B-Bender...What the heck does it do????

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by danlineberger, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. danlineberger

    danlineberger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    Macon, GA
    Just wondering what the B-Bender does...

    See it alot on teles (especialy ones held by country guitarists).
     
  2. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

    Messages:
    2,664
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK.
    It bends the B string on the guitar up a half or a whole tone, depending on how its been adjusted.
     
  3. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX y'all
    It helps the guitar player emulate a pedal steel, by playing a chord (or triad, or even just a pair of strings) and bending one string into a different chord or voicing...
     
  4. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    25,198
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    NorCal

    Heh heh. Now thats funny.



    I love my B Bender Tele. Not that I've mastered the bender aspect of it. Mine's set for a whole tone, and I quickly can get a feel for 1/2 step. Very effective in emulating pedal steel licks.

    I've thought of getting a second one as a g bender, but I can do most of those bends with my hands.
     
  5. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

    Messages:
    18,648
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dude Ranch Above The Sea
    I had one and sold it.

    It was the short throw though and I hear the long throws are much more steel-like.

    Problem is knowing when to employ the bender. A lot of guys over-do it and it just sounds gadety.

    Of course Brent Mason is the master of subtly using the b-bender and not over-doing it.
     
  6. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    US
    I have a friend who has a B-Bender Tele with a G-Bender Hipshot.
    Way too complicated for me.
    It's amazing the pedal steel sounds he gets out of it.
     
  7. danlineberger

    danlineberger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    Macon, GA
    Thanks for the explanation everyone! I have no particular need for one, but was just interested in expanding my musical horizons!

    Are country players generaly the only musicians that use the B-Bender?
     
  8. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    25,198
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    NorCal
    Nah, Jimmy Page used one a lot on the Zep album with 'All of my love' on it, and on the ARMS concerts with Clapton and Beck.
     
  9. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,653
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    The point of the B bender is to allow you to bend one note of a chord while holding all the others constant. They're mostly used to bend the 5 to the 6, or backwards, 6 down to the 5, or the 2 to the major 3 - those examples are a sound we all associate w/ country music. In other words, it's a pedal steel lick.

    There are lots of other examples - those ones are pretty common and they'd sound familiar - you've heard 'em before.

    Of course a B bender could be used for any kind of music, but if you were playing high gain, you'd have a hard time with the tuning throughout the bend - you'd hear a lot of almost-in-tune string 'beating' as you moved throu the range of the bend, so you mostly do it with a very clean sound.

    Very clean sounds are not the exclusive domain of Country music, but it's more common there than other idioms. I'm not saying it can't be used in other types of music, I'm only saying that it's commonplace in Country music, and less common in other idioms.

    Then again, if you're Brent Mason, you could probably play the entire album of "Dark Side of the Moon" with it and it's be wonderful.

    BTW, the B bender was 'invented' by Gene Parsons with help from Clarence White from the Byrds. The original was called, I believe the Parsons-White string bender.

    Dana O.
     
  10. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    Messages:
    23,009
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    Check out Greg Koch's instructional DVD Guitar Gristle, for some more rocking application of one. It doesn't sound like he's using one, but makes the lick impossible for a guitarist to figure out if they didn't see the DVD LOL
     
  11. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

    Messages:
    7,899
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    +1
    Greg makes it look effortless, with his total command of it.
     
  12. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Messages:
    1,685
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006

Share This Page