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> Bending To Pitch Practise Idea
Ear bending
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Phil66
post Mar 30 2015, 07:36 PM
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Hello everyone,

My mentor, Gab, has asked me to post this for other students as he feels it may help them. I have been really struggling with my ear when bending to pitch, I've been on one lesson for a long time, other areas need work but the bending is my big let down, I'm starting to think I need a whammy pedal that I can set to a whole tone for the full movement laugh.gif I came up with an idea initially to train when practising bending which I then started to use in another way.
I will let you know how I am progressing, maybe some of you could too if you decide to use it.

Bending practice:
I tend to use an on-screen tuner but I guess any chromatic tuner will be fine particularly if it has a throughput (output) so you can hear your guitar through the speakers.

I fret a note, check what it is if I don't know (good for learning the fretboard too) then I move down a fret and close my eyes and bend up to it, when I think I am at the correct pitch I look at the tuner for confirmation. I repeat this two frets down. I try it four or five times tehn I move to another random string and fret. I have found I am getting closer so something is happening.

Bending whilst playing:
I found that when I play along with the teacher in my current lesson (HERE) I'm not a million miles away from pitch as I can hear his notes as a reference but, when I record myself along with the backing in my DAW I'm way off, a lot of this is not having the note in my head. I worked out what the notes should be when bent, (it doesn't say in the TAB but it does say in the GP5 file, they are all either whole tone or half tone) and I put a note on the screen, eg "1st bend E, 2nd bend D# etc then I started playing. This is where it is best to use an on screen tuner or an electronic one with the output function because if you use one without you will only hear the "unplugged" sound from your guitar or you will have to use the built in mic which will be hard as some much is going on.

I have only used this method once; last night but I found it a big help and it did seem to make me realise how far out I was and, after a few attempts I was getting to pitch quicker, giving me time to play the next note. Some of the problem I think, as well as not having a good ear, may be not realising how far you have to push the string for a whole tone bend.

I hope this helps some of you. Please let us know how you get on.

Cheers

Phil

This post has been edited by Phil66: Mar 30 2015, 07:40 PM


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HiimAlex
post Mar 30 2015, 07:52 PM
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Hey Phil!

I have actually used a similar technique to this when I started to practice bending, but instead of having closed eyes I had my eyes open and looked at the tuner to see when I reached correct pitch and then hold that note for a while and then repeated this whole process a couple of times on same note before moving on to next note. Nowadays I do not feel like I need to tuner to practice bending anymore, I trust my ears and according to Gabriel it seems like it have pretty good bending now.

I noticed one thing you did different from me, I did not used my tuner to check if I was in pitch or not while I played, I used the tuner completely for bending practice.
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Phil66
post Mar 30 2015, 08:05 PM
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Thanks Alex, is it Alex?

Obviously I only close my eyes when doing the bending practise biggrin.gif I do it so I can try to hear the note and then check my accuracy.

It's definitely working, it may sound like an awful result to you but tonight, on the bending practise I was within +/- 15 cents most of the time, sometimes within 5, believe me it is an improvement, I was a semi tone out sometimes before blink.gif

Phil


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HiimAlex
post Mar 30 2015, 08:36 PM
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Hi Phil
Yepp, that is correct, my name is Alex smile.gif
That is a improvment indeed smile.gif But do not feel bad that your bends is out of tune, we all started somewhere.

What bends are you practicing? Half step, Whole step or 1 1/2 step bends?
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Phil66
post Mar 30 2015, 08:39 PM
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Just half and whole at the moment. Whole step bends make me think the string is going to break, I am not looking forward to 1 1/2 step bends laugh.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 31 2015, 06:37 PM
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Great post Phil! It's cool to see you both sharing your experiences and thoughts about this topic. Bending is a technique that many beginner guitarists forget to practice but at the same time one of the most used in rock and blues.

I'm curious to read the experiences of other students with this topic.

Every time I talk about bending and vibrato, I remember and most of the times share this video:



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Phil66
post Mar 31 2015, 06:59 PM
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Thanks Gab,

To be perfectly honest, I never really thought that bends had to be anything more than a bend, either a big one or a little one laugh.gif I just thought it was a bend for expression not that it had to reach a certain pitch unsure.gif

I'll get there eventually. Slowly slowly catchy monkey smile.gif

Phil


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bleez
post Mar 31 2015, 07:15 PM
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I used to do that bending with the tuner exercise quite a lot. Also the 'fret a note, move down, bend to that note'. I got quite good at finding the pitch. I dont find it as easy when im playing with a backing track, its a lot easier when there is no backing track to confuse my noob ears mellow.gif


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Phil66
post Mar 31 2015, 09:02 PM
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Ok, I have tried a variation tonight, I was pretty short on time due to work commitments so I thought I'd spend what time I had on my worst skill; my ear.

I spent five minutes doing my ear bending practise with the closing of the eyes until I thought I was correct then peeking to check.

I then tried to play my lesson HERE BUT without the backing. The reason, I didn't want to concentrate on timing or fingering just on pitch control. I played it through and when I got to each bend I I bent until I thought it was correct and then checked the on screen tuner, corrected it and carried on with the rest of the piece.

I then did another five minutes of bending practise, then went back to the solo again with no backing.

I kept alternating like this for half an hour.

I'm sure this is helping me a lot as I am getting closer more consistently even though I am still way off on some tries, why I don't know, maybe Gab or another instructor could explain why some bends are exact and some are miles out, even if it's a bend to the same note. It seems that the mind forgets what the note sounds like.

I haven't been using the tuner whilst playing the solo for very long at all, a couple of nights maybe, I'm really sure it is helping. Give it a go if you're struggling with bending and please get back to us.

Your feedback is appreciated by all, students learn from teachers and teachers learn from students, it's a two way street folks wink.gif

Thanks

Phil

P.S This is the first time I've enjoyed ear training biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 1 2015, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Mar 31 2015, 05:02 PM) *
I'm sure this is helping me a lot as I am getting closer more consistently even though I am still way off on some tries, why I don't know, maybe Gab or another instructor could explain why some bends are exact and some are miles out, even if it's a bend to the same note. It seems that the mind forgets what the note sounds like.



Great stuff Phil! I think that this is can be related to every technique. When we are not totally used to one thing we cannot make it always sound good. I remember myself working on pinch harmonics. Making them sound good was like a roulette, but with the pass of time and with diary practice my technique became more consistent and I could do it every time I wanted. I think that it's related to our mind and muscles, both need to get used to the movement and strength required to be able to do it always (or at least most of the times) well.


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AdamB
post Apr 1 2015, 03:44 PM
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I use a looper to practice bending. Probably not as accurate as your tuner idea but it does let you use your ear rather than watching the tuner.

I record the target note on the looper and then try to bend the note a fret below or two or three frets below to match the pitch of the note being played back on the looper.
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Phil66
post Apr 1 2015, 04:36 PM
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Good idea.
When practising bending to pitch alone I only use the tuner to check if I'm right. I close my eyes to bend then when I think its correct I look at the tuner wink.gif
Phil


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 2 2015, 09:14 AM
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Excellent advice, both of the methods you mentioned are recommended (using a tuner and playing along with the instructor's solo).

Thanks a lot for sharing! biggrin.gif


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