this break and then never play it again" stuff, fitting in what you learn into other tunes...
     
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  5. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    G'day Don,

    I'm drawing a blank on that one. Any hope of a link?

    Rockerfeller - you'll find some useful listening at http://www.bbenderguitars.com/mp3/

    I may be wrong but I think one or two TDPRI members are behind that (Brian F? Silverface?).

    Thanks

    Matt
     
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  6. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Let me see i I can find it..it was there....
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  7. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, Don, what do you reckon the chances of that happening would be?

    (For what it's worth, I've got one of Gene's long-throw clevis around here, too.)
     
  8. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I know there are some great recordings out there. Thanks for the tips. There is one album in particular that really got my Bender attention going, and that is Dwight's album "Blame the Vain." We played that song in my band and when I had to figure out how to play some of those licks I realized that I needed a B-Bender!
     
  9. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Matt...did you get the whole thing?..its about 18 1/2 minutes and I noticed the file at the link above is much shorter....

    Ive been playing is a classic country band...lots of 70s-80s-early 90s stuff...Haggard, George Strait, etc...and I get a kick out of fitting bender licks into songs that didn't have them in the original versions....and they often fit real well...its a change from the cosmic cowboy country rock that attracted me to the bender..but kind of an exercise in "what would Clarence...or Bob Warford, or Bernie Leadon, or John Beland play?"....one thing about bender guitar is you don't want to overdo it...sometimes its just a bend at the end of a phrase...I think doing this...trying to fit what I know into these other songs has been as educational as any instructional material Ive worked with....
     
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  10. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    Will Ray has a video called (B-Bender Mania) which has a lot of great stuff on it... He uses a Hipshot but it can all be played on any brand of bender..........JH in Va.
     
  11. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Getting back to the original postings, I read them and think I get what the OP was talking about...Clarence, and Bob Warford, and to a degree, Marty Stuart, have a way of playing the dissonance...sometimes a b7-I type move, sometimes something else.......maybe on a chimed harmonic. The break on "Deportee" was sort of my "ah-ha" moment on that...where it goes to the IV....the intro to "You Aint Going Nowhere" can have it too depending on who is playing it and when.......a Bb to C move on the C chord....(as an aside Marty Stuart does a great version with Roger McGuinn...Marty's take on the intro in in my "to learn " file)....

    I get some mileage out of chiming the open G string harmonic at the 12th fret while bending into an A chord C#-E diad on strings 1 and 2....basically another b7-I move....

    Again, there's no real instructional stuff that will show you how to do it, but rather its working out the licks and fitting them in...the use of the dissonance is one of those things that makes bender guitar sound unique and "wild"....and is a tough nut to crack....
     
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  12. BladeStratford

    BladeStratford TDPRI Member

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    Rockerfeller - If it's B-Bender video lessons you are seeking that's exactly what I offer on my YouTube channel called: "TheBenderBunker" I currently have 13 Bender lessons posted there and add 2 to 3 new ones each month. I would suggest starting with the main video that shows up when you first visit the page "Unlocking the Twangbox" and taking it from there. All Bender lessons are also collected in their own playlist on the channel for easy access. I also post non-bender Tele Twang lessons as well for those without benders. And did I mention....it's Free! Stop by the channel when you can and check it out. Thanks!

    Direct Link to: TheBenderBunker

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC189x863UVL2xS84WgLqq1w
     
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  13. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Oops..not a b7-I move..its a 2-3 move over a b7
     
  14. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I checked out The Bender Bunker. Man, you are hilarious and have great stuff. Thanks for the tips!
     
  15. string pull

    string pull Tele-Meister

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  16. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the things that really helped me was I would go and learn pedal licks from 6 string players that were using their fingers for the bend. Then I would implement them on my bender.
    One suggestion I might make, if you haven't already figured this out for yourself, is to listen to Kenny Vaughn on the Marty Stuart show.
    On songs like the Running Man, and others he plays almost solely PSG licks and I have picked up a TON of stuff from him.
    Grab your six string and figure them out, then move to the bender.
    You'll find your muscle memory is better and they are easier to remember.
    Just a suggestion.
     
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  17. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    There a lots of good YouTube tutorials these days.
    I’d suggest listening to pedal steel guitarists.
    You can get a lot of good inspiration from them, too.
    Years ago, Clarles Crews had a very good cassette tutorial, marketed by Hipshot.
    Ancient History, I know.
     
  18. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

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    My route almost 30 years ago was via seeing and talking with Jerry Donahue at the 1988 NAMM and listening to “ Telecasting”, then all the Bob Warford recordings I could find, especially the Michael Dinner album, and Jimmy Olander, and seeing Will Ray at the Palomino and then the first Hellecasters show there. Particularly useful also were the Donahue instructional video and various transcription books from him and Return of the Hellecasters. It was the immersion technique.
     
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  19. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    I LOVE Kenny and Marty and I listen to them a lot and have learned from both of them. I have learned a lot just watching Marty on his TV show. I talked my band into playing "The Running Kind" just so I could learn and steal every B-bender lick Kenny and Marty play on that song and there are a lot of great ones!

    Youtube now has a setting that lets you slow down the video's in pitch and that has helped a lot. I can hear what he is doing, and see him doing it. It is great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  20. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    Back when I was learning how to play guitar, there was no Youtube, no internet and no videos. You had to see someone do it, have someone show you how to do it in person, or figure it out by listening to the recordings. Of course, that has changed. But learning how to play B-bender guitar is still that way. Maybe that is why not many people do it. It is still kind of an "old world" kind of thing
     
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