#1
First post. Sorry if this has been covered before.

Suppose I'm bending the 14th fret of the G string up a full step (with my middle and ring fingers), and I'm also fretting the 12th fret of the B string (with my index finger). This is your typical unison bend.

I've been doing this forever, but I just noticed that I can't keep my index finger perfectly still. That is, when I do the bend on the G string, my index finger slightly moves the B string, bending it slightly less than, but sometimes as much as, a 1/4 step. Bad technique, BAD.

Lol. Anyway, when I bend I think I otherwise use proper bending technique- I wrap my thumb around the neck, and do the actual bending with my wrist. It seems that the action of bending my wrist also slightly twists my index finger, thus causing the undesired bend on the B string. I've tried doing the unison bend WITHOUT wrapping my thumb around- ie, I sort of straighten out my middle and ring fingers to push the string towards me. This seems like improper technique (though I guess that doesn't matter if you get the correct result), and is a little harder to do.

Does anyone else have this problem? Here's how you can test- finger the unison bend I've described, but only pick the B string when you do the bend. Does the B string move at all? Does its pitch change?


Any ideas on how to fix this? Yes, I know the answer is, "well, you should try to stop bending the B string." Has anyone ever had this problem? Am I worrying about it too much?

Thanks!
#2
You're putting too much pressure on the first finger when you bend I think. There's no way the first finger cannot move to a degree as when you use your wrist in the bend that finger becomes a pivot point along with your thumb. Try not to wrap your thumb over the fretboard though, you should still be able to bend with the thumb more or less centered behind the neck.
Moving on.....
#3
you should be able to bend without using your wrist, and without 'hugging' the neck with your thumb.
just practice it.
#4
Cool, thanks for the advice. I'll try bending without wrapping my thumb around.

Just curious- do you guys do all of your bends without wrapping your thumb around? That is, do you do bends from essentially the same hand position you use the rest of the time? Or is this something you only do for unison bends?

I know it sounds stupid, but everywhere I read says that you should bend with the wrist, so I feel that's what I'm supposed to do. And I don't think I've seen anyone bend without doing this. I guess the lesson is, as long as you get the proper RESULTS, you're doing it properly.
#5
Up until about a year ago, I played everything with my thumb behind the neck (classical position), except for bends and heavy vibrato. For that I would switch into the wrapped thumb position. For me that was limiting because I would have to change how I was holding the neck mid solo and back again. So I fixed it. It took me almost a year for bend vibrato to be as easy as it was before, the other techniques were a lot easier to transition. It's one of the best things I've done for my technique. Way worth it. There are lots of things I can do now that were problematic before.
#6
Well, I've been practicing bends today without wrapping my thumb around... and I love it! Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

It's funny... I think my bends are easier when I DON'T wrap my thumb around- been doing a 2 and 1/2 step bend from the 9th fret of the G string without too much trouble. Lots of fun!!

And my unison bends sound great!
#7
Meh, I play with my thumb wrapped around a LOT of the time, and do bends without using my wrist at all... sounds like my technically is completely screwed.
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#8
Quote by tapitin
Well, I've been practicing bends today without wrapping my thumb around... and I love it! Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

It's funny... I think my bends are easier when I DON'T wrap my thumb around- been doing a 2 and 1/2 step bend from the 9th fret of the G string without too much trouble. Lots of fun!!

And my unison bends sound great!

2 and 1/2 steps is a monster bend... are you sure about that? I've only heard such a beast pulled off by master Gilmour.
#9
^ it is? a 2 1/2 step bend where he said isn't that hard for me. I never put that big of a bend in anything I'm playing, and it kinda hurts the fingertips if you hold it for a while or do it multiple times, but I still did it fairly easily. I actually just did a 3 step bend to see if I could. I had to push pretty damn hard and it hurt, but I did it first try.
#10
what you do would be perfect technique on a floating bridge (floyd rose, edge pro), because what I find is when you are bending one string on a floating bridge the rest of the strings increase (decrease?) in tension slightly. So doing unison bends requires you to slightly bend the upper note (in your case the 12th fret on the B string) in order that they get to the same pitch. So just switch to a floating bridge problem solved