The title says it all, folks. My bending is nasty! Imagine a cat being set on fire.

I'm learning the solos to You Shook Me All Night Long and Sunshine Of Your Love at the moment. Plenty of bends in both solos and the problems that I am encountering are:

1. The accuracy of the bend, I can bend "with strength" to the point where the note is just too flat or just too sharp but when hitting the exact pitch the note dies away more quickly. Very annoying.

2. Vibrato. Euuck! I either have to do awful exaggerated warbling or the note just dies off.

3. Full step bends knocking into the next string. Even with the palm of my picking hand against the D and A strings I still get that clunk of the thicker strings when releasing the bend.

4. The overall strength of the bends. Take the You Shook Me All Night Long solo. The first half isn't such a problem, but when attempting the second half of the solo, centered around the 15th-18th fret the bends just don't have any strength at all and I find myself having to really attack the strings to get any oomph out of the notes. Is this hard picking normal? I'm using a fairly thick pick, too (about 1.2mm)
Jackson PDX Demmelition w/ EMG 81/85
Vintage Lemon Drop w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz
Dean Z Bubinga w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts

Blackstar HT-5 combo
all i can say is that no matter who you are when you bend you are going to hit the other strings
the 3rd point is a problem for me too
Jackson SL3MG
Ibanez RGR321EX
Kramer 120
Epiphone Embassy Standard V
Engl Ritchie Blackmore Signature
Jim Dunlop Max Grip Carbon Jazz III
Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
You are bending with three fingers, right?
I have more fun than normal people are allowed to have.

Quote by Kensai

Happy RUTAS everybody
Yeah bend with 3 fingers it makes bends a lot easier and they sound good.
Its all about ear training, with the accuracy. I found that I could just do it, after playing along for long enough with songs. You'll just get a feel and an ability to judge by ear the differences with 1/4 step, 1/2 step bends etc, and then play it. Vibrato, it depends how you're doing it currently...any more info?
And as for touching other strings, everyone does it, you can't just magic them away...again its just technique and the ability to mute with more than just the picking hand.
Practice. There are two really good drills for it though. For both, use a detuned guitar or something with light strings. For now, pitch doesn't matter. You can just tune your G string to an F if you want and just use that at first.

1) Play a note on the 12th fret. Then one on the 13th. Then bend the string at the 12th before you pluck it. When you hit the bent string, it should be the same note as the 13th fret. Do the same for the 14th and 15th frets. Then try it lower and higher up on the fretboard. Bending is a lot harder as you move away from the 12th fret, so don't worry if you can't bend the string a full step anymore. What we're doing here is trying to ingrain you with the knowledge of how much hand motion translates to what notes are in key. This is a good exercise for trem use too.

2) Now get out your electric tuner. Play a note, and as slowly and smoothly as possible, bend it up a full step. You should see the needle move very slowly and steadily. You want to go as slowly as the guitar's sustain will allow. With my tuner, I can hold a note for 4-6 seconds before it doesn't have enough signal to register pitch anymore.

Those two exercises should help immensely. The key to bending is to remember that you need to bend to pitch - you can't just jack up the string and have it sound good. Once you get some more experience, you can do some neat things with it, especially for slow soloing. My favourite trick is to prebend a note sharp and hit it just before the downbeat, and release it so it's actually in key when the downbeat comes along. It's a neat way to add some 'blue notes' to your playing without technically going out of key.
Quote by bladedguitar66
You are bending with three fingers, right?

Yeah. Fret and bend with the ring finger, and support with the index/middle, right?
Jackson PDX Demmelition w/ EMG 81/85
Vintage Lemon Drop w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz
Dean Z Bubinga w/ Seymour Duncan Blackouts

Blackstar HT-5 combo
some bad info in this thread, but nuggets of truth...

First of all, if you go from the 12th fret and bend it to sound like the 13th fret, thats only a half step bend. A full bend will sound like your 14th fret on that string.

Secondly, most of your problems are just a matter of strength (which i worked on by using my drop C guitar at first to practice bends, drop tunings help soooo much when starting out)


This is the most common error people do when trying to bend nice and pretty and loud through their amps. If the strings above are shaking after you return the bend... GOOD, at least your bend is right, but try to always use your right palm to mute every string above the one your bending.

Sounds difficult but there is a really easy sweet spot and if you practice it a bit your left hand goes there without thinking, its easy... Just pluck a note, bend it up 2 steps and bend it back down, over and over... REMEMBER to use your right hand to mute the higher strings, that is what are practicing, right?

Now turn that tone knob to 0 and whip out some slash licks.
handsome21 is right, make sure you use your right hand to mute those strings. It takes plenty of practice, but it pays off.

Also, when you bend make sure you are using your index finger to rest over the upper strings that you aren't using. That's what i do anyhow. I use my middle finger for support and use my index finger to "cover up" the upper strings. This in conjunction with right hand muting should solve the problem.

bending to pitch just takes practice. Slide up to the note you want to bend to and then do the bend. Practice that over and over on different spots all over the neck until you start to get a good idea of how much you have to bend to get the intervals you want.
Traynor YCV50 Blue
epi les paul w/ SD Alnico II pros
Dunlop Slash Wah
EH Deluxe Memory Boy
Moen Jimi Vibe
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz
Zvex Vexter Fuzz Factory
VHT 2x12 w/ V30's
Quote by Rargh
Yeah. Fret and bend with the ring finger, and support with the index/middle, right?

No. Fret with the ring finger, support with the index/middle (sometimes also the first finger) but bend from the arm- not the finger! This may explain better:


...and I'm not the only person who does it this way. Try googling it.
as for exercisers... did anybody say anything about the rock climbing gripper thingees which work the fingers individually... i use mine in traffic... works wonders for road rage as well as guitar strength/stamina/ blah blah blah...
i attempted to combine several ear/bend/vibrato exercises into one by bending half steps slowly at 60 bpm until it became second nature, then whole steps, and so forth... really works the muscles and the memory and the ear and because its slower one can correct the form to produce the desired result- a little like tai chi... also, because its at 60 bpm, i could practice wherever i had my guitar and a clock... started on the high e at the twelfth fret and went up and then all the way down in half steps... the note slowly oscillating up and down at quarter note intervals... so, the bend approaches the half step interval on the 2 and 4... i did this one time a day until i could do it without imperfection, then proceeded to the b string... and so forth... now i do all six every other day as a warmup just to maintain the muscle memory... when done properly it will sound slinky and warbly and will slither a little- if that makes any sense... this worked well for me- i hope it works for you... dont give up... good luck...
master the beginner's mind