Been trying to learn on and off for a couple of years; finally trying to stay serious now and I'm having a few problems with my bends.

First of all, I can't seem to pull off whole-note bends on certain strings. I can get whatever pitch I want (whole-note or higher) on my B, G and low E strings. The highest pitch I can reach on the other strings is about a 3/4 note bend. I realize the thicker strings are supposed to be harder to bend, but I find it odd that I can get a full bend on the low E string but not the high E string.

The other issue I'm having with bends is that when bending one string, I find myself pushing it up and having to go 'under' the string above, as opposed to pushing all the strings up. Is this just a finger strength issue? Or is there something else I'm doing wrong? Would lowering the action make it easier to push all the strings together as opposed to burrowing underneath the adjacent strings?

I'm using Ernie Ball Slinky Hybrids on a standard Fender Tele. Thanks in advance for any advice and insight
Don't just use one finger to bend. When I'm on a hard bend, I'll use my ringer finger to fret the note, and use my index and middle above it to help bend the string. As for going under the other strings while bending, I usually just push them up with the string I'm bending, as opposed to going under.
for the problem your having with the high e string i would think is because when you start out doing full bends on the thinner strings they tend to hurt your fingers a bit more and you wont bend as 'full'. so i think that may be just a callus (sp?) thing. as for the burrowing underneath the string i seem to have that exact same problem with one of my guitars (the one with very high action) but i never run into this problem with my other guitar (which has low action). so i would THINK that the burrowing underneath is a combo between high action and finger strength.
Yeah, I feel this is probably mostly a strength issue as I haven't been playing for at least a couple of months, and even then I never practiced often enough.

I usually bend with middle or ring finger as well, so I'll work on using the index to help with the bends. I've also heard keeping your pinky on the the bottom edge of the fretboard can give you something to push against, so to speak, which might help too.

I'll keep working on it And thanks, Matt, I wasn't sure if I was talking nonsense about action, but it does seem a little uncomfortably high anyway, so I'll try and get that adjusted too.
Glad to see the reference wasn't too obscure

"Where do we go from here?
The words are coming out all weird"

Good way to describe the way I usually practice, except replace "words" with "notes" haha.

Thanks again everyone
Last edited by thedeafeningsky at Dec 30, 2008,