why dont jazz players bend?


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Blind In 1 Ear
09-17-2007, 12:27 AM
ive been kind of wondering this for a while now. why dont jazz guitarists avoid bending? it seems that with stuff like jazz violin they bend notes(well slide but on a fretless instrument it sounds like bending) so why not on jazz guitar?

david_highland
09-17-2007, 12:33 AM
jazz players usualy use realy high gauge strings, so it would be hard for them to bend.

spiderfizz
09-17-2007, 12:34 AM
give me an example. in most stage and jazz bands guitar isnt realy a vital instrument, and it just plays chords.

Benjammin610
09-17-2007, 12:37 AM
if a jazz player were to throw a lot of bends into the song, it starts to not sound so jazzy. Im not positive on that though...i really just guessing. But id say it takes the jazz sound out a little bit.

david_highland
09-17-2007, 12:53 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=K6nkHJQnEPs in this clip Django's doing quite a bit of bending, but I think that's a gut string guitar, I'm telling you, most jazz guitarist today use high gauge strings that aren't easy to bend.

Green_Sponge
09-17-2007, 02:03 AM
I dunno if this counts, but the Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist bends quite a bit.

TUMFP
09-17-2007, 12:59 PM
I use .12's, Stevie used .18's at one point. We both bend, how big can their strings really be?

INDUSTRIALMETAL
09-17-2007, 01:29 PM
Well, in Bop and Post Bop jazz guitar, soloing is approached in a diffirent way than swing jazz guitar. In swing the guitarists actually bend quite a bit, wheras in the Bop style soloing is about creating interesting run patterns, and lines.

Now all of this is just running off of blanket statements, but it's the general reason.

sinan90
09-17-2007, 01:32 PM
Simply because the sound in the guitarists opinion wouldn't suit the piece.

aetherspear
09-17-2007, 04:57 PM
I use .12's, Stevie used .18's at one point. We both bend, how big can their strings really be?

bigger than that. seriously.

Blind In 1 Ear
09-17-2007, 08:50 PM
ive never heard of jazz players playing with higher than 13's. i mean ive watched videos and seen live jazz bands up close and i think i could tell if they used higer than 13's. any higher than than and the action becomes quite a problem and i wouldnt imagine it being easy to do octaves and fast runs with high action and thick strings. i bet they do use big strings(i use 12's) but i cant see it being higher than 13's. id need to see a source on that.

but someone pointed out bop style not using bends. i think im probably thinking of styles like that. its just that every time i see a jazz player they do little to no bends. i remember seeing a video of joe pass soloing for like over 10 mins and he did a bend once. i guess in some cases it would seem to lose the jazz feel and go into blues. but for me i dont see a problem. i like jazz blues or blues jazz whatever you want to call it. but i asked mostly because with SRV's riviera paridise, he bends a lot but i think it still sounds jazzy. i just wondered why more people didnt do it. i think i can understand for faster bop style things though.

SuburbanCowboy
09-18-2007, 01:53 PM
I saw Bucky Pizzarelli play at a restaurant in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. He snuck in some subtle bends during his solos, but nothing too crazy. He also uses a pretty wide vibrato for a jazz guitarist.

Confusius
09-18-2007, 03:52 PM
It can suit the style perfectly at times and horrible at times. Also, jazz guitarists use flat-wounds, which at 13's, are definitely a bitch to bend.

Blind In 1 Ear
09-18-2007, 07:45 PM
It can suit the style perfectly at times and horrible at times. Also, jazz guitarists use flat-wounds, which at 13's, are definitely a bitch to bend.
yea i was thinking about this today actually. i forgot about flatwound strings. my friend plays with those.

MastaBassist10
09-18-2007, 08:54 PM
Because they originally wanted to imitate horns, and horns don't really bend (aside front trombone, but I'm really talking trumpet). Notice the similar phrasing?

ZoSo.Led.Zep.
09-24-2007, 07:40 PM
Traditional Jazz guitar is played with a piano like approach - Hence no bending. I'm a Jazz guitarist and I bent like a mofo, but everyones different. I don't take a totally traditional approach.

deluxity
09-25-2007, 12:57 AM
Because they originally wanted to imitate horns, and horns don't really bend (aside front trombone, but I'm really talking trumpet). Notice the similar phrasing?

exactly, i've heard some bends in it, but it's not part pf the classic jazz technique

but, if you listen to some fusion, you can hear some of them ( scott henderson for example)

ZoSo.Led.Zep.
09-25-2007, 02:36 AM
..Or John Scofield - Bends everywhere.

deluxity
09-25-2007, 01:25 PM
yeah, most jazz fusion guitar players do that maybe just to get away of the classic jazz techniques

Sleepn_Giant
09-26-2007, 12:18 AM
Most bends played in jazz are no more than half-step bends because the strings are so big and they are flat wound, so it is harder to bend them. But I sometimes hear people like Wes Montgomery bend their strings. Usually It fits when it's done occasionally and tastefully.

I do agree though that fusion players bend a lot more. But that is most likely because fusion is influenced by Rock as well.

deluxity
09-26-2007, 01:08 AM
Most bends played in jazz are no more than half-step bends because the strings are so big and they are flat wound, so it is harder to bend them. But I sometimes hear people like Wes Montgomery bend their strings. Usually It fits when it's done occasionally and tastefully.

I do agree though that fusion players bend a lot more. But that is most likely because fusion is influenced by Rock as well.

i doubt that they do it because of the thicknes of the strings, if they've practiced enough to play so fast and with such a melodical consciusness... i suposse they can do some bending

Sleepn_Giant
09-26-2007, 03:40 AM
i doubt that they do it because of the thicknes of the strings, if they've practiced enough to play so fast and with such a melodical consciusness... i suposse they can do some bending

They probably could, but playing fast and having a melodic consciousness are different skills than being able to bend a whole step on 13g+ flat-wound strings, which is completely possible to do, just takes more effort.

Anyway, as people have said, it boils down to preference. And traditionally, to sound like a jazz guitarist, you usually wouldn't bend very much. When you start bending a lot it may start to sound like you are playing blues/rock (not to say jazz players don't play this genre, but obliviously if you are playing in a combo playing crazy bebopish songs, then it just wouldn't sound right.)

Not to say though that I think jazz guitar players should only stick to how it is traditionally played, but usually when playing old tunes with a combo with classic instruments, it usually fits to save the bends for occasionally and "tastefully". But if one is writing something original, or doing a new take on a standard, then by all means I say do whatever you want to.

deluxity
09-26-2007, 12:35 PM
They probably could, but playing fast and having a melodic consciousness are different skills than being able to bend a whole step on 13g+ flat-wound strings, which is completely possible to do, just takes more effort.

i know they are different skills, i was talking about how they practice way too much


Anyway, as people have said, it boils down to preference. And traditionally, to sound like a jazz guitarist, you usually wouldn't bend very much. When you start bending a lot it may start to sound like you are playing blues/rock (not to say jazz players don't play this genre, but obliviously if you are playing in a combo playing crazy bebopish songs, then it just wouldn't sound right.)

Not to say though that I think jazz guitar players should only stick to how it is traditionally played, but usually when playing old tunes with a combo with classic instruments, it usually fits to save the bends for occasionally and "tastefully". But if one is writing something original, or doing a new take on a standard, then by all means I say do whatever you want to.

believe me, i completely agree with you, even if it's a conservative position about it, you got to keep the jazz

Axegrinder#9
09-28-2007, 12:28 AM
this is so funny. of late I have vastly shifted from my more shred-oriented approach to playing, to really digging in and honing my jazz vocabulary. and very recently I was wondering, I used to bend a good amount when I used to play in a rock/metal context - and now when I'm grooving and busting some jazz licks, I find myself subconsciously avoiding playing bends - I thought that was kinda weird, and this thread just sorta hit the spot!

interestingly enough, I'm playing all that on my new custom strat, so it's not like I have any major blockades to bending - and I use pretty light strings (0.09 - .46) - it's like I'm more careful about when I bend, and to keep it in context of what's being played.

Tamacun
09-29-2007, 04:02 PM
What are flatwound strings?

Jackolas
09-29-2007, 06:28 PM
It's true that those in the know about Jazz won't think of bends when stereotyping, and complex straight note runs etc, but what about blues jazz?

At the end of the day just do what you want. It's all about phrasing. Alot of runs used in jazz types of music and scales make it harder to add effective bends.

Ah I guess theres loads of factors.

This thread raises some great points though.

STABxYOU
09-29-2007, 11:11 PM
What are flatwound strings?

What gods use to string their guitars.

No, really they're strings wrapped with a flat wire instead of a round wire, giving a warmer tone and reducing finger noises.

'StoleN'
09-30-2007, 12:21 AM
jazz players dont bend? Since when?