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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

52 reissue string bending issue

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by wolfieee, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. wolfieee

    wolfieee TDPRI Member

    8
    Sep 6, 2014
    Michigan
    Hey guys,
    First off let me say, I really enjoy this forum. I probably spend too much time on it (haha).

    Hey, so I picked up a 52 reissue (2006) this summer and I really, REALLY, like it. My only issue is that when I do whole step bends with my ring finger, bending up on the g string, I sometimes end up with my ring finger on top of the d string, and some noise comes through from that. I don't do it every time, but often enough that I'd like to see if something could be changed on the guitar to address it. I don't have this issue with any other guitars that I own so I suspect it's something to do with the vintage frets, neck, or action. I actually like the vintage frets quite a lot for chording, so I'd prefer not to change those if I don't have to. Could raising the action help? In case it's a clue I tuned the guitar down a half step for an upcoming gig, and I don't think I'm having the issue now. However, I don't really want to keep the guitar tuned a half step down all of the time.

    Sorry if this has been asked a million times. I've seen and read a lot about the 52 on this forum, but I don't recall seeing this exact issue explained.

    By the way, I have tried changing my left hand technique a little... I think if I were to 'ark' my finger more and push the g string down with the very tip of my finger (closer to the nail, compared to what I currently do) I might not have this issue, but it's hard to change how I do this (been playing for about 30 years).

    Thanks for the help.
     

  2. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    I think it's a matter of just learning how to be better at bends and experimenting with different sets ups regarding action, neck relief, etc. I have the same guitar, same year as you, and I prefer less relief than fender spec, and fairly high, or slightly higher than normal action and use Ernie Ball Hybrid 9-42 strings in standard tuning, and I bend a LOT! Good luck!
     

  3. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    Welcome to the TDPRI.:)

    I've always done lots of bending on my Teles, which - except for one example - have all had vintage frets/radius. I've never had this problem. But then I've never used a real low action. The smaller radius requires a slightly higher action not to fret out, but it also helps in cases like yours.
     

  4. PANTS187

    PANTS187 TDPRI Member

    7
    Oct 26, 2014
    Boston
    I ran into this problem as well with my 2006 52 RI. I modified my right hand technique to mute all the strings up to the one I was bending, as I didn't want to raise the action. It felt weird for a few days but I don't even notice I'm doing it now.
     

  5. wolfieee

    wolfieee TDPRI Member

    8
    Sep 6, 2014
    Michigan
    Thanks for the feedback guys - everything you guys said makes sense. Pants187 - when I'm using just my fingers on my right hand I mute the other strings (my thumb rests on the d string, and I drape my right hand across the others to mute it), and that works really well. But, when I'm using the pick it's harder (at least for me) to mute the D string. I wish some of you lived down the road so we could easily compare setups and see how each of us is bending :) I'll probably measure the string to fret distance at the 12th fret and report back, for what it's worth.
     

  6. buckwalder

    buckwalder Tele-Meister

    358
    Jun 25, 2014
    utah
    Set the string action to where you are pushing the string up with the tip of your finger instead of wasting energy holding the string down for the bend.

    I have found that if I set the strings that I bend at a higher action to hit the middle of the tip of my bending finger, it makes for nice smooth bends.

    If the action is too low, you have to push down on the string and bend and this requires more effort.

    I know it sounds like you would have to raise your action a lot to achieve this but you really don't.
    When I set up my action, I adjust the first three strings,using the bridge adjustment screws so that they hit the middle of the pad of my ring finger at the 12th fret.

    The thing to remember is, people have different size finger tips and finger strength.

    I hope this made sense.
     

  7. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Check and see if the neck isn't dead straight. If it is then loosen the truss rod a quarter turn. I recently had to do that with a 52RI I picked up. Remember to slack the strings first ;)
     

  8. buckwalder

    buckwalder Tele-Meister

    358
    Jun 25, 2014
    utah
    Just asking, but why would you slacken the strings before a truss rod adjustment ? Sound counter productive to me.
     

  9. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Because if you don't loosen the strings with a vintage neck, you will strip the screws because the truss rod is located at the body neck junction rather than the nut, as with all post 60s fenders, I believe.
     

  10. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    I've never had this be an issue. I've always adjusted my necks that have the adjustment at the heel while under tension.
     

  11. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

    639
    Mar 4, 2009
    pennsylvaina
    Telecasters Can be wonderful guitars when they are set up right . Bending can be a problem if the frets are too low . Vintage can be troublesome so can having frets that are worn down. There are ways to compensate however and that is smaller string gauge and a higher string height . Also as stated technique. Learning not to over bend or even using vibrato as opposed to bending can help a lot . A good set up though is a big part of the equasion from nut to bridge . Goes a long way in playability .
     

  12. mavman

    mavman TDPRI Member

    95
    Jun 11, 2012
    Georgia
    usually having to do with action too low on the opposing string.
     

  13. old goat

    old goat Tele-Holic

    817
    Aug 1, 2008
    Donner Lake
    I've been bending strings on a 64 strat--same vintage radius and frets--without any trouble for the last 45 years without any problems. Guess I just don't know any better.
     

  14. wolfieee

    wolfieee TDPRI Member

    8
    Sep 6, 2014
    Michigan
    Thanks mavman and bluescaster. I can't help thinking the issue would go away if the action was raised slightly. I'll probably take the guitar to elderly (our local music shop) to have them take a look soon. Really enjoying all the feedback - thanks.

    Old goat - that's cool you've had the same guitar for 45 years. I've had a PRS for 20, but that's not nearly as long.
     

  15. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    Dang wolfeee has me beat.

    Ive had my 71 4 bolt Strat since new. 43 years.

    I also have 0 problem bending on it.

    I did just send the neck off to USA Custom Guitars for them to copy for my next Partscaster.
     

  16. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

    I guess I'm on the other end of the spectrum.. usually pull the neck to tweak the truss rod. I like my action higher than most so subtle changes in the environment don't send me to buzz city.
     

  17. hemingway

    hemingway Friend of Leo's

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Depends on how you're trying to sound - I like the squeaks and creaks of the guitar and I don't usually want to iron them out. I like sounding kinda rough (which is just well, if you get my drift).
     

  18. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    You bet.

    Most issues, like fretting out or bending problems, will disappear if you raise the action. That is the nature of a small radius fretboard.

    The curvature of the strings should follow that of the fretboard, but with the bass side set slightly higher than the treble side. This is due to the bass strings vibrating with a wider amplitude.
     

  19. euro

    euro Tele-Holic

    663
    Apr 30, 2014
    Lyon
    I understand what the OP is saying, as I had that problem as well.
    What I did was to order a tele with a 16" radius'd fretboard and 6150 SS frets, so that I didn't have to sacrifice playing technique for bending technique.

    My next tele will have a 19" radius'd board. For me, the flatter the fretboard, the easier it becomes for me to play.

    I found that I was expending too much energy adjusting to the short radius and small frets. I just feel that the energy could be put to better use.
     

  20. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    That certainly won't include barre chords ... ?:D
     

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