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Bending technique help

#1 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 03:01 PM

So i love bending my g string to get that sort of soul that comes from down bends, up and down vibrato and just to get that screaming . Bending is probably the best way to give your guitar a voice and make it express itself as if it were your voice, in my opinion. But, after about a year of owning my LP Studio and practicing hitting the right notes when i bend, and having a terrible ear for that, I found my frets were getting totally trashed. Now after almost 2 years I go see my luthier friend who tells me its already time for me to get another guitar, because re-fretting this one would not be worth the expense and trouble. Whether or not his opinion is correct on that doesnt matter but he also said most guitars have this type of nickel frets and that it is a matter of technique. So my question is can anyone tell me what technique i need to understand on bending that will allow me to get the notes correct and not destroy my next guitars frets the way this one is? There is apparently a right way and then there is whatever i been doing for 2 years.

Any suggestions?
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#2 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:58 AM

I'm not sure how much a refret job costs in your area but if you like the guitar and trust this person's work, it's worth it to get it done rather than replacing the guitar. Does it need a total refret or partial?

That being said, how hard are you pressing down when you bend and how bad are the frets? I guess the string gauge matters as well. You should have to press down just hard enough near the fret to get the note to play, then pushing up or pulling down, sliding and moving the string. I think I use my wrist and rotate it with the bend as well. If you're using heavier gauge, you may be pushing too hard into the frets. Maybe a little insight on how you're bending your strings, what kind of technique you're using and how your setup is. It would be interesting to hear what he says you are doing wrong.
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#3 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:14 PM

View PostMichaelT, on 03 July 2017 - 08:58 AM, said:

I'm not sure how much a refret job costs in your area but if you like the guitar and trust this person's work, it's worth it to get it done rather than replacing the guitar. Does it need a total refret or partial?

That being said, how hard are you pressing down when you bend and how bad are the frets? I guess the string gauge matters as well. You should have to press down just hard enough near the fret to get the note to play, then pushing up or pulling down, sliding and moving the string. I think I use my wrist and rotate it with the bend as well. If you're using heavier gauge, you may be pushing too hard into the frets. Maybe a little insight on how you're bending your strings, what kind of technique you're using and how your setup is. It would be interesting to hear what he says you are doing wrong.


That guy doesnt do fret work, and i do not know how far up the neck the worn frets are i would say at least to the 9th fret. dont have the thing with me right now...
I am pretty much a beginner, mostly self taught. I use 10's on my les paul studio, and im sure you are right about me pressing into them too hard. My ear is not good for hitting the right note on bends so i used this guitar allot for practicing that very thing and can see that being why this happened to such a new guitar. maybe that is what he meant by "technique". my strength is week too because i had some compressed nerve take it away. I couldnt even play at all for a few months, got the movement back but not all of the strength, also i do not always position my thumb where i am supposed to but im working on that too.
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Yamaha FS-311 7/8ths scale Acoustic

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#4 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:37 AM

This is weird.. Can you explain the problem to us Roach?

Kinda sounds like you may be lost the top of the crown, and maybe it's some of the frets are flatter than they should be???

if that's the case I would think that "Could be" possible, a fret leveling with a re-crowning would probably remedy the problem. a refret should be some where around 400/500 if all the frets need to be replaced. I can't imagine after this short a period of time tho.. if you were using heavy gauge strings, and had a DEATH grip,, maybe a few frets would need some attention,, but even there, what you should have is wear marks in the frets under the strings (most common in the first two to four frets.)

look at it this way, I have a les paul I bought in 95,, I play it a lot.. it does not need to be fretted.. never mind even re-leveled and re-crowned.. (It could be close to that but... I don't notice any issues when I use it)

I don't want to disparage your buddies expertise, but maybe take it to someone who does do fret work and get a second opinion.
/Ray
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#5 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:03 PM

View Postkidblast, on 05 July 2017 - 05:37 AM, said:

This is weird.. Can you explain the problem to us Roach?

Kinda sounds like you may be lost the top of the crown, and maybe it's some of the frets are flatter than they should be???

if that's the case I would think that "Could be" possible, a fret leveling with a re-crowning would probably remedy the problem. a refret should be some where around 400/500 if all the frets need to be replaced. I can't imagine after this short a period of time tho.. if you were using heavy gauge strings, and had a DEATH grip,, maybe a few frets would need some attention,, but even there, what you should have is wear marks in the frets under the strings (most common in the first two to four frets.)

look at it this way, I have a les paul I bought in 95,, I play it a lot.. it does not need to be fretted.. never mind even re-leveled and re-crowned.. (It could be close to that but... I don't notice any issues when I use it)

I don't want to disparage your buddies expertise, but maybe take it to someone who does do fret work and get a second opinion.


it is mostly under the "g" where i been bending and where the frets have worn the most.

He basically told me, very politely, that the cause of the wear was bad technique and it would be expensive to re-fret and as it in one of the least expensive les pauls ($1000w/case), he said it probably is not worth it when you can get another guitar new that ill be happy (happier) with

your right i also think they should not have worn so soon... i have a 2000 LP special and it does not need frets either

And being a drummer turned guitar player im not suprised to hear i might have a super power grip trying to bend 10's while hitting the strings like a drummer with my picking hand
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#6 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:18 AM

Well, at 60 years old, I've come the conclude that anything is possible!

If you can find any one that does fret work, they could probably level the frets and re-crown. I would think there's enough fret material left to do that?

I taught a guy that was a drummer as well, he was also a contractor and spent 35 years in the building bizz. Hands of steel. He dented frets like they were made of spaghetti instead of nickel. A prime candidate for stainless steel frets if I ever saw one.

good luck Roach!
/Ray
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#7 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:25 AM

View Postkidblast, on 06 July 2017 - 04:18 AM, said:

Well, at 60 years old, I've come the conclude that anything is possible!

If you can find any one that does fret work, they could probably level the frets and re-crown. I would think there's enough fret material left to do that?

I taught a guy that was a drummer as well, he was also a contractor and spent 35 years in the building bizz. Hands of steel. He dented frets like they were made of spaghetti instead of nickel. A prime candidate for stainless steel frets if I ever saw one.

good luck Roach!


How much would steel frets affect the sound?
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#8 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 06:33 AM

I hear mixed opinions on them.

Some say they are brighter, others say there is no difference. A luthier friend of mine, who's opine I do trust says they are a bit brighter, and they apparently will last a very long time with out the wear nickel frets have. On the down side, if they get damaged, like a good whack that dents a fret, they (afik) are not easily repaired, but instead would need to be replaced.
/Ray
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#9 User is online   Pinch 

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:11 AM

Bad technique sounds a bit funny. It's a steel string scraping a fret. The better the fret wire, the longer it'll last, usually regardless of bending technique?
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#10 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:20 AM

Are you noticing a bad spot or worn spot on the frets? If it's that new, they shouldn't be getting that worn. That's kind of the kind of wear that they're expected to go through. I would take it for a second opinion, if you can. It sounds like someone is just trying to talk you into buying a new guitar. I hit my strings pretty hard with a hard pick and I probably press harder than I should and need to and bend strings all the time. Maybe after a decade or two of playing the same guitar constantly (which I have done) can cause fret wear but not such a new one, I wouldn't think.

Are they actually causing problems? Is there a bad spot or wear that's causing issues? Are you putting your finger in the middle area between the frets or nearer to the fret itself? You shouldn't have to press very hard at all. See how lightly you can press before getting the note, then push the string up or pull it down, and not push further against the fretboard.

You don't happen to have pictures that you can post, do you?
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#11 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:26 AM

View PostMichaelT, on 18 July 2017 - 09:20 AM, said:



You don't happen to have pictures that you can post, do you?


i will try to get some
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Year? Ibanez RG120
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401 12" CG 40w
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#12 User is online   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:44 PM

If you don't have buzzes or intonation issues, don't refret. If you do have issues with either of these and you tried your best to correct them, get second opinion per MichaelT. My guitars are over 2 decades old, played regularly, and never had to do any fret work. The idea to playing any instrument is to do the least amount of physical effort to articulate a particular tone or set of tones. Like piano, you should never have any tension in the body when playing because tension negatively affects your hearing as well and you will become more "mechanical" and less "musical". You should always be focusing on optimal physical effort - nothing less, nothing more than necessary. Lower your action - bring strings closer to neck. This helps the player have to use less effort to depress string. Perhaps a lighter gauge will be necessary??? Do note that you need to adjust intonation when you start manipulating the bridge positioning or changing gauge of strings of a particular setup. First you will notice if frets are bad by buzzes and frustrating intonation issues. Then you should inspect all the frets with strings off. If they are flat, bent to all heck, whatever, then you might entertain a fret dressing before refret... Overall though, get second opinion and mention what you have learned from this thread to let the tech know you aren't one to be taken advantage of.
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#13 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:36 AM

View PostMichaelT, on 18 July 2017 - 09:20 AM, said:

You don't happen to have pictures that you can post, do you?




Here are the links in case images fail to show up:
(The forums gave error using insert image and also for file size as attachment)
These are 2 pics not 4

My link

https://gyazo.com/af...12b947d85467f06

My link

https://gyazo.com/5f...da3ce01d3eb5daa
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Year? Ibanez RG120
Yamaha FS-311 7/8ths scale Acoustic

Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401 12" CG 40w
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Danelectro HT50 in Nifty Fifty cab
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#14 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted Yesterday, 03:36 AM

WHOAH!

I've never seen anything like that before!
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#15 User is offline   Roach 

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Posted Yesterday, 10:20 PM

View Postjdgm, on 23 July 2017 - 03:36 AM, said:

WHOAH!

I've never seen anything like that before!


plus the edges of the frets were always kind of sharp, i lean towards it being a craftsmanship technique, but the guys point is warranty work, gibson will just say it is wear n tear so im s.o.l. as far as have it repaired under warranty.
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2000 Les Paul Special w/hums

Year? Ibanez RG120
Yamaha FS-311 7/8ths scale Acoustic

Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401 12" CG 40w
Line 6 Spyder IV 15
Danelectro HT50 in Nifty Fifty cab
Focusrite Scarlett Solo PC USB interface
SM-57 Mic
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