#1
Recently, I have been trying to learn to play melodies by fretting one note and bending up to several different notes to make a melody or lick simply out of bends, a lá Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, type thing.

Does anyone have any advice or ideas on how best to practice and get this technique down?
#2
None of those guys make licks "simply out of bends". Gilmour plays with a lot of pent scale licks. So find out what key your in and what scale or scales you want to mess around with to give you a starting idea. Its easier if you have a backing progression to play over. You have to know what key your in ( or at least feel it ) and know what pitches you want to bend up to and work on "phrasing".

Im not sure your skill level are you having trouble making the bends sound in key like the pitches dont sound right or are you just lacking the feel of how to apply them? Clarify what specifically is your problem and it would be easier to help you.
#3
Check out the solo on Badge by Cream. A lot of the little melodies Clapton throws in there are done simply with bends.

There is this part (I would say that it is about the second measure of the solo but I can not say for sure) where he frets an F at the 13th fret of the little e, he then bends it up to G and proceeds to play out a little melody by releasing it a half-step to F#, then back up to G back down to F# etc. This is just an example.

I guess my biggest problem with this is making the bends sound in key, especially when you have to use a bend to hit two different notes, and also the feel. So both?

And I know that David Gilmour does it as well, you can hear it on the solo to Time. Near the intro of the solo he does a full bend, then adds another full bend to the already bent string for a 2step bend, then releases it by half a note. It is that kind of thing.

I don't need help with finding the key or what scale to use or anything, it is more a question of how to practice hitting the right pitch with the multiple bends, and how to get the rhythm down.
#4
the november rain solo is basically all bends... if you can get it done good it also sounds great. if not, it sounds like a dieing animal
#5
Yeah, that is pretty much my problem. Sounds great when you can get it. Most of the time it just sounds like I am stabbing a cat rather violently with my guitar and the damn thing just wont die.
#6
take each bend and get them to the rigth note (where you think it is) then let go of the bend and play the note that you were supposed to be play usuing the bend. practice this until every time you do it you go to the right note on bends
#7
Quote by Seryaph
Yeah, that is pretty much my problem. Sounds great when you can get it. Most of the time it just sounds like I am stabbing a cat rather violently with my guitar and the damn thing just wont die.

I learned the solos to "comfortably numb" theres a lot of nice bends in there. The 2 big things your dealing with are timing and pitch. You need to hit the right pitch exactly so slow down and make sure you know exactly what note your trying to bend to. Hit it in its natural fret location listen to it. Then hit the lower note and bend up to the pitch you just had. I did this when i wasnt quite right it helped me to hear the correct pitch and let it sink in so then i know when i hit it with my bend.

The other thing is especially with Gilmour ( I havent tackeld many clapton songs yet other than layla ) is you must understand the durations of the played notes before the bendsand the time of the bend. You can hold a note for a duration then bend it and you can bend at different speeds. If you bend to the right pitch but you were off at the time of the bend it makes it sound crappy. For the double bends the same holds true you just have to understand how long he holds a note before he moves higher or releases. Try counting to the song and determine the durations then pratice them slowly and get the feel.

The only real solution to this is slowly practice just like anything else. I learned comfortably numb and to be honest it wasnt that challenging it was more time consuming. I learned it in bites phraze by phraze listening many times and also paying close attention to the backing chords. Once i fully understood and could match the bends on one phraze i would learn the next and so on. With patience and attention to detail you can do it. If you just go at it of course you wont have such good results. Then once all meomorization is complete the fun part will come playing it with feeling and it feels great!

Take your time and be patient its a great feeling playing these types of solos well worth the effort. Good luck. I know i didnt give you much more than practice slowly which is an old cliche but it always holds true.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Jul 10, 2008,
#8
Yeah, that was pretty much what I was expecting. I've spent all day finding different places on the minor pentatonic scale to bend and then doing different bends with different rhythms. Today, I mainly focused on triplets with bends. So I think that will help. Thanks for the advice though.
#9
What /-\lice said, and also: practicing unison bends can help get your ear primed for this, and it's good to be able to hit them really accurately anyway. One thing to be aware of though- if you have a floating bridge the note you aren't bending will tend to go slightly flat, which can throw this off.
#10
Ok I guess this really goes for /-\lice. Ive been working on the 1st solo for Comfortably Numb. I don't understand how he does half of the **** he does in there. Vibrato with whammy bar . . . full step dip with the whammy bar.

I mean, wtf?

Any advice on how to get this solo to sound good? (aside from what you guys have already posted)

Maybe advice on how to play with my whammy bar in my hand?
Last edited by Seryaph at Jul 14, 2008,
#11
Blind Melon's got some bood bending solos
Man... Signatures are hard to come up with!
#12
Quote by Seryaph
Recently, I have been trying to learn to play melodies by fretting one note and bending up to several different notes to make a melody or lick simply out of bends, a lá Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, type thing.

Does anyone have any advice or ideas on how best to practice and get this technique down?


By doing it a lot and all over the neck so you're familiar with all the patterns of this technique.