||What is the B-Bender?
Occasionally, Fender is asked if it still offers a Telecaster model equipped with something called a B-Bender. The answer is yes. It's called the American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster. Released in 2000, it incorporates the latest version of an unusual device with an interesting history that dates to the late 1960s.
The B-Bender is a mechanical device that is adjustable to not raise the pitch of the Telecaster's B string at all, raise it by a half step (up to C), or raise the Telecaster's B string by a whole tone (up to C#), producing plaintive, sinuous bends very much like those produced on a pedal steel guitar. This is accomplished by spring-loaded levers inside the guitar’s body, which connect the bridge to the strap button on the upper bout. The strap button itself is attached to a lever that moves up and down about an inch. When you wear the guitar over your shoulder and you push the neck downward, the guitar strap pulls the strap button upward, activating the lever system and raising the pitch of the B string.
If the whole concept of the B-Bender sounds a bit strange, keep in mind that you’ve very likely heard it before. You might not own a copy of the Byrds’ Live at the Fillmore: February 1969, which features Clarence White’s sterling use of the B-Bender, but you probably have heard All My Love by Led Zeppelin and Peaceful Easy Feeling by the Eagles, both of which feature a B-Bender. Other guitarists who have put a B-Bender to good use include James Hetfield, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), Mike Campbell, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and David Gilmour.