Bends can use either the third or fourth finger. Most people use the third finger because of the weakness in the fourth finger. Fourth finger bends often lie in the patterns better. Either way, place several fingers on the string to facilitate the bends. Hold the hand firm and bend with the wrist. If necessary, use the neck as a pivot against the first finger. Try starting near the 12th fret where the strings are looser.
This is a whole step bend because it bends two frets. A half step bend would be one fret.
And proficient benders sometimes do greater intervals
A release bend starts on the bent note and then relaxes down.
Bends are releases often happen together.
Listen to “Black Magic Woman” by Santanta for some great bends.
On the first and second strings, bends must go toward the ceiling, but on the middle strings, bending toward the floor may be easier on the fingernails.
Bending to a note already played helps find the pitch and sounds good. Then try playing with the other notes in the scale, like adding this dissonant note while holding the bend
Or this chord tone while holding the bend, then releasing.
Double stops can also bend.
Check out “Gimme Three Steps” by Lynyrd Skynyrd for some nice double stop bending.
The tremolo bar is effective for smooth bends. A floating tremolo bar can bend up or down, while a fixed tremolo bar just bends down. To simulate an up bend on a fixed tremolo, just press the bar down before picking the note. Eddie Van Halen used that trick a lot even with a floating bar.
Pressing on the strings near the tuning machines produces an interesting bend for small intervals and microtones. Bending the neck back and forth also produces some small pitch changes.