I'm transcribing a guitar solo, the one in a live version of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry."

At 4:25, he bends the 11th fret of the high e string up a full step, and right before he comes down, I think he hits the 14th fret, then comes back down on the 11th fret.

It's a pretty sick sound, but I have no idea how to do it smoothly. My first stab at it was to bend with the 2nd finger and fret with the pinky, but it is a stretch--first finger bend doesn't seem strong enough to get up a full tone. I also just thought about it while writing this, but does he tap the 14th fret with his picking finger to get it off that fast?



  • 2
    Sound like a whole-tone bend on the 16th fret on the B string and a short note on the same fret on the E string to me. It's not that difficult to play; you can use up to three fingers for the bend and your little finger for the note on the E string. Commented May 19, 2019 at 4:21
  • 2
    @Your UncleBob - sounds right! Doing it any other way won't be as smooth. Post your answer! C# seems a bit of an odd key...
    – Tim
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 6:49
  • @YourUncleBob That makes a lot more sense! I was coming into the lick (a few seconds before 4:25) from the G string 7th fret slide up to 10th fret and went to the 9th-11th fret on the B and E string for the little melody. It made figuring out that bend pretty awkward.
    – MKlinger
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 10:57
  • @Tim I assumed this question would get closed as off-topic for being about "transcribing (...) a particular song". Commented May 19, 2019 at 17:18
  • 1
    @YourUncleBob I'm thinking that this is just a technique question, which are on-topic, if I'm not mistaken. Don't see anyone VTCing yet, so if you want some credit, post now before you get snaked! :)
    – user45266
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


The most straightforward way to play this would be to do a whole-tone bend on the B-string at the 16th fret, and then play the E-string at the same fret during the bend. You can use up to three fingers to do the bend, and the bending motion actually moves the fingers out of the way for your little finger to fret the E-string, so it's quite easy to play it this way.

(The B string is also the string with the lowest tension when using a regular string set in standard tuning, so the larger a bend, the more likely it is played on the B string.)

This recording from the 1975 Natty Dread tour features Al Anderson on lead guitar. He was not Jamaican, but an American guitarist who had attended Berklee College of Music and played in a number of (blues-) rock bands before joining The Wailers in 1974. He added a more rock-tinged sound to the band, as is evident in this solo.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.