Everything you wanted to know about the B-Bender, a guitarist's ultimate secret weapon

Jimmy Page plays his B-Bender
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns)

I’ve always loved secret weapons—those clever little modifications, alterations, gadgets, whatever, that expand a guitar’s versatility or functionality without drastically altering its appearance. I’m talking about anything from an EVH D-Tuna to a four-way switch on a Telecaster to aftermarket titanium blocks in a tremolo.

For my money, however, the ultimate secret weapon is a B-bender. For the uninitiated, a B-bender is a device that lives in- or outside your guitar and allows you to pull—usually with some sort of arm, palm or hip movement—your guitar’s B string up a perfect whole step. So, an open B would become an open C#, a C (first fret on the B string) would become a D and so on—until, of course, you “release” the bender.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.