#1
Hi

First post here so greetings to you all.

I have played for a while but took a long time off before getting back into the guitar a couple of years back. Anyway, seems that while I've been concentrating on scales etc I've left some essentials off my practice.

In particular I recently used a tuner to check my bends and found they were often 10 cents off either way with a tendency to bend sharp by up to 10 cents. I was pretty surprised by this and will do some recording to check what it sounds like as a listener.

I will be practising this stuff to try and rectify but for those who have checked, what accuracy do people generally achieve when bending? I'm guessing a couple of cents out is normal but maybe I'm wrong?

What's the verdict?

Thanks
#2
That depends on the frequency of the pitch being bent. Higher pitches, mis-bent, are much more noticeable, as a semitone between pitches is a lot more.
E.g. from A4 to Bb4 is 26 Hz. Whereas from E2 to F2 is 5 Hz.

I suspect that the ear can detect very easily when the pitch is even slightly out ... it has way more resoluion than the eye.

The cardinal sin of blues bends is bending the root slightly sharp. That really, really grates. But beginners, not knowing where to apply a blues bend, do that quite a bit.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 12, 2016,
#3
Satriani has a great tip for practicing bends - first play the note you are going to bend to ( i.e. fret the note and play it) and then bend up to it - for example, play the E note 12th fret high E string and then do a full step bend from the D note (10th fret high E string). you'll have an easier time gauging when you hit the right pitch since you just heard it. there is a short video lesson on you tube by either Guthire Govan or Satriani that demonstrates this.
#4
reverb66

larry carlton has a nice quick take on bends..dame he is good...
play well

wolf
#5
Quote by jerrykramskoy
That depends on the frequency of the pitch being bent. Higher pitches, mis-bent, are much more noticeable, as a semitone between pitches is a lot more.
E.g. from A4 to Bb4 is 26 Hz. Whereas from E2 to F2 is 5 Hz.

I suspect that the ear can detect very easily when the pitch is even slightly out ... it has way more resoluion than the eye.

The cardinal sin of blues bends is bending the root slightly sharp. That really, really grates. But beginners, not knowing where to apply a blues bend, do that quite a bit.


Thanks, Jerry but re the higher notes: surely although the semitone might represent less of a jump in frequencies the highee you go, the cents are still only 1% of that difference and so also get smaller and so less noticeable. I suspect that I'm so keen to make sure the note isn't flat that I'm unconsciously sharperning it. Something similar happens with piano tuners who try to make the octave a bit sharper for the same reason.


I would certainly agree there's a range which we seem to hear better. In piano the extreme bass notes on the one hand and extreme high notes on the other are more difficult to differentiate whereas in between is much easier. I'm guessing the guitar pitch especially around 12th fret is in most people's most sensitive hearing range.

I'm wondering how many cents is noticeable though as we are bound not to bend 100% accuracy always.
Last edited by willie45 at Aug 12, 2016,
#6
Hi reverb and wolflen. Much appreciated. Thanks for the pointers. I'm finding that to my ear my bend seems fine but when I check with a meter it's fairly often in fact between 5 and 10 cents out. I'm wondering if anyone actually has checks their bending to find out how accurate they are. For years I've assumed mine are fine. I'm wondering if it's an age thing TBH. Bit unfortunate for me if it is
#7
Guys I found this page here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/why_your_bends_are_out_of_tune_and_how_to_fix_it.html

I found it helpful but was a bit confused by the following bit which comes in the second section paragraph 2:

"Even when playing alone, if you fret the B on the 12th fret of the second string, and then bend A on the 10th fret to make it sound like that B, there will still be a clear difference to those with a finely tuned ear i. E. With perfect pitch. Strictly speaking, the bend is not in tune, yet that imperfection is what gives the bent note a certain character, just like the vibrato, where you are actually lowering/increasing the frequency of one note."

It seems to suggest it's pretty unlikely that bends will be in perfect tune ( as measured by a meter ) but have a "colour". This brings me back to my original question of how far out is it acceptable for a bend to be.

Now, I'm in the UK and it's late Friday night here and I'm tired so maybe I'm not reading it right. If someone can help me I'd be grateful

Thanks

EDIT
PS just found the Guthrie Govan video. Will watch it now. Thanks
PPS Wow there's 5 of them. Great stuff!
Last edited by willie45 at Aug 12, 2016,
#8
willie45 The higher the pitch, the greater the frequency jump per semitone.

But I thinkl you are over-analysing, and you need to get your ear to tell you when you're sharp. (or flat) As the others have said, try playing the target pitch on one string, and a bend to reach that target on the other. If you leave the target pitch ringing you can compare both pitches (bent and unbent), and listen for beats occurring. (They shouldn't be if you want accuracy ... but accuracy is not always the goal).

Acceptability depends on music genre, and which interval is being bent against which underlying chord.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 12, 2016,
#9
jerrykramskoy

Doh! Sorry Jerry, my bad. I know what you mean. I was having a dizzy moment. Thanks for your help. I do believe I'm getting a bit anal about the whole thing and will relax and practise more. Thanks again