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Whats your best bending finger


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So I think ive just come to the conclusion that nearly all of my favorite guitarists more often than not are pulling off the really nice bends with their third finger.. Now since ive been playing quite alot recently ive noticed that I mainly bend with my second and first fingers...

 

I managed to pull a few bends off by accident today with my third finger and it fealt really good lol (sounded really good)

 

So now I think im gonna practice with that third finger.. I have no issues using it playing chords or scales or anthing like that.. I think I just happened to get into the habbit of second finger bending when I started learning as it was easier for me at that time and never thought about it much until now lol..

 

So what fingers do you use for bending? Will it help me to concentrate on that a bit? I mean that in using that finger for bends it leaves my first two to do any othe pull offs or following notes downwards rather than having to slide down (if you see what im saying?).

 

Also I find that I only really vibrato properly on my first finger too.. So I want to look into that aswell. :)

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Use whatever's clever. The trick is to use more than one finger. Like if you're bending with your ring finger put your middle and index fingers behind it also.

[thumbup]

Well thats the thing.. When I did it by accident earlier I put my other two fingers behind it and all of a sudden the bend was easier DUHHHHH!!

 

Now I just need to get into the habbit of it a bit more :)

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There's a blind guy that plays at my local watering hole every couple months. He's one of the best guitar players that go through that place an he uses his middle finger all the time.

 

If your bends are lacking, can I ask you where you're bending your note to?

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There's a blind guy that plays at my local watering hole every couple months. He's one of the best guitar players that go through that place an he uses his middle finger all the time.

 

If your bends are lacking, can I ask you where you're bending your note to?

Actually its not so much my bends are lacking than my lead playing in general lol

 

I just sometimes get stuck going up and down a scale which i think is often due to lack of fingers :)

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Another tip when bending strings, especially full step and above. Pivot your wrist and let the wrist do most of the work and keep your fingers stiff. Caution: Do not over leverage your wrist, just a little leverage is all thats needed. I am still practising this technique.

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Guest farnsbarns

1,2 or 3. 1st finger mainly for subtle downwards bends such as minor 3rd to major 3rd on string 3 in simple blues scale. 3rd finger most commonly. Never with the pinky, except vibrato.

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Actually its not so much my bends are lacking than my lead playing in general lol

 

I just sometimes get stuck going up and down a scale which i think is often due to lack of fingers :)

If you leads and bends are "Lacking" there's a reason. And trust me, you can nail down the reason and get past it. There's a reason I asked "Where are you bending the note to?" A bent note should be bent to a pitch that is still in key. Bending isn't just a way of making a note sound cool, it's a way of getting to a note. They should be bent in steps, like a half step, whole step, or what have you.

 

Example, if you're bending a C note it, it should be bent to a C#, D, D#, or some note that is a note. You don't want to be landing on a note that's a couple cents off or it will sound out of tune (dissonant if you're playing jazz [wink] ).

 

Also, think rhythmically when you're playing a lead. Try to think of your notes as words in a sentence or lyrical passage. When a singer is singing they aren't just running up and down scales, they're mixing note values to make an interesting cadence. A guitar lead can be approached in the same way.

 

P.S. "Note Value" is how much time you give the note.

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If you leads and bends are "Lacking" there's a reason. And trust me, you can nail down the reason and get past it. There's a reason I asked "Where are you bending the note to?" A bent note should be bent to a pitch that is still in key. Bending isn't just a way of making a note sound cool, it's a way of getting to a note. They should be bent in steps, like a half step, whole step, or what have you.

 

Example, if you're bending a C note it, it should be bent to a C#, D, D#, or some note that is a note. You don't want to be landing on a note that's a couple cents off or it will sound out of tune (dissonant if you're playing jazz [wink] ).

 

Also, think rhythmically when you're playing a lead. Try to think of your notes as words in a sentence or lyrical passage. When a singer is singing they aren't just running up and down scales, they're mixing note values to make an interesting cadence. A guitar lead can be approached in the same way.

 

P.S. "Note Value" is how much time you give the note.

Thanks for that :)

 

And yes Im not really new to playing (even though I sound like it sometimes :)).. My issue im pretty sure is bad habbits like not using my third finger for bending.. As I say, its not that I cant bend in tune (mostly:)) but my positioning of my fingers.

 

A while ago I actually took some lessons (20 years after I started playing lol) to try and get my lead in order as I was always stuck in the same old two of three tricks I had learned. I HATED it so much.. in a month or so of trying to learn with this guy I actually got worse and just hated how it fealt (even though I know it needed more time he was deconstructing my playing and it takes time to build back up).. But the one thing he did teach me that stuck was how small things can make such a big difference like if you pick up or down on your first note and how smooth it made it when it was right.

 

And yes as im a play by ear guy I do try for melodic solos (I will never be a shredder) but its nice to have some tricks in your bag when you want to really go for it. And I find I get stuck sometimes, either I just dont know where the next note is or my fingers arnt in the right position to move up or down as I want.. (hard to explain all this when you are used to just playing and not worrying about it lol).

 

But since ive been unemployed ive really been boning up on my theory and trying to get a bit better .. Just enough so I dont get frustrated but not enough to destroy my soul :) :P

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Thanks for that :)

 

And yes Im not really new to playing (even though I sound like it sometimes :)).. My issue im pretty sure is bad habbits like not using my third finger for bending.. As I say, its not that I cant bend in tune (mostly:)) but my positioning of my fingers.

 

A while ago I actually took some lessons (20 years after I started playing lol) to try and get my lead in order as I was always stuck in the same old two of three tricks I had learned. I HATED it so much.. in a month or so of trying to learn with this guy I actually got worse and just hated how it fealt (even though I know it needed more time he was deconstructing my playing and it takes time to build back up).. But the one thing he did teach me that stuck was how small things can make such a big difference like if you pick up or down on your first note and how smooth it made it when it was right.

 

And yes as im a play by ear guy I do try for melodic solos (I will never be a shredder) but its nice to have some tricks in your bag when you want to really go for it. And I find I get stuck sometimes, either I just dont know where the next note is or my fingers arnt in the right position to move up or down as I want.. (hard to explain all this when you are used to just playing and not worrying about it lol).

 

But since ive been unemployed ive really been boning up on my theory and trying to get a bit better .. Just enough so I dont get frustrated but not enough to destroy my soul :) :P

Yeah, trying to type about music is a lot more difficult than just playing it. It takes three paragraphs to try and explain something that takes two seconds to demonstrate, and the explanation will never be as good as the demonstration.

 

Something I kind of picked up on over the years of getting and breaking bad habits, you don't always want to break a bad habit so much as augment it with a good habit. The bad habit just might be part of your style, but it never hurts to know what you're doing "Wrong" in order to build your bag of tricks.

 

The problem I've run into with guitar teachers is that they try to teach you the way they learned, and being a backwards learner that never helped me at all. The guy who finally got through to me about scales and leads didn't show me the pentatonic scale, he showed me how to play Layla, then showed me how that was based on the pentatonic scale. That was just the backward approach I needed at the time. Now, because of that, I can't teach normal people to save my life. [unsure]

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Yeah, trying to type about music is a lot more difficult than just playing it. It takes three paragraphs to try and explain something that takes two seconds to demonstrate, and the explanation will never be as good as the demonstration.

 

Something I kind of picked up on over the years of getting and breaking bad habits, you don't always want to break a bad habit so much as augment it with a good habit. The bad habit just might be part of your style, but it never hurts to know what you're doing "Wrong" in order to build your bag of tricks.

 

The problem I've run into with guitar teachers is that they try to teach you the way they learned, and being a backwards learner that never helped me at all. The guy who finally got through to me about scales and leads didn't show me the pentatonic scale, he showed me how to play Layla, then showed me how that was based on the pentatonic scale. That was just the backward approach I needed at the time. Now, because of that, I can't teach normal people to save my life. [unsure]

Yeah I totally agree that you need to find the right teacher..

 

The guy I used came from the Guitar Institute in London and you need to be a Grade 8 just to get in (I know as i wanted to go lol).. So looking back on it, that guy was never right for me.. Im sure in the enviroment he came from they would all try to out play each other..

 

I will say however in my case reading up on the pentatonic scale REALLY helped me alot (which was quite recent).. I find that I understand the correlation of the notes on the fretboard better now and Im having less trouble reaching or finding that next note and it all happened in five minutes lol One day I didnt know it, then after some reading and some further playing it all just clicked into place how to play a riff in each key (and it was so easy all along lol :P :))

 

So now thats why im asking about other peoples bending methods as when I did all of a sudden bend with my third finger the others supported it naturally and it just fealt right.. Which is what inspired this thread :)

 

(ok i will stop with the long answers now :) )

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