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Rock Guitar Lessons: Pentatonic Unison Bends

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[MUSIC]
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
I'd like to introduce to you the concept
of unison bends.
And unison means two notes that are the
same note.
So what's happening here is I'm playing a
note, but
I'm also bending to that same note, and
then playing the note.
So I'm sort of introducing the note with a
bend.
So it's, basically I'm working with the
same note,
but one is bent [SOUND] from underneath.
And one is just hit straight on [SOUND]
with no bend.
[SOUND] This is a popular guitar
technique, and it should be,
because it sounds great.
[SOUND] All right, let's attach this to
the rest of the lick [SOUND].
Now, first of all the next note is this
note.
[MUSIC]
We're getting both of these
with one finger.
[MUSIC]
And, this is just,
one of the most iconic, guitar solos there
could ever be.
[MUSIC]
That's in so many,
that's in the vocabulary of so many guitar
players.
It's, it's a very important rock & roll
tool.
[MUSIC]
To play that.
It was actually one of the very first
solos I ever played in my life.
I used to sit there and play that over and
over again when I was a kid.
And the challenge to it is how to pick it
because we're doing three strings.
[MUSIC]
And that's, that's challenges.
It's much more difficult to play on three
strings
than it is to stay on the same string.
So I'm doing my, actually my chord
arpeggiation technique where I play it
just the same way as if I were gonna
finger pick it.
[MUSIC]
So, that's down with a thumb and
then up, up with the first finger.
[MUSIC]
And I just simulate that with the pick so
I go down, up, up.
[MUSIC]
And you
wouldn't believe how much I played that
when I was first starting to play guitar.
I'd, I just did that all day for hours and
hours.
And I, plus I liked the way it sounded.
[MUSIC]
So,
if you get nothing else, you get a cool
lick there.
Let's see what I attach to it after that.
[MUSIC]
All right,
there's another bend in our future here.
[MUSIC]
There's another unison bend.
When I got to the top, the A note.
[MUSIC]
First I played it normally, but
then I bent up to it on the B string
underneath it.
[MUSIC]
Now, I'm using my pinky again.
So, I want to encourage the idea of
constructing the giant finger with all
your fingers put together and your pinky
is sort of leading the charge there.
[MUSIC]
One finger per fret if you can do it.
All right.
So, we're going down, up, up, down.
Fantastic.
Then I go down and do a pull-off.
Let me think of this whole phrase again.
[MUSIC]
This is such a good phrase.
[MUSIC]
Followed by two notes.
[MUSIC]
On two different strings.
Down, up.
[MUSIC]
And then we have.
[MUSIC]
Two more notes on two different
strings again.
[MUSIC]
So
this pattern is getting really used to
being able to jump from string to string.
And got a lot of notes that way.
So, we're not just staying on one string.
We're really jumping around between all
these top strings.
[MUSIC]
And
there's one little spot where our first
finger has to jump.
[MUSIC]
Right there.
[MUSIC]
You're,
that's where that first finger has to jump
up.
I don't want to bar it there.
[MUSIC]
So let's,
let's actually just take that section, cuz
this is really important.
I'm gonna go one, two, three.
[MUSIC]
Two, three.
[MUSIC]
Watch my first finger.
[MUSIC]
That's the move.
[MUSIC]
All right.
And, in context.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
There it is.
[MUSIC]
All right, and
as usual I want to put a rhythm in between
this.
And this one's just going to do a low G
note.
[MUSIC]
Muted and alternate picked.
I'm going down, up, down, up, down, up.
The same thing on the D note on the A
string.
And then A.
[MUSIC]
And that's using my A power chord.
[MUSIC]
And this second finger.
[MUSIC]
On the C note.
[MUSIC]
Down, up, down.
[MUSIC]
All right.
So, again, that's all the parts.
But let's play it real slow.
And for these bending licks,
playing it slow is really gonna it's, it's
just gonna develop fantastic technique.
Where you control how quickly and
how accurately you're gonna deal with
those bending pitches.
So let's try this slow.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
So I wanna try this.
I wanna do the solo part loud, and
then I'm really gonna try to bring the
rhythm part down whisper quiet.
It's really gonna show you control over
the dynamics.
Let's try that a little quicker.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Now we've covered the pick angle before,
but this is where it really comes into
play.
Where when you angle that pick forward,
you know, not at, not at this angle,
but, angled forward like that.
That's gonna give you that nice scratchy
sound.
[SOUND] So again your thumb is gonna need
to sort of bend forward.
Like that, that's gonna give you that nice
scratchy tone.
[MUSIC]
The one thing I
should say about that as well.
I'm using a fairly thin pick.
This is a 0.60 millimeter pick.
And sometimes if you try a really thick
pick, like a 2 mm,
it won't give you that scratchy sound.
That's one of the reasons I prefer the
thinner pick,
is it has more scratch potential.
[MUSIC]
A lot of scratch on that.
All right, let's speed this thing up.
We're ready to go.
We've practiced it.
And, I wanna rock this thing.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So
those are some great ways to do unison
bends.
But I wanna show you one more lick I came
up with.
And this one, I'm pretty excited about.
It's some really adventurous unison bends.
And it's in a different position.
So this time we're going to go up, still
in the key of A.
[MUSIC]
But I'm going to play the A.
[MUSIC]
Up here on the B string.
And I'm going to do a unison bend there.
[MUSIC]
And
the thing I want you to watch, is that the
space between my fingers is a whole step,
there's two frets between those two notes
that I'm playing.
And the reason I want you to watch that,
is because.
The rest of this lick is very shape
oriented.
By coincidence the notes are good too.
But it's one of those things that's really
easy to memorize because the shape
is symmetrical.
So we're going to begin with that whole
step stretch between the two fingers.
[MUSIC]
Now what I'm gonna do,
I'm gonna take, take each finger out a
fret.
So this one's gonna to go out this
direction.
This one's gonna go out in this direction
and then,
I'm gonna move to the top two strings and
play.
[MUSIC]
And that gives me a unison bend.
I'm just, and this time I'm just doing a
half-step bend.
[MUSIC]
The first one was a whole step bend.
[MUSIC]
So
I'm going between that whole step shape
and actually a major third shape.
That's there's, there's four pressing
between there.
So two frets and four frets back and forth
like that.
[MUSIC]
So the picking is up down or I'm
sorry it's down up the opposite down up
[MUSIC]
And down up.
[MUSIC]
There we go.
I got it now.
[MUSIC]
And the glorious thing is the next one.
[MUSIC]
Is also.
It basically, it just looks like this one
[NOISE] that we did, but
on the middle two strings [NOISE].
So let's, let's try going back and forth
between those.
[MUSIC]
All
the piano players are jealous now because
this, there's so much bending in this.
It's really got the nature of guitar, just
all, all, buried in that thing.
[MUSIC]
Now I
can kinda get stuck in their forever, so I
need to find an ending.
For our ending, let's go down.
[MUSIC]
I'm gonna take my first finger down
a whole step.
[MUSIC]
And for this note.
I just wanna do a half bend, so that
means.
[MUSIC]
That I'm gonna have a three fret stretch,
so I go from a two fret stretch here, to a
three fret stretch there.
Let's listen to what that sounds like.
[MUSIC]
This is a whole step.
[MUSIC]
This is a half step, so
you have to train your ears to listen for
it and your fingers.
So it adjusts to those different bends.
The last one, I'm gonna go all the way
down to the fifth fret,
same string, and do another union bend
with the whole step.
So all this together.
And then I'm just gonna end with two
notes.
[MUSIC]
All right so
let's see what this sounds like.
We're gonna go.
[MUSIC]
All right, that's pretty cool.
Lot of bending in there.
Let's do it, slow tempo and I'm gonna loop
it.
Let's check it out.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
I think you're going to get that easily
with the technique.
It's just a matter of being able to
visualize all of those changes.
And the first part is especially easy
because you can go from that
whole step shape the two fret stretch and
out to the four fret stretch like that.
It looks very symmetrical.
Okay, let's speed it up a little bit and
see how it sounds.
I am going to go one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
All right, let's see if I can get even
a little quicker.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Oh, That's pretty cool.
There's so many, so much bending in there,
so much soul.
One more time.
And again, this sounds good over A.
[MUSIC]
Or the a blues, A7.
[MUSIC]
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
One, two, three, four!
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]