Blues legends Robert Johnson and Lemon Jefferson were the first guitarists to explore the world of string bending. During their time, electric guitars were still not present. Therefore, their progress was not that fast.
Obviously, electric guitars are better for bending compared to their acoustic counterpart. The main reason for this is the sustain. The longer the sustain, the more bends you can do.
When electric guitars became available during the later part of the 1950s, bending became a core playing style of many guitarists. And until now, such trend still continues.
Because of the invention of electric guitars and string bending, the status of the guitar was elevated. Originally, a guitar's function is just for rhythms. Now, it became a lead instrument. And there are no instruments today that can take that limelight.
In fact, guitars even superseded pianos as the primary solo for various blues pieces.
Of course, the revolution of string bending didn't stop there. Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King were among the luminaries of the guitar industry that took bending to another level.
Today, you can say that string bending is the soul and trademark sound of many electric guitars. It is something that you cannot overlook.
If you want to become a guitar aficionado, then it is a must to learn string bending. It is not enough that you can play your guitar. You must be able to make it sing, too.