#1
Right im trying to learn my first few blues licks, and of course that involves a hella lot of bending.

Now i find this kinda hard, really hard actually, especially the high e string, ive only been playing guitar for a couple of months and i just got my first electric which is a Squier bullet strat about 2 weeks ago.

And now i started thinking; is bending expecially full 1 tone bends always this hard in the beginning? Or can it be the strings on my guitar that are too thick or something? I have got no idea what kind of strings it came with.

http://www.thomann.de/dk/fender_squier_bullet_strat_rw_bk.htm

This is the guitar..

Would i benefit from changing the strings or do i just have to keep practicing?
#2
Yes it is hard in the beginning, but soon you will get used to it. If you switch to low gauge strings it would be easier, but I wouldn´t say it is necessary. Your guitar probably came set up with low gauge strings to begin with if I had to guess.
#3
Lighter gauge strings might help, but its all part of startings out. After a few months you'll start to get callouses, and it you'll be able to bend a lot easier.
#4
Bending needs a reasonable bit of finger strength and given that you only got the guitar a couple of weeks ago its probably fair to say you've not built it up yet. Give it time and it will become a lot easier.
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#5
One tip, beyond using lighter strings, is to use two fingers on the bend when you can. I struggled with accurate bends until I gor a shorter scale guitar (a Les Paul) and took the strings down to 8s. Even after all these years, I prefer 9s on a Fender length scale but can manage 10s on shorter ones.
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#6
dont change strings =0 change fingers i kno a great doc.....

muaahaha jsut keep practicing,
#7
Theres nothing in guitar thats got a secret trick to it, you just have to practice ...dont change lighter gauge, your fingers will build up good strength which is better in the long run
#8
I agree with those telling you not to change to lighter gauges...thats just silly, you may as well build up strength when you're first learning anyway.

When you are bending, spend a lot of the time making sure your bends are in tune -- here's an example:

bend up to a high D (10th fret E string) from a C (8th fret E string)

After bending, memorize the sound of the bend, and then go to the high D (10th fret E string) and see if it is the same pitch as that fret. Bends should always be in tune, otherwise, and there's no other way to say it -- you sound really stupid. Do this all around the neck on different strings (mostly G B and E strings) and you will start to get the feel of the way bending is supposed to feel and sound.
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#9
I can bend in tune allright.. I just find it ridiculously tough to bend say the high e string 8 fret 1 tone.. But well ill keep practicing!
#10
Practice is the answer but for some relief you can also work it around the twelth fret. Since this is halfway up the string it is the easiest area to bend in.
Moving on.....
#11
yea that high e string is tricky, try bending the 14th fret on that string. sounds super =-0, and do some finger tip push ups
#12
Fingertip pushups sounds like an idea.. Possibly usefull in other areas of playing guitar aswell.. Well thanks for answering everyone..!
#13
When I first started I got a second hand guitar that came with old heavy gauge strings. I changed them for some new Extra Slinky strings and as a beginner it made bending much easier. However, as others have pointed out, time & practice will build strength so there isn't a need to do this. After a few months you should be fine.

I changed my strings because they needed changing & tried a lighter gauge to experiment, not specifically to assist with bending. As with everything, different people will have their own preferences and I liked the light gauge.
#14
Protip, use 3 fingers to bend, you get a lot more power and control from your bends and doing it this way from the start means that when you want to do 3 semi tone bends and add vibrato to them later on it will be no problem at all!
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#15
I am using 3 fingers and doing the thing where i use my arm to do the bend instead og just stretching my fingers.. Still the high e is a real pain! But i guess it'll come!
#16
Yeah your finger strength will develop over time, its all patience
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Ibanez J Custom RG8570Z-BX - BKP Warpigs
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Stinnett M7 in the works
#17
Quote by Tobyflyr
I am using 3 fingers and doing the thing where i use my arm to do the bend instead og just stretching my fingers.. Still the high e is a real pain! But i guess it'll come!



You mean using your wrist I hope!
Moving on.....
#18
Use moar fingers.
Raise action a little bit.
Practice and bleed your fingers out.
"Black gives way to more black."




I have UG Black Style and I can barely read my signature.

Also, I like black.


~DawnwalkerALL HAIL COMRADE DAWNWALKER
#19
Buy Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, they are easy to get hold of and used by tons of people, awsome for bends aswell.... bending can hurt your fingers at first. When i was first learning solos with bending in i sometimes struggled, but just keep practising and it will come

Sometimes on the high E your fingers can slip off the fretboard, try bending only halfway upwards before you try full bends
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#20
Ernie Balls don´t bend better than other strings...

And a little rule of thumb:
3 E,B,G high strings-bend upward
3 D,A,E low strings-bend downward
"Black gives way to more black."




I have UG Black Style and I can barely read my signature.

Also, I like black.


~DawnwalkerALL HAIL COMRADE DAWNWALKER
#21
After playing so many strings, The Elixir ones seem to be my favourite for bending but they cost a lot, Ernie balls do it fine for me and they are cheaper
GEAR :


Ibanez SA260FM
Burswood Strat Copy
Marshall GV-2 Distortion
Crate FlexWave 120 Amp


#22
It´s down to personal preference, really.
"Black gives way to more black."




I have UG Black Style and I can barely read my signature.

Also, I like black.


~DawnwalkerALL HAIL COMRADE DAWNWALKER
#24
One other thing about bending..... super low action is harder to bend on as it's easier for your fingers to slip off the strings during the bend.
Moving on.....
#25
Quote by KenG
One other thing about bending..... super low action is harder to bend on as it's easier for your fingers to slip off the strings during the bend.


Super low action also makes it more likely for your fingers to slip over top of other strings, which causes them to fret notes.
#26
Yeah, it is quite hard when it's your first time bending strings. It can hurt sometimes, but you will get used to bending, and your finger tips will harden up eventually the more you play guitar. I play a lot of songs and riffs that include bending strings quite frequently, so practise is always a key point.

A few things that help me bend strings easier and more effectively is using light gauge strings, and also use two or more fingers to bend. Most preferably using three fingers if you're bending with the third finger.
However, you might not want to get a lighter gauge strings, but improve on your finger strength instead. Thicker strings make a fuller tone than light strings.
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Last edited by Mason12309 at Jan 11, 2010,
#27
i always find bending the high e harder for some reason. probably because its right on the end. i can really grab teh neck and bend the shit out of the b and g. but until you have major callouses on your fingers, its going to be bad.

smaller guage strings are going to be easier, especially on a 25.5 scale guitar (higher tension). but generally thats the sandard scale length. im just sayin. im used to the 24.75 on my les paul.

if your just starting i say play 9s and build up calouses. also, get in the habit of bending with 3 fingers. as in, if your bending on the 5th fret g string, your pointer is on the 3rd fret, middle is on the 4th, and ring finger is on the 5th. you get a TON more power in teh bend and the string is on 3 fingers and not 1 so its easier on you. generally, you will find you can get a more powerful, faster, crisper, truer note when you use a 3 finger bend.

if i really want a huge full note or more bend and want it to sound dang good, im using 3 fingers. (ex- the huge 10th fret b string bend on the man in the box solo)

plus, if your fingers are in line like that, it facilitates soloing because you can move up and down the fingerboard more easily by keeping one or so put moving just one. now you have 2 frets fingered, and you can pick between them without having to making large movements with your hands.

thats one of the ways i have been taught. just a thought.
Last edited by ikey_ at Jan 11, 2010,