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Try these Slash, Brad Paisley and Brent Mason-style oblique string bends and bring a new sound to your guitar solos

Slash
(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Guitar lessons (opens in new tab): most guitarists use basic string bends, but this signature Slash (opens in new tab) and Brent Mason (opens in new tab) move will bring a new sound to your solos.

Oblique bends are played with two notes simultaneously: one string is bent up whilst another stays where it is, un-bent. Often heard in rock ‘n’ roll, blues-rock and country music, players such as Brent Mason (opens in new tab)and Brad Paisley (opens in new tab) often play oblique bends and Slash makes use of their lazy, drawling sound in solos from Sweet Child O’ Mine and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.

The usual way to play these bends is to fret the upper note with your fourth finger and execute the bend with your third. However, it is difficult to bend the string with your third finger alone, so try adding your free fingers to the string for a heftier push.

1. Fret away

Bending

(Image credit: Future)

Fret two notes on adjacent strings. 

Bend the string 

Bending

(Image credit: Future)

Use either your second and third or third and fourth fingers to make the bend easier. 


Southern rock bends 

Click top right of tab to enlarge

(Image credit: Future)
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Use your fourth finger to play the 15th fret and your third finger to play the 14th fret. As this will force your hand into quite a straight position on the neck, it is important to keep your first three fingers on the third string to spread the load of the bend across the hand.


Bend it like Brent Mason 

Click top right of tab to enlarge

tab

(Image credit: Future)

This pedal steel-inspired lick is inspired by country players like Brent Mason and is played in three positions on the neck, which will get you used to the various string tensions higher and lower on the guitar. Pay attention to bending the string in tune, which should be exactly a tone each time. 

Learn more: 5 guitar tricks you can learn from Slash (opens in new tab)

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