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What is a Cobendent?

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

In the last blog post, we proposed that it may be helpful to establish something similar to what pedal steel players call a “copedent”— except specifically geared toward 6 string multiple-bender guitar player setups.

As an example of the usefulness of such a chart: The famous guitar that Marty Stuart and Clarence White have both owned uses multiple Benders. In our research, we found that originally Clarence White preferred the b-bender strap actuated, and he also used Keith Banjo Tuners to accommodate for a quick retune to Open G. Marty Stuart has since changed the location of one of those Banjo Tuners to better fit his needs. He also had Ralph Mooney add a plunger bender to lower the small E string.

Another example is that Jimmy Olander’s famous Maybelle guitar is setup somewhat unconventionally with the g-bender actuated via the strap lever and the b-bender actuated via a lanyard.

These setup differences provide insight to not only the equipment specification but also may provide insight to the string bending nuances we hear in our favorite songs.

Since the term copedent is a portmanteau of “chord pedal arrangement,” I propose we use a similar portmanteau to describe when a 6 string guitar player is using multiple string benders: cobendent = “chord bender arrangement.”

We've set out to create a cobendent resource bank which is now available here on the 3Bender website.

In addition to the charts, a list manufacturers, types of actuators, types of levers and other string bending devices is provided. These lists can be updated as necessary. Please let us know if you see opportunities to improve this info.

You will notice that we have a few gaps in the info for some of the artists. For example, we are not privy to the string gauges used by Clarence White, Marty Stuart or Phil Baugh. If you have information that can help us complete or correct the charts, give us a shout. Also, if you want to submit a Cobendent to be listed here, please feel free to send them over. You can reach us at

This is potentially a new language we are creating, a new way of documenting the art of string bending. We would appreciate your input/feedback and any constructive criticism.

Our goals are:

  • To properly identify the nomenclature that string benders use

  • To properly identify for the historical record all means of mechanical string bending that are associated with 6 string guitars. (I am using “6 string guitar” as a general term; a string bender could be applied to 7 or 8 string guitar.)

  • To properly document for the historical record the cobendents used by artists, in general, and/or on a specific song

  • To inspire string bending creativity, especially related to alternate tunings, new string pitch changes, chord construction and chordal bending

  • To improve the way we communicate this form of music

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