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Thread: Need advice on bending strings!!!!

  1. #1
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    Angry Need advice on bending strings!!!!

    I have hit a wall when it comes to bending strings. My problem appears to be twofold:

    1) Pitch - I have a very difficult time controlling my bends. I can not seem to hit 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 bend when just jamming. When I practice I can play the note then bend into it, for example I play a D several times then play a C and bend it to a D. I have even tried practicing bends with a tuner, playing a C and bending it into a D. But when jamming I just can't seem to hit it. Any advice or practice tips?

    2) When to bend- this is my other problem and I think I may be thinking too much into it. Here are a couple of things I have noticed. To me it sounds good to bend a 7 into the root, the root into a 2 and release back to the root, bending the 4 into a 5 or bending a 5 into a 6 and releasing back to a 5. Does this make any sence? Am I even close on this one.

  2. #2
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Here are some tips:

    1) practice bending in time with a metronome. Play all your standard bending licks and make sure you hit the target pitch when you do this. Start out really slow. This is a really hard exercise to do well! It is great for your ears too.

    2) When you bend a note you should have a good reason for doing it. It's more than just "I think I need to do some bends now!" It's all about playing a certain note. Sometimes you'll want to bend to hit that note, sometimes you slide into it, or scoop from the whammy bar, etc. It might be a good time to review some of Guni's articles on theory!

    Hope this gets you going in the right direction!

    You have the right idea on your bends (getting chord tones, etc)
    -Bizarro
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  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    And also, thereīs an article coming up about bending and vibrato... should be online very soon, so stay tuned !!!

    Eric

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    Originally posted by EricV
    And also, thereīs an article coming up about bending and vibrato... should be online very soon, so stay tuned !!!

    Eric
    That's nice, because if there is one thing I'm having trouble with it's bending WITH vibrato! Bending is quit easy for me, but making the bend note howl, is almost impossible. I just don't know which muscles to use, it seems, and another problem is that I don't know what to do with the strings I'm bending towards: they always get in the way...

    Let's say I bend the B string. Now where should my bending fingers end up: above the G string or under it...? Both is possible. You can't bend without touching the other strings, can you...? When I just bend it doesn't really matter (the strings are muted either way) but when I try a vibrato... things go wrong.

    I'm currently working with (amongs others) Stetina's Heavy Lead Guitar and he;s got those nice howling bend notes. Beatifull! I always get lifeless bend notes, or a whole lot of extra noises from the other strings... It's the difference between a really rocking heavy guitar and and er... amateur guitar. All I play sounds prety nice, but it never sounds like a heavy lead guitar because I miss those nice notes. Bends and vibrato's are VERY important when it comes to rock guitar, so not being able to do them right is pretty lame...

    Well, anyway, in short (my wife says I always talk too much when I'm excited about something...) I can hardly wait fot the article!

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Practice playing scales where you bend to each note from the note below then fret the note you just bent to. Do this with a metronome, it will really help make your bends in tune.
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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by hellogoodbye
    That's nice, because if there is one thing I'm having trouble with it's bending WITH vibrato! Bending is quit easy for me, but making the bend note howl, is almost impossible. I just don't know which muscles to use, it seems, and another problem is that I don't know what to do with the strings I'm bending towards: they always get in the way...

    Let's say I bend the B string. Now where should my bending fingers end up: above the G string or under it...? Both is possible. You can't bend without touching the other strings, can you...? When I just bend it doesn't really matter (the strings are muted either way) but when I try a vibrato... things go wrong.
    Are you reading my mind or something? I'm having almost exactly the same troubles. I get lots of noise off the other strings when I bend, and the notes don't howl for me either, which is the big difference. Sometimes my fingers get caught under the strings I'm bending towards, which is not good. Often, when I'm releasing a larger bend (say a full bend), my fingers are pulling on the adjacent string(s) on the way back down. I get the feeling this is something that just comes with time, because when I watch my teacher, he doesn't do anything special to keep out of the way of the other strings, but his bends are silky smoothe. I'm hoping it's just a practice thing, otherwise I'm doomed!

    Also, the other problem I have with bends... I have pretty decent calluses. Nothing gives me finger pain any more. Nothing except practicing on some part of a song with lots of bends. They really cut my fingers up. I get the feeling I'm pressing too hard on the strings when I'm bending, but if I don't the note gets muted out and everything goes wrong. And I've got 9s on the guitar, so I can't blame the strings

  7. #7
    Registered User loveguitar's Avatar
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    Originally posted by potshot
    Are you reading my mind or something? I'm having almost exactly the same troubles. I get lots of noise off the other strings when I bend, and the notes don't howl for me either, which is the big difference. Sometimes my fingers get caught under the strings I'm bending towards, which is not good. Often, when I'm releasing a larger bend (say a full bend), my fingers are pulling on the adjacent string(s) on the way back down. I get the feeling this is something that just comes with time, because when I watch my teacher, he doesn't do anything special to keep out of the way of the other strings, but his bends are silky smoothe. I'm hoping it's just a practice thing, otherwise I'm doomed!

    When I bend the strings, my fingers more often goes below the strings rather than above them. I use my wrist and a bit of fingers to bend and release the strings quickly to sound the vibrato.

    To prevent noise, I use my right palm to mute the upper strings when I bend.

    I also do regular string bending with vibrato at different places of the guitar neck to strengthen my wrist and fingers.

    Hope it helps.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by loveguitar
    When I bend the strings, my fingers more often goes below the strings rather than above them.
    Is this the common way, or is it just go with what works for you?

  9. #9
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    The muting technique will be discussed in the article as well... both hands can be used to mute adjacent strings, and in the article, I tried to explain how.
    Should be online soon
    Eric

  10. #10
    Registered User loveguitar's Avatar
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    Originally posted by potshot
    Is this the common way, or is it just go with what works for you?
    Frankly I don't know what's the common way. If I bend above, I feel as if the strings will silp.

    Eric's upcoming article will probably explain bending better.

  11. #11
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    FYI: the article will go online later on today I just gotta double check a few things ....

    G.

  12. #12
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    And live it is

    Bending Steel

    Thanks Eric for this wonderful article - great work!!! - and of course thanks to Thorsten as well

  13. #13
    Thanks a lot guys for having me on! Itīs always fun...

    TK

  14. #14
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    Great, thanks for the article!

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