A lot of my readers probably also know Marty Schwartz. I had never met Marty personally until just after the Play Crossroads competition several months back.

As it turns out, Marty and I only live about 90 minutes apart. We both have families with small kids, so finding time to get together wasn’t easy. But we did manage one day and did a couple of “mailbag” videos where we both answered some questions that we both commonly get.This first video is in regards to string bending, and a lot of the extra noises and chirps that come along with it.

As you can tell, we also just had a lot of fun jamming away before we started actually filming anything for real. And I included some of our noodling at the beginning of the video just because it was fun. Enjoy!

    104 replies to "String Bending Lesson With Marty Schwartz"

    • Rayford Maccauley

      How accomplish I alter the background resting on my blogspot including sidebars?

    • GBlanc

      Andrew very well done and your thought process and explanation was fantastic. I totally understood. I am taking lessons for about 6 months and my instructor gave a cursory explanation/demonstration on bending. My genere of expectiation is blues and jazz. I decided last night to get another instructor. After talking with other players, I am a shame to say he never discussed the scales in detail and certainly not the panatonic scale. He is a professional instructor which surprised me. Lesson learn not to sign up for 3 month i ntervals in the beginning. One month at a time until comfort zone or expectation is met. I will be checking other things from your website.

    • David Griffith

      I’ve bought courses from both of you over the last few years and barely got past the five blues patterns at fairly slow speed.
      The thumb is often easier to use than the plectrum but it’s all grist for the mill.
      Just played along to Marty’s Jam tracks for half an hour – which I try and do most days – and found that my scales ARE changing into notes.

      Just on that ‘nothing new under the sun’ and it’s all ‘begged, borrowed or stolen’ to some degree.
      One of your jam tracks, Marty – a southern soul blues in Dm – lent itself to melody and words, got recorded and an honourable mention in a competition ….. I just laid words over the top of it.

      So thanks for that. If you’re curious enough – here’s a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNfFUMadkwI&list=UU7_3W0rgd25t4zsZ4Akmz9w&index=11&feature=plcp

    • David Griffith

      what a joy it is to come to these videos.

      they’re always educational, fun and clear. The idea that ‘hard and fast’ rules don’t really exist regarding the position of the thumb or whether it’s ‘better’ to bend using the pinky or not, really helps…….. just like little lightbulbs going off.

      I also enjoy the interaction between you – both the playing and the talking.



      This has been fourteen minutes of music learning investment. Keep this quality up…. and with the ‘duo’ approach displaying different styles, you’ll take the tutor market.
      Nice one.

    • David Monson

      Great video, showing the basic mechanics of bending. Everybody bends alittle differently, but youre giving us more options. thanx guys!

    • Peter

      Great video guys! I have found both of your styles of teaching to be of great help. If I may ask, would the next logical video be on “why” we bend and “what” note you are bending to? How do you know when to stop bending a string? Is it a half step or whole step and how do you do this in time with the beat? Would like to get your input on that. Thanks! Keep up the great work.

    • Jeff

      these 2 people are awsome. They are truely an asset to the guitar community and to give hours and hours of their time helping people learn guitar is just incredible. Also I want to say keep up the good work and may the lord bless you all for your efforts. Thanks guys your great !!!!!!!

    • Douglas Collins

      This was just great to hear two great players showing how to get to the same goal from two different avenues. Thanks for taking the time.
      Doug Collins

    • Temple Weste

      great noodling
      great lesson
      really kind of you to gift us these.
      thanks, guys!

    • Tom Fassbender

      Griff/Marty, thanks for that info. on bending. I don’t. have a problem with bending but thought that my thumb over the top a little was bad. Good to see it doesn’t. matter. I enjoy all the extra help you provide

      Thanks Again,


    • Charlie Palin

      This guy looks a bit like Claude Johnson.
      He owes me 3 sets of strings and an amp.


    • mike krenz

      I like the part where the both of u were jamming the blues; f u could slow that down or somehow explain or illustrate that; its diff watching and learning as ur playing regular speed; tks mike

    • Danny


    • Chuck


    • robb

      Hey you two guys together GREAT

    • Wanda

      outstanding guitar teachers

    • Daddyman

      I want to say thanks to both of you. You guys happen to be my favorite internet teachers and I look forward to the e-mails you send. I’ve been playing guitar for a long time, but not very well. Thanks to the coaching you guys offer, I’ve begun to learn scales and understand the fretboard a little. I really appreciate the FREE advice that both of you offer and I also intend to buy some of your lessons in the near future. Keep up the good work!

    • jimmy

      great you guys together is fantastic

    • Jeff

      That is good stuff – thanks to both of you.

    • Craig

      Marty Schwartz?? I though that was Claude Johnson????



    • stormy

      wow you guys are good, thanks

    • Matthew

      Man O man…that was great !
      I subscribe to both of you guys and to see you together was awsome.
      I hope there will be more music duo’s coming. Great job!

    • Tom

      I loved it.I would buy CD’s from you two, if you made any. I just love your playing..such pro’s..with all the right sounds..thanks..Tom

    • Paul Zemit

      Hey Guys,
      Thanks for this video! Griff, I’ve been following you for a long while. And Marty, I’ve just started using your DVD’s, borrowed from my friend Hugh Imhof, on Music Theory. Great Stuff. I really enjoy the way both of you teach. The Other’s that we use are David and all the folks at Next Level Guitar. Both Hugh & I are in our 50s and just learning guitar. The beginning of this video will be real good at showing Hugh how two guys can play off of each other and improve on what we’re doing. Yes, we’re THAT early in our learning.:-) While I am a couple of years ahead of Hugh, you guys are great at helping me express to Hugh how NOT to make mistakes that I made early on. In the video, you mentioned about being able to do a whole hour on just Barr chords. That is where my main trouble is. But my trouble has to do with Osteo Arthritis in my thumb joints and I know that I’ll just have to keep going until I find ways around it. Swinging a brush in my trade for 30 years took a toll I didn’t expect. Anyway, You Guys Are Great! We Really appreciate what you do! And as The Economy improves, we will give you more bus as well!
      Be Well,
      Paul Zemit

    • Greg

      You know threw out the years I have noticed that sitting around BS-ing with others in the same field that are more experienced has been the source of learning the finer points of many applications mainly in work but in this case guitar. I really don’t have anyone around to play guitar with so guess what? You guys are the “elders in the group” to me. Thanks much I really enjoyed this video. Please let you hair down once in a while and do some more videos. Greg

    • Rod Clark

      Hi Guys, I have been jacking with this axe for some time and I’m not as good as I want to be and not as bad as I used to be thanks to you. Marty, I purchased your Guitar Soloing and it is great it has helped. My question is this “What would come just prior to the soloing tapes? Cause thats where I’m livin brudda! Between OK, yeh good and gettin it on… knowin and great. Thanks 4 all, Rod

    • jerzeejeff

      I was hoping you would go into a little more detail about choking a string bend (you talked about it in one of your videos). I’m still a little fuzzy about bending and then killing the note at it’s highest pitch. I think bends get a bit stale if you are always returning to the note you started the bend on.


      You & Marty are great together! I subscribe to both of your newsletters.

      Thanx! J.J.

    • Tom Dorsey

      Great lesson in bending. I set the action on my guitar higher because I was told that when bending a note the adjacent strings should go OVER my finger. I appreciate knowing that is not necessarily so. I believe I will lower the action back to where it was. It was more comfortable before. But the video was more than just that. It had good information all the way through. Thank you!

    • lawrence

      GOOD SOUNDS. Any chance of getting tabs to your lead?

    • Terry Dobie

      Luv Ya Marty!

    • Skip Paschall

      Good stuff

    • Sparky Collins

      Very good!!!

    • John Hare

      I Like, I like, I Like ect.

    • Bud Palmer

      Its cool you two got together I learn a lot from both of you .

    • KenR

      Nice to see and hear you guys together. You should do more together- making music I mean- as you are both deservedly popular and you both simplify playing for those of us with much less talent!

    • Brian Pfeiffer

      I’m on both your mailing lists and on FB, and you are my main two “go to” guys, I’m retired on a fixed income, and even though you both offer courses, you both still give a ton of totally free tips that are greatly appreciated, thank you both!!

    • james c walkef

      I love it send more

    • Grant Hopkins

      you folks sound good-you enjoy the Tele-sound- it can be typical Fender and multi-coil thicker-sorta humbucker feel-this paralysis is a bitch- back in the old days-find a rubber ball squeeze the heck out of it doing patterns of finger combinations

    • John

      Awsum.. bending and blues

    • Jim

      Hi Griff:

      Great as always. Even when I clip my nails close on my left hand, I keep “hooking” the string above the string I’m bending.

      Any suggestions for that?

      Thank you..

    • Robert Foster

      Awesome guys follow you both regularly
      Great to see you together

    • Rob

      Very good and inspiring will be great to see more.

    • Bear

      I would like to be able to play like that

    • john melton

      very good,would like to see more of the same.

      thanks john

    • Don

      Excellent! What’s cool you both have your on styles, great stuff!

    • mc

      You should play together more often awsome!

    • Tom

      I have been receiving e-mails from both you guys for about a year and the fact that you have met and are shooting videos together is awesome! Please keep them coming.

    • dave

      good stuff boys
      keep it comming

    • Terry Henney

      Hi Griff

      I feel like I know you! I’ve got all your lessons (so helpful) but there are so many that I get overwhelmed looking for specific items I wish to work on.

      I am an intermediate player and I would really like to be able to play lead riffs freely up and down the fret-board octave to octave from the 1st fret to the 20th just like you guys( in this video with Marty)

      Which of your lessons would be best for me to start and follow through to the end, to emulate what I just enjoyed so much, you’ve inspired me all over again and I just gotta be able to do that.

      and thanks a million


    • Marsha

      Griff.. I don’t play gutar worth a hoot yet.. Thanks for making these videos available. There inspiring!

    • Marsha

      Griff… I just turned on your video & my dog (Great Pyrenees) ”really” took a liking to it. As soon as you started to play.. he thew his head back, his jaw softened and he mellowed out in said position for a long period of time. 🙂 Just thought you might want to know.. My dog loves your music too. Marsha

    • Big Dan

      Nice lesson. It’s all about practice. I’m still not happy with my bend sound, but it is getting better.

    • Dennis Wright

      These lessons are of little value to me. Due to compression problems the videos stop every 3 to 5 seconds and take 20 to 30 seconds to begin again. Please fix this if you can.

    • Mike

      The two best teachers online. Thanks guys.

    • Dave Blucher

      The more the merrier of this.

    • Dave Blucher

      Two of my favorite ether-pickers. I’m always eager to get the mail for my riff supply.


    • Rob

      Good lesson indeed, I am working on improving muffling the non-bend strings myself. I would suggest a few more close-ups of player’s hands on both lead and chords for us learners. One thing I have noticed on bends… many players bend to notes OUTSIDE the scale, which sounds … off. Just a thought.

    • bill wood

      like your teaching style. have bought several dvd “s already . keep up the good work. I can tele you enjoy what you do. thanks bill

    • Russ Beston

      Good stuff,

    • richard

      hi guys,thank you both for all your free lessons.great to see you both together.must admit,im struggling to find time to apply your methods at moment.5 young kids here in oz,so time is at a premium.my dad played in a blues band yrs ago,mouth organ unfortunately.peter green was my hero.dad played with the who a few times,but never the mac.could you do some early mac stuff.thanks for everything.

    • Bruce

      Hey guys ..great job!! I,ve been playing for a while and been watching both of you for some time now…Wow my two favorite teachers at the same time!!!!!!!!!! Both you guys have helped me out
      a lot..thanks

    • Pablo Amador

      so good to see and hear two different opinions who share their wisdom on the licks of guitar, so noble and fun!! Thank you Marty and Griff

    • nash

      thats was awesome…thanks for the lesson…make my day…nice seeing you and Marty working together Griff…more lesson?

    • Mike Trippi

      Simply fantastic, any chance you have this jam tabed, I would gladly pay for it.

    • guitar mark

      the contrast of the Gibson VS. the Fender is just simply worth living for, isn’t it? You guys make me just want to Jam Like CRAZY! I would write more, but I am going to grab another brewski and continue practicing and thanking God for you both!

    • Randy

      In the vast YouTube world of beginner guitar lessons it’s a small world considering you two guys are the ones I always use. Thank you both for your time and effort!


      WOOHOO!! awesome pair of aces,make us rockout !!!ty luv ya guys thanks again:)

    • peter spencer

      thanks griff,thanks marty.its great seeing you both working together and taking the time to teach us all.

    • Shawn LaMaster

      I also follow both of you online…..it’s a good combination. Thanks for taking the time to put this out there.

    • Rubz

      It’s not everyday that we see two excellent guitarists collaborate. I have been visiting both of your sites many times over & I’m impressed. Yeah, it would be nice if your jamming is tabbed. Thanks for generously sharing your talents. Keep rocking…

    • Ron

      I could listen and watch you guys all day long, thanks for taking the time for us mortals.
      Keep rocking.

    • edwin

      i really appreciate your efforts to share what you guys have.. this is very noble thing to do… God speed

    • joe medina

      you guys are soooooooooooo cool.thanks a lot.regards funky joe.

    • Michael

      I am very impressed with both of you. Not only do you both take the time to patiently teach us what we need to know but you actually got together to help us as well. It took me a while to get them porch blues down but this gives me the confidence to get a better handle on the bending techniques. I think the key word to mostly everything is practice. Can’t get worse practicing more!

    • Alvaro

      Well Griff, that was just too good, i loved it. It is great to see true musicians meeting and doing what they love, i am very proud of you being my teacher and i am sure your lessons will be of great help, will let you know how i get on! thank you for your support and for keeping us all motivated.



    • mike

      Way cool guys. You guys really inspire me to continue on my fretboard journey. I can’t help of thinkin’ of Stevie Ray with all that string bendin’ you guys are awesome

    • zharth

      I would love to hear you two talk about barre chords for an hour. 😉

    • Mike Trippi

      Any chance of getting the Tabs from string bending with yourself and Marty Schwartz?

    • Les

      l hate you two guys with a passion and am planning a kidnapping
      on you to place you firmly in southampton uk!Thats where you should be!! haha only kidding but your my most favourit tutors on the net.lve heard loadsa o’others
      but none have have been as easy to follow than you.great stuff! keep on twangin’the blues!superb stuff!!!

    • Kevin Grace

      Watching these vids has helped me tremendously. I have been noodling on the guitar for some 25 plus years (though more like 10 years on the electric) so the fingers are strong and with tidbits of technical stuff thrown my way, I have occasional forays into decent sounding jams with friends. My biggest challenge is, mostly, but not entirely, from a lack of practice. I often hit blank spots in the midst of jamming and really appreciate the subtle technique and trick suggestions.

      My only complaint is that you all make it look so easy and that can be discouraging. And that my friends is really more an observation of my guitar “work ethic” than anything.

      Thanks for improving my playing and it was fun to watch the two of you play.


      Kevin G in CA

    • Anthony

      Marty just put up a video for a BBbox blues (BB King) . He says it is an extension of A minor pentatonic but it has a F# and a B in it. I’m confused.

    • Bob Stimson

      Both you guys are great! After watching this video I went an picked up my guitar to see what bend techniques I use and while I never thought about it while I was playing or watching your many videos, I discovered that what I do for bends on the G or D string is about 1/2 push up with 2 fingers (as you guys do) and 1/2 pull them down with 1 or 2 fingers, depending on where I am going next. For me, pulling down is quite easy for some reason. Any comments on this idea? BTW Happy Holidays!

    • david

      cool man ive been watchin marty on you tube

    • Mark

      Fantastic instructors both of you. I have learned so much from you two and David Taub. My next interest is working and learning the caged system. In July I had the opp to buy an instruction set from you or Marty. Let me say I feel your playing was more precise IMHO. But at the time I felt Marty’s set had a better sales pitch. I bought his and it is great. Next one I buy will definately be from you. You two are a fantastic duo. Keep up the great work you guys are an inspiration to all of us. Merry Christmas

    • ElusiveRick

      ONE Point !
      I tune to E Flat, something I picked up from Dennis Dullea, if you don’t know of him he’s well worth checking out for blues lessons, I find this makes my bends easier, less string breakage, just my 2 cants worth.
      Thanks for this guys, I likewise follow both you crew online & owe you two a load of gratitude for so many helpful lessons.
      2 WORLD FAMOUS Guitar Virtuosos in the one video, bargain !

    • RichS


    • gerry

      Very cool, i would like to see David Taub to in that team:)

    • pat

      excellent duo playing and both great and especially inspirational teachers

    • donnyboy

      I have learned more from the two of you than I have from anyone else. (other than Mel) I began trying to play about 26 months ago and have, according to my wife, become an addict. Thank you both for helping my addiction.

    • Gary Thompson

      Vary glad to watch on you tube and I have a banjo! and am also interested in learning to play, not vary many teachers out there? at least what I have looked for. I live in the Auburn ca, and can not find a teacher,would you be able to give me some names of anyone who teaches.

    • Ramsey Horton

      From the perspective of an old pro keyboardist, you two guys are undoubtedly the two best guitar instructors online today. There are many great players around, but very few great players who are also great teachers. It is both a real treat and a positive reinforcement learning experience when we get to see and hear the two of you interact together.

    • anne stansell

      This was great to hear. I subscribe to both of your sights, and have been pleased with the level of knowledgeable instruction on each of your sighs.
      Anne Stansell
      (beginning to intermediate classical guitar teacher)

    • Graham

      Both you guys are so so good i would love to see more of the two doing
      Mors lessons together the jam at the start of the video is just so Awesome
      Rock on love it

    • aqua

      Both you guys are great and really compliment each other. I ‘d love to see you do more lessons together, maybe one on barre chords which I’m still struggling with.

    • Martyeddie

      Awesome way to teach great techniques!
      I do have a question. How do you play without a guitar strap? Is it a good idea to promote playing without one?

    • John Freiberger

      OMG, Griff! This is too cool. My two fav online guitar teachers jamming together. You & Marty sound awesome together!! 🙂

      ~ John

    • loris

      Fantastic OK. Loris from Suisse. Bravo.

    • Paul

      Great blues feel, you’re both the best. I like your lessons very much. Hope you hang more videos together, playing and teaching.

    • Mark

      Wow. Too cool. Nice to see the different styles.

      Thanks for the great videos.

    • Robin Piggott

      Marty n’ Griff examine the floppy syndrome! Awesome jam at the start of the video which is, I have to say also Awesome! Of course having a pair of the best Axes on the Planet is a great help.Keep up the great work guys
      Thank You
      Wrinkly Rider (that’s not my real name!)

    • jeanine mangelsen


    • Theo Ras

      for goodness sake what’s wrong with you boys , you sick man, just love it alot thank you for your time and dedication.you have no idea how it is appreciated.
      feel all inspired again.

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