Bending Heavier Gauge Strings

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by C.A. Melo, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    I recently bought a pair of Pyramid Flatwounds (10's) which I've played before but not in a while. I'm not used to the wound "G" string anymore and how heavy it seems. I can bend it but when I do I'm always just short of the note I want to land on. The licks I use the most are Roy Nichols type licks that require bending the "G" string a lot so being able to bend it is important. I was wondering if there are any exercises that could build up my left hand strength while bending or techniques to help bend these heavier gauge strings. Thanks!
     
  2. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    1,299
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Location:
    Georgia, US
    As a hack, I'd say just keep rolling and you'll be there in no time. In my experience, you'll adjust automatically. Switching back to guitars with lighter strings may have you overbending, though.

    Edit: autocorrect
     
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    The wound G is actually lighter in tension than a plain G is. The reason it seems harder to bend to pitch is because of the lower tension, so you have to push it farther in order to hit the bent note.
     
    ebb soul and codamedia like this.
  4. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Also I forgot to mention, I'm having the trouble bending the string up (towards the heavy "E" string). I can bend the "G" string down (towards the high "E") with no problems.
     
  5. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Oh wow! I didn't know that! Thanks for the info man. So how do you recommend I push it farther haha?
     
  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Are you using just one finger? If so, get one or two more in there to help with the bending. Makes a huge difference.
     
  7. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Okay cool man I'll definitely keep just trying to bend the heck out of it. Thanks!
     
  8. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    No I'm using my ring finger with help from my middle finger.
     
  9. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    I actually switched back to a plain G simply because I just couldn't get comfortable with the lower tension. It intonated better, it blended better volume wise, but bends I have been doing for years kept coming up short and it irritated me.
     
  10. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    518
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    How does this make sense?
     
  11. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    I'm gonna try and get used to it and if it doesn't seem like I'm getting better than I'll probably switch over to a plain "G".
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Because you have the core, and then you have the windings around it to bring it up to the specified diameter. The windings carry very little, if any, of the tension of the string-they would just unravel if they did.

    So you have a plain G, which on a set of tens would be an 018. On a wound string, the core is considerable smaller than that, and therefore requires less tension to reach the same pitch. This is also why it intonates more easily and doesn't stand out as much volume wise.
     
    RoyBGood, GuildX700 and teleaddicted like this.
  13. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    1,299
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Location:
    Georgia, US
    I'm not sure it does. Whenever I have lower tension (albeit with lighter strings), bends become easier.
     
  14. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    So right now I'm playing a size .19 wound "G". If I go to a regular "G" should I stay with .19 or move down to .18? I don't want it to still be hard to bend but I don't want it to be super slinky compared to my other strings.
     
  15. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Bend are easier, yes, but you have to bend it further to get it up to the same pitch compared to bending a stiffer string. The stiffer string requires a little more effort, but it doesn't have to bend as far to hit the next pitch. It's weird, but it's just basic physics.
     
    rburd2, teleaddicted and GuildX700 like this.
  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Drop to an 18, which is the common size for a standard set of tens.
     
  17. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Okay cool. You don't think that will be too slinky compared to the others?
     
  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    No, it will actually be a bit stiffer than what you're currently using.
     
  19. C.A. Melo

    C.A. Melo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Okay cool man thanks for all the help and information you shared!
     
  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,144
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    You're very welcome!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.