Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

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Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby jopheza » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:55 am

After seeing a number of 'pub' bands recently, I feel what really separates the men from the boys is the ability to execute a bend with perfect intonation.

Nothing ruins a solo more than an out of tune bend!

Here's how to practice getting accurate:

http://www.fundamental-changes.com/bending/
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:17 pm

the frets on the guitar neck are placed in "equal temperment". Degrees.
By that very nature, the guitar can never be in tune like the beatless pitches
of "just intonation".
Guitar - equal temperment, not just intonation.

When I bend I WANT to hit pitches that don't match up with the frets.
Heck between the 2nd and the 5th of the scale there are like at least 8 tones
that I will play with, of course one needs to be aware of them.
For example, on the second string select four frets and play the four notes.
Now play five piches in that four span. It is very easy to see that these tones are not offered in our 12 tone scale system.

Listen to old slide players and harmonica players, they often play pitches that don't match the fret.
Then there is playing the right tones that keep one foot in standard ET.
It becomes a dance between bends and unbent
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby jopheza » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:10 pm

This is just an exercise to develop control and aural ability :)
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Jakeblues » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:41 pm

Good point Clifford. A lot of times in blues, the "3rd" can be major, minor or several points in between. The subtitles in intonation as part of the expression of the player. The better the control of the pitch, whether or not it's "correct" or not theoretically, the more options the player has. (Sometimes I dislike applying theory to thr blues. When I went to "that jazz school" if it wasn't 12 bars and you weren't on the 4th in bar number five, it wasn't blues. I disagree.)
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby ricbleu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:21 am

Good grief, Charlie Brown....! :wha: :D Peace
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby texas blues » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:21 pm

I don't think Muddy or Chester or any of the old blues guys gave a damn about perfect pitch when it came to bending, sliding, or any other 'thang. A lot of those cats played perfectly in tune but not. The rhythm sections were "tight" but "loose". I'll leave the perfect pitch stuff to the John McLaughlin's of this world. Like Jr. Kimbrough, gimme' one chord and a riff and I can go "All Night Long".

Dig Luther's bend at 2:45, so nasty its got hair on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1pX9Cg-zSw
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:00 am

I respectfully disagree about great players like Muddy not caring about their bends, and phrasing,, what does it take to sound like Muddy? Why does Muddy sound different from anyone else? Because it's personalized. Albert K sounds different from Albert C right?
To sound like yourself you NEED to have intellegance of a very high order.
You metioned perfect tuning, all I can say is Albert King hit every bend he attempted, to me that perfect. The human can hear all these fine pitches, some train themselves, some don't have to, they can just put it in their playing.
Bottom line good playing takes intellect, Those old blues players were intellegant. Howling Wolf? That rought voiced blues man was very intellegant in both his music and his life and he still sounded like the Wolf, raw.
If you want to be good you need to use your smarts and work that shit out. Playing that bend with hair, lots of caring about their sound.

I believe those greats gave a big damn about their bending and phrasing in general.
texas blues wrote:I don't think Muddy or Chester or any of the old blues guys gave a damn about perfect pitch when it came to bending, sliding, or any other 'thang. A lot of those cats played perfectly in tune but not. The rhythm sections were "tight" but "loose". I'll leave the perfect pitch stuff to the John McLaughlin's of this world. Like Jr. Kimbrough, gimme' one chord and a riff and I can go "All Night Long".

Dig Luther's bend at 2:45, so nasty its got hair on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1pX9Cg-zSw
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby ricbleu » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:15 am

All the way,Texas. They did it by feel, by a fine tuned ear that got that way by playing and feeling and not by thinking. BB King for example lets the bend go when it feels right. I don't want to raise a lot of dust here, but I'll staunchly maintain that it's the heart and not the head that makes the blues real. The old blues masters might have had a high intelligence or they might not - no matter, cos they played it from the heart. :D Peace.
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:41 pm

Come on, really? You don't play from the heart if you know stuff? That's crazy none of us were living back "then" when they just played from the heart. A big problem fr me in this is the part about playing from the heart. What does that mean? Does it mean that when BB is playing a 32 bar "Help The Poor" he lost his heart? Or when Muddy sang "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" that is 19 bars long , was heartless? Or how about Tbones "Stormy Monday"? When I was a teen this was just about jazz to me and my friends, and we loved it.

You talk about this feeling thing that is so special to the blues, I get that, arguably as well as you.
The loner, soft spoken like Clint Eastwood, distant at the bar, a mystery, guitar slinger,the crossroads. It's all cosmetic, it don't mean a "thang" when it comes to heartfelt.

If I agreed with you then I would have to remove myself from blues playing because persona is not me. It was always the ones that "step outside" of the norm like BB with The Thrill is Gone", that was fringe blues, fringe in so many ways, using strings, white non blues playing string section on loanthat could read the hell out of those charts., that was fringe, breaking all the rcial barriers with that song was major fringe, the "60s hippie culture loved it, those experiences turned many people into blues lovers. And many of them are here on this forum.
I'm not into the theatrical side of it all, the blues look and cosmetics.
I' ALL about heart in blues, #1 thing, copycats don't do it for me, it was their thang let them have it, make your own voice baby.

Great ears are all around us, if you just listen, McLaughlan has great ears, so did Blind Blake and so does Robben Ford as John Mayer as does ????

I don't want to exclude myself from this blues club because. I'm not a "purist"

Actually my response should be "you talkin to me?" Or "how dare you " or , or,,,

'ears to you =)

Ok, now let's be friends, I'm all into it and can play some dirty blues to make you satisfied

ricbleu wrote:All the way,Texas. They did it by feel, by a fine tuned ear that got that way by playing and feeling and not by thinking. BB King for example lets the bend go when it feels right. I don't want to raise a lot of dust here, but I'll staunchly maintain that it's the heart and not the head that makes the blues real. The old blues masters might have had a high intelligence or they might not - no matter, cos they played it from the heart. :D Peace.
ricbleu wrote:All the way,Texas. They did it by feel, by a fine tuned ear that got that way by playing and feeling and not by thinking. BB King for example lets the bend go when it feels right. I don't want to raise a lot of dust here, but I'll staunchly maintain that it's the heart and not the head that makes the blues real. The old blues masters might have had a high intelligence or they might not - no matter, cos they played it from the heart. :D Peace.
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:23 pm

I think you are correct, heart first, without a doubt, but withut the head we just drool and slap our hands together. The heart thing I truly believe, and I hope you also believe that the heart thing IS our mind active and thinking.
I can 't nor do I want to argue this point, it's all about heart.
What I love about the early blues players and players like Charlie Christian
These guys had nobody to copy from, they had a few race records maybe if lucky, but when it came to paving the hiway of our modern blues viewpoint.
Their bold drive into getting their sound heard. I have to give Charlie Christian credit for his contribution to blues, electric is a'ok.
Today, a true original is just about impossible unless you grew up in a bubble. I have heard sooo much more than Charlie ever heard in his imagination.
The old saying stands, we stand on the shoulders of those that came before.

I wish I had this uneffected mind so I could see if I also have this virgin idea like Charlie, could I pave a path? Very very few people make it to icon statis.
I don't think I would pave a big path on my own, I needed the recordings and all from the icons to show me the way.
The short story is this, we aren't them, we are only inspired by them. Whoever "them" may be. We all have our favorites that inspire us...
There can only be acceptance that everyone is different.

The shorter story,
I have heart, and you do too. I can express me and you express you.
I'm not missing a thing.
Heck, let's make some audio oof us playing together, it's easy to do with anyone with a recorder and a computer. We would discover we all sound like ourselfs unless we're carbon copies of icon playing. Copying a style down to the finest detail is NOT blues, iit's a skill yes but it isn't real blues that is involved with playing almost on the spot original licks, call it improve. But that to me is the heart of blues. I can play "Mississippi Blues by Willie Brown, but I'm not creating shit on the spot, I'm more like acting a part, being able to play that song differently each time, depending how you feel, that is getting closer to blues and heart.

Sorry if I came off sounding arrogant or whatever, I don't want to be that way
I really want to be part of the community, I dn't want to shake off my "professor" way of talking because I really want to share. Right or wrong. I want you all to see I can be wrong and call me on it.
This is me, a west coast hippie, was 13 in '67 San Francisco,
I studied and play jazz, I know a lot about it and am not the best at the hard fast stuff. More moderate tempos are fine, but I am not a jazz shredder. I know much more than I can play.
And what I do best is play blues because of the feeling or heart thing. Jazz without heart is boring, R&R without heart is boring, a cry in your beer country song sung by a piece of cardboard doesn't have heart.

I agree 100% it's all about heart.




ricbleu wrote:All the way,Texas. They did it by feel, by a fine tuned ear that got that way by playing and feeling and not by thinking. BB King for example lets the bend go when it feels right. I don't want to raise a lot of dust here, but I'll staunchly maintain that it's the heart and not the head that makes the blues real. The old blues masters might have had a high intelligence or they might not - no matter, cos they played it from the heart. :D Peace.
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:51 pm

I know I talk a lot but this is a forum and I'm not holding a guitar.

I agree, play in tune, that is the Guitar Technique lesson and basically it's about bending from one fret pitch to another fret pitch. If you are a beginning bender or fretless or slide player, the first idea is to bend from one fret sound to the next. I aggre totally and the lesson is excellent.

But advanced bends used by the masters of old days, or perhaps slide players, they played the pitch as they felt it, and that was way more often NOT inline with the frets. All good blues players should have discovered it because it's a truth.

All I'm trying to say is these pitches offset from the frets, these pitches can be learned in an academic way. A student gets told were to find this new pitch,, the student practised by ear until they got it.
I could tell you that there is a pitch that 2/3rds up from the 5th, or 1/3rd down from the 4th that is a totally exiting blues tone to play. You hit this pitch with some muscle and the hair will grow on it. Then yoou further bend it into the 4th. Jeff Beck does this often.
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:59 pm

So learn this new pitch and work it into your playing, that's what Robert Johnson did.
And that's the only way I' going to learn it.
A good blues player can create at least 16 common tones, and the greats more than that.
That little micro bend we put on the flat 3rd, that is one of these tones.

Yes it can be discussed, and learned and the individual can learn to hear these pitches, and maybe able to even play them.

But without this mysterious thing called heart, it just comes across as cardboard playing, uninteresting, can't track it or follow the story, lots of people crash and burn, sadly it's true some will never get it.
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby ricbleu » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:59 am

You make some very good points, Clifford, and I really like your atavar. :D Peace
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby Clifford D » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:52 pm

ricbleu wrote:You make some very good points, Clifford, and I really like your atavar. :D Peace

Thanks Rich, those nice words just made my day.


That avitar is the product of many, many croppings in order to be accepted
by the Big Road computer. I know not why?? The picture originally was a whole guitar and that little bit is what the computer accepted. Lol
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Re: Guitar Technique Lesson: How to Bend in Tune.

Postby ricbleu » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:18 pm

Clifford D wrote:
ricbleu wrote:Thanks Rich, those nice words just made my day.l
That's a compliment, Clifford, and I'll hold it carefully.

Have you listened to much Middle Easterm music? Music of the oud from the area formerly known as Persia? It's surprising how similar the phrasings are to blues phrasings. Anouar Brahem is a good man to listen to. He frequently collaborates with western musicians eg sax, violin. It's very abstract music, but still accessible to our western trained ears. :D Peace.
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