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> Bends Theory
Brandon Earman
post Jul 18 2011, 01:31 PM
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Hey GMC.

One area I often struggle with is bending the right notes. I always have to guess if the note is going to sound OK or not with a full step or half step bend etc.

I know that you can bend a note up a full step to achieve the root of the chord. For instance bending a D up to an E while the rythym is on an E chord.

Anyways what approaches do you use to know how to use correct bends in your improvising? I hope I'm making sense. smile.gif


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dark dude
post Jul 18 2011, 02:48 PM
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At a basic level, you should know how the notes of the chord relate to the key you're in. Then, you can look at the note you're playing, and how to get to the chord tones. Afterwards, you can start to look at how intervals will 'pull' to different notes (to resolve).

If you've trained your ear a bit, you should be able to tell whether a half step or whole step will be in key. If you're familiar with the scale, this should be even easier.


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Brandon Earman
post Jul 18 2011, 03:10 PM
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Thanks Dark Dude. I guess it's a matter of improvising at a moderate to fast speed tempo. You can always practice to the backing in advance and get a feel for where the good bends are and what will sound correct. But to know that the bends will sound correct "on the fly" is what I'm trying to achieve.

I do suppose a lot of it is ear-training. The rest is just knowing your chord tones and bending to them. cool.gif


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Sinisa Cekic
post Jul 18 2011, 04:19 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Jul 18 2011, 03:48 PM) *
At a basic level, you should know how the notes of the chord relate to the key you're in. Then, you can look at the note you're playing, and how to get to the chord tones. Afterwards, you can start to look at how intervals will 'pull' to different notes (to resolve).

If you've trained your ear a bit, you should be able to tell whether a half step or whole step will be in key. If you're familiar with the scale, this should be even easier.


Executive explanation DD, totally agree! Routine routine and routine smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 18 2011, 06:07 PM
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You can always do the following thing:

- take a chord - any chord at all
- create a little groove by writing drums, a bass line and recording that chord over/ use software such as Band in a Box and chose a rhythmic pattern and that chord from the menu -> you'll have the little groove created automatically.
- examine the chord and see what notes make it up
- find the desired notes on the neck in various positions
- going one step behind a certain note you want to reach or a half step and bend it while having the groove playing
- you'll hear the sound of that note over that specific chord
- take this procedure with all the notes making up that chord and thus you'll develop a string sense of hearing regarding your bends

Next step: take a progression and try to find a common note that comes up in each/ most of the chords used bend it and hear how the sound changes when the chords shift smile.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Jul 18 2011, 06:45 PM
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You definitely need to train your ear. A great exercise is to sing the major and minor scales. Every step, so that you internalise their sound. Also pentatonic scales. It does not matter if you don't have Michael Jackson's voice tongue.gif but the only thing that matters is pitch


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