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> The Riddle Of Steel
bryanmoore
post Jun 20 2011, 03:38 AM
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Greetings fellow GMC classmates.

Just thought I'd post my two cents on string bending since I'm really start to get the hang of it.

You know how you read where pros say try to hold on to the string as lightly as possible while bending? Just enough tension to keep the string pressed to the fretboard? Don't listen to them.

The problem with this advice is it is mostly coming from guys who learned how to bend at a very early age. It's almost like second nature to them.

I think the key to getting the hang of it is in a firm three finger grip and a relaxed wrist. I've read where Jerry Arcidiacono mentions this (about the wrist that is). Learn to keep your wrist very relaxed and even experiment with an over-exaggerated grip on the strings. In time you will learn how to relax your grip a bit, but the important thing is you learn how much pressure it actually takes on a guitar with medium to high action to keep the string from slipping on you.

Hope this helps.



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Kristofer Dahl
post Jun 20 2011, 08:46 AM
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Thanks for the advice!

QUOTE (bryanmoore @ Jun 20 2011, 04:38 AM) *
The problem with this advice is it is mostly coming from guys who learned how to bend at a very early age. It's almost like second nature to them.


You are touching upon something very interesting here - we instructors really have to think about this. In fact if we don't remember how we learned a particular technique we should probably not try to explain how it was done either.

I find that in the forum we get a perfect balance between 'pro' and 'beginner' advice.

Keep the good topics coming! smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 20 2011, 09:27 AM
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smile.gif good points! for me, bending came out of nowhere somehow. I never actually studied it, as I was just trying to mimic aggressive/ exquisite benders such as Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Andy Timmons, Guthrie Govan a little later on and of course sax players and Steve Lukather tongue.gif

I just felt I had to bend that way smile.gif


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Azzaboi
post Jun 20 2011, 10:45 AM
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I agree, it's a smart tip!

I also agree as you become good at something it might just come naturally and you tend to overlook the small things you start taking for granted (this can be harder for learners to follow). You might not even be aware your doing it. Analysising the bend closely, I tend to be doing the same but never really noticed.

Finger strength helps a lot with bends, but there's lots and tips and tricks also...

Thumb position moves to the top of the neck slightly hooking over if you need more leavage.

My fingers are slightly curled but fixed in position when just starting the bend. Like you said, rotating the wrist gives a more even, smoother and stronger control of the bend. You can also use multiple fingers when available, like the index and second finger backing up the third.

Only if needed after that do I stretch the fingers slightly more for full bends. Ensure the strings line up and never jump under each other. Like you said again it's all in finding the correct pressure.

I think it's just as important learning to reverse it in the same way at the same speed and control as you release the bend.

Glad to see others sharing their tips smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 20 2011, 11:06 AM
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Yes I think Bryan and Azza have described the art of bending pretty well. Kris also has a good point, when we can do something it can be difficult to think back to how we did it ! ohmy.gif

But finding the required pressure through trial and error is the only way... feel, feel, feel is where it's at with learning any musical instrument. We have to learn it through physical experience. smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 20 2011, 11:10 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 20 2011, 10:06 AM) *
Yes I think Bryan and Azza have described the art of bending pretty well. Kris also has a good point, when we can do something it can be difficult to think back to how we did it ! ohmy.gif

But finding the required pressure through trial and error is the only way... feel, feel, feel is where it's at with learning any musical instrument. We have to learn it through physical experience. smile.gif


Very true smile.gif If i listen to recordings from the early age of 17 tongue.gif I can realize how much I sucked biggrin.gif only because I hadn't experienced enough of the art of bending smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 21 2011, 11:46 AM
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Very good tip mate, bending is indeed about relaxing the wrist, although I don't really feel that bending is all about wrist motion, it's more of an rotary elbow motion. In fact, wrist is doing little to no movement.

There are other ways to do a vibrato as well, which involves horizontal and vertical movements, or combination of all three techniques. It's all good, as long as it sounds good smile.gif

Regarding firmer grip on the strings, the fingers need to be stiff in order for bend to be successful. How stiff, it depends on the gauge of the string and other factors.


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