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  #1  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:55 PM
BrittanyL.O. BrittanyL.O. is offline
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Bending

After many long weeks of practice, I finally got Freebird down (or so I thought). I had been playing along with the performance at the end of the lesson and though it sounded pretty good. However when I played it for my mother, without listening to the song, it sucked. I've come to the conclusion that my bends are out of key. I tried to correct this problem by plugging my guitar into a tuner and practicing the bends over and over. Unfourtunally, my bends are still not great and Iíve come to realize that the smallest movement really makes a difference in the pitch. So my question is how should one go about learning to bend properly? Should I just keep trying with my tuner until I develop an ear for it? By any chance are there any tricks or tips I missed out on?
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:31 PM
hunter1801 hunter1801 is offline
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The way you are doing it is a actually a good way. Using a tuner to make sure you are going to the correct pitch is smart. HOWEVER, you should keep in mind that even the pros may not go exactly to pitch. Not because they can't, but because they just bend it to the sound they want. If it isn't 100% correct pitch, it doesn't matter, as long as it sounds good.

In Freebird, pay attention to that and see if he actually goes to an exact pitch, or slightly higher/lower. Your ears may be used to hearing a note that is technically "wrong" so when you play it "right", it will sound off. Either way, it is still a good idea to keep doing what you are doing and learning the correct pitches. It will not only help for bending, but for almost everything you do with guitar later on in terms of ear training.

Playing alone will give you a huge wake-up call if you are always used to playing with the song. If you have the song going, it is much easier to follow along in your head and it makes it easier in a way. Play a song by yourself and you are now in charge of keeping the rhythm, timing and pitches perfect. I got my wake-up call when I first started my band. Songs that I have been playing for years along with the CD all of a sudden SUCKED when we tried to jam with just ourselves.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:12 PM
SunKing1 SunKing1 is offline
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I agree with hunter1801, usually it's not about getting the perfect pitch. Some guitar players just bend a quarter of the note and that creates a special sound, and a tuner that aims at perfect pitches cannot help in that case. Keep hearing yourself without any background song and you'll develop a "finer ear" for bending. Altough playing along music is great (and it certainly helped most of the musicians we admire today) playing alone, (or even better recording yourself playing alone) is also essential.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:48 PM
BrittanyL.O. BrittanyL.O. is offline
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It makes me feel better to know that even the professionals are off sometimes, I hadn't really considered that. I guess I'll keep on going with my tuner though, and take a closer look at Freebird. Hopefully I can make some improvements. Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:53 AM
sixpicker sixpicker is offline
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Hey all,
It's actually called a blue note, which is kind of in between. I have a tutorial on string bending, and explain the concept of it. It may help if you know more about it, instead of just doing it. This tutorial covers bending positions on the 2nd string, and there are also some useful tips.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=628

Let me know if this helps, and then you can go to the bends on the 3rd string.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=889

Then there is also part 2 of bending the 3rd string. String bending is one of my favorite things to do, and after I understood the concept it became much easier for me.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=931

These lessons may seem more country than anything else, but everything in these tutorials can be used in any genre. Just check them out, and let me know if I can be of more help to you.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:09 PM
BrittanyL.O. BrittanyL.O. is offline
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Thank you! Most of the bends in Freebird occur on the second and third strings, so this will be good practice. Also, I find bending the lower notes a bit difficult, so again this should help. And I like your finger popping trick in the last set of lessons. I'll have to find something to throw that into .
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:34 AM
sixpicker sixpicker is offline
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Thanks BrittanyL.O.,
Bendin' and poppin' strings are definitely two of my faves. I'm also working on the sequels to those tutorials, and will use some other concepts on the 4th and 5th string bends. Then I'll show how to bend those E strings in another tutorial, and these are just the whole step bends.

I'm so glad my lessons helped you, and I hope you'll let me know how it's going. Learning those positions, and how they work is kind of like having a map, and it's great that the musical alphabet can be applied to any lick.
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