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Learning to bend up a half step and a whole step is an invaluable technique to learn. You should check yourself when learning to do this. For example, the note we bend on the 17th fret sounds exactly like the unbent note played on the 19th fret. To bend the 17th fret note in tune, first play the note on the 19th fret, then move to the 17th fret and bend that note up to match the note from the 19th fret. Bending the distance of two frets (17th to 19th fret) is a whole step bend. To check yourself for half step bends you only move one fret instead of two.
The other technique that we sneak into bending is vibrato. Using vibrato once you have bent a note is difficult since most of your muscle effort has been used to bend the note. Learn to bend first, then try to add vibrato after you've mastered bending. The results are well worth the effort.
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