The attached pic is part of a solo from Stairway to Heaven (I know.. it's over played and I can't play it!). The most annoying problem is that my nails are getting digged up by the higher up strings whenever I'm bending upwards. my fingers also 'trip' over other strings making them vibrate or 'pop'; I don't get this problem when I am doing half bends.. What am I doing wrong
When bending you want to have your fingers parallel to the fretboard and not pointing down on the strings in a 90 degree angle. If you lay down your fingers on the fretboard and push the strings you should be able to bend the string and push the other strings aside, while keeping your nails high enough off the fretboard that they won't catch the other strings
Okay I just tried that but the strings I'm attempting to bend just ends up sliding back down, lol...
Last edited by Reez at Oct 12, 2007,
Well you still use your fingertips to fret the note, you just catch it more or less at the bottom of the tip of your finger.
Your action is too high, that's why you are sliding under the upper strings and why the other strings are in the way. Don't make you action too low thought, while is is good for speed to have them low the upper strings will sneak under your fingers when bending. You should be using two or three fingers to bend also.
You should be using two or three fingers to bend also
If that's the riff in the solo I think it is, the next 3 notes come too quick to use 3 fingers, or even 2, you'll need them before you can get them off that note.
The best I can tell you is practice, getting your fingers out of the way of themselves is a matter of doing it for a few years and developing technique and accuracy. You'll learn in time how to position your fingertips to dig under the next string when bending, and if necessary trim the fingernails a bit. I had to use a fingernail file on mine a few weeks ago, they kept digging into the fretboard and tripping over other strings. That's a new problem for me though, I've just recently been able to stop chewing them off all the time.
Try just the bend s-l-o-w-l-y and maybe you can watch how it happens and adjust for it. Then add the next couple of notes either direction to see where your fingers are coming from and going to in relation to the lick you're working on.
If that's the riff I think it is, it's a tough one to get down, or it was for me with a very recently (at that time it was a new song) injured tendon. But that's the way I worked out how to play it on an old Silvertone acoustic, where I also had the issue of reach, that's going into the guitar body on an acoustic, no such thing as a cutaway acoustic 30 years ago...Then I'd try it on my el cheapo electric, no amp, and see if I could get it close whenever it was quiet enough to hear the thing...