String bending troubles

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Cloodie, Jun 10, 2021 at 11:32 AM.

  1. Cloodie

    Cloodie Tele-Meister

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    I've only really been bending strings for about a year now, as opposed to bashing out chords etc, and I've never been quite happy with my technique. I think that I'm bending with the 'wrong' part of my finger. I've tried to post a couple of pictures below.

    The big indentation is where I usually bend and as you can see it's behind the finger tip. The smaller indentation is where I was messing around trying bends with today.

    [​IMG]

    I've also taken another picture hoping to give a better idea of things in relation to the tip of my finger. The indentation you can see here is where I've been bending today, whereas my usual position for beding the string is further back ib my finger.

    [​IMG]

    Which part are other folks using here?
     
  2. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    try a smaller gauge string set, and make sure your frets are crowned. it aint your fingers....
     
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  3. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    If I'm bending down (toward the floor), I'll bend closer to where the larger indent is in your finger. If I'm bending up (towards my face), I'll bend closer to where the small indent is. Reason being, I want a lot of mass behind the string when I bend up, and there's more of it on the tip of the finger than the pad of the finger. Does that make sense?
     
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  4. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I'd look at your guitar setup more than anything.. what are you playing, what string gauge, make sure the action is setup well. Get it to a tech if you need help.

    9s and 10s on a well setup guitar there shouldn't be much discomfort and good technique.

    I will occasionally beat up my fingers a little if I need to bend up two strings at the same time with two different fingers. Angus Young does this and I learned some of his solos lately.. he plays a Gibson with the shorter scale so maybe that's easier than a Fender style scale with 10s or larger.

    Also if you're only bending one string.. bend it with your 3rd finger instead of your second. But use your 2nd finger to assist if you're not already doing that. If you do that well it greatly reduces the strain on your fingers. Hard to explain but you also want the 2nd finger to push the next lower string out of the way and mute it a lot of the time too.

    When you have to bend both strings in a double stop you can't really use the extra finger to assist and that's where some extra strain can come in.

    I'd have had a really hard time getting this down personally without a lot of in person instruction.
     
  5. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    a lot of bends can and should be done with "helper fingers".
     
  6. Cloodie

    Cloodie Tele-Meister

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    I should probably add, this isn't about discomfort in terms of pain etc, there's no issue there. It's about just not feeling 'right' in terms of technique. It's a little difficult to put into words.
     
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  7. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    if its really difficult, get a friend to help, 3 handed guitar is so much fun..
     
  8. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Heck, why stop with 3?

    Go for 5!



    Cheers,
    Doug
     
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  9. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes. Or as Paul Gilbert likes to call it, the "Giant Finger".
     
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  10. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    i've never bent towards the floor, what is the concept behind that? any bending of the string should produce the same increase in pitch, regardless of direction, based soley on the amount of bending involved. so what benefit does bending the string downward produce?
     
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  11. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    It's just a positional thing. For me anyway. If I'm playing on the A or E and need to make a big bend, I'd rather bend in the direction of the greatest fretboard surface, not in the direction of the near-edge of the fretboard. I bend the high E, B, and G up, and I bend the D, A, and E down. D can go both ways, really, and I probably do bend it in both directions depending on the size of the bend.
     
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  12. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Maybe you're relying on one finger too much? Maybe your finger tips aren't callused enough?

    I typically bend with my index, middle, and ring fingers all at the same time. I believe most guitarists do the same. This technique spreads the load over three fingers and makes it much easier.
     
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  13. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    exaggerated and or twangy bends on the low e and a are mostly downward.
     
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  14. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    it sure keeps them strings from slippin loose, you can break em, but they won't slip free..3 fingers is the way to go or 2 in a pinch..
     
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  15. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    The thing is the ergonomics of bending downwards using the power grip---your hand is stronger closing than opening. Bending down (and vibrato) should be easier because those muscles are stronger.
     
  16. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Your second pic is closer to where I bend from; getting it further into the 'pad' of the first digit means you hit more of that meaty bit on the tip, and at least for me, that makes it less precise (and requires more effort to effect the same range of bend).

    Every string is a little different though, as is every finger, and it varies based on where I am on the neck too. Still within a bit of a range. As ever practicing it daily, seemed to dial in more consistency for me.
     
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  17. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Ideally, you should be able to bend where you would normally fret with your fingertip. That is going to be the most efficient. Same with vibrato. Just fret normally, then bend. To me, bends are from the forearm and have little to do with the fingers. If you are doing Gilmour bends, sometimes it is helpful to double your fingers, but my fingertip never moves.

    FWIW, it can be difficult to do heavy bends if your action or frets are too low.
     
  18. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Hadn't really thought about this before but by intuition I bend the bottom three (E A D) down and the top three up. I suppose I've just always done it that way from day one.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, the smaller indent should be easier to get leverage pushing a bend. If pulling a bend then your big indent may be fine.
     
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  20. Dostradamas

    Dostradamas Tele-Meister

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    How do you get your fingers so clean?

    I really just got serious about bending a year or so ago.

    My biggest challenge is making noise on other strings while bending up or down.

    Muting is really to me the biggest overall challenge with electrics

    Bend more than 1/2 step I try to get the tip and any helper finger I can.

    Half steps and vibrato is more the flat of my finger.
     
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