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Expressive Tone for Bending & Vibrato


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Bending & Vibrato in Rock

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I'll be playing the Gibson 335 for this tutorial, with a lightly overdriven tone which you can obtain from the gain settings on your amp or from an overdrive pedal like the Boss SD-1.

Since we'll be bending the strings today, let's talk a little bit about strings. There are countless different brands, and although they all have subtle differences in the sound, they all basically work the same.

The most crucial factor right now is string gauge, referring to the thickness of your strings. The most common string gauge for beginners is probably 9's, since they're relatively easy to press down and bend. For that same reason some players even prefer 8's, but that's a little less common.

Then people with a heavy touch prefer the thicker strings like the 10's I have on this guitar. They also have a fatter sound, and for that reason some people use all the way up to 13's. But the most important thing is to use a string gauge that helps you play well, and 9's are a great place to start.