The B-Bender Guitar, it’s a Nashville thing!

Posted by Bill Warmoth on

The B-Bender Guitar, it’s a Nashville thing!

If you have ever listened to the iconic guitar licks in the Eagles “Peaceful Easy Feeling” or Jimmy Page’s “All of My Love” with Led Zeppelin, you heard amazing guitar playing assisted by the expert use of a B-Bender. And there is nothing more Nashville than Marty Stuart’s “Hummingbyrd” on the Ghost Train “Studio B Sessions”.

The B-Bender has a long history of association with Nashville for a number of reasons. It was invented by percussionist Gene Parsons and guitarist Clarence White in 1968 as members in the band Nashville West. They originally called it the “Parsons / White Pull-String”, though eventually renamed it the “StringBender” (much more marketing appeal). Today it is widely known as the B-Bender.

The B string can be raised in pitch a full step by pulling the guitar neck down, as the strap is mounted to the upper strap button, operating the mechanical spring-loaded lever to bend the string.

There have been numerous variations over the years, with mechanical devices that bend one or more strings simultaneously creating sounds normally associated with a pedal steel. The most popular ones are the B and / or G Benders.

Today we credit Marty Stuart, Jimmy Olander (Diamond Rio), and Brad Paisley more closely associated with a panache of Country Music all their own, mastering use of the Bender in their playing styles.

Clarence White's 1956 Telecaster with the original “Pull-String” is now owned and played regularly by Marty Stuart, keeping the Nashville sound alive.

Joe Glaser’s B-Bender

One of the more well-known executions of the B-Bender was invented by Nashville’s own Joe Glaser. For more than 4 decades, Joe has operated a repair shop here locally, named Glaser Instruments. [Notably, as an early adopter of PLEK technology, Glaser Instruments is also the distributor for PLEK systems in North America.] Their shop is located in Berry Hill, just 10 minutes from our shop here in Wedgewood-Houston.

Joe was issued a patent for his Bender design in 1982.  The Glaser B-Bender has recently enjoyed renewed interest, with Fender Custom Shop recently issuing a Master Built limited edition Brent Mason Signature Model Telecaster.

Glaser B-Bender Strap Lever

By association, Joe’s team has been our go-to experts for repairs and advice when it comes to our core guitar brands. Glaser Instruments is well known and respected in the industry worldwide for guitar service to countless A-list players from around the globe.

You can add a Glaser B-Bender to any of our in-stock Fender Telecasters for an additional $650. Or you can choose to have one added to your existing Telecaster by visiting Glaser’s Bender website directly: https://www.glaserbender.com/

Thanks for reading!

Bill

Fender Custom Shop

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