I want to get better at bending, and Legato. Looking for good excercises!

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138
I've been a rythym player for the longest time, but I'm forced into the lead guitarist role currently and am seeing it as a great growth opportunity on the instrument. Could you guys let me know some good legato and bending excercises?
 

AxemanVR

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536

The only “exercise” I can recommend is to choose a scale pattern, practice playing it as smoothly as possible and bend each note (both a little and a lot) until you get a good feel of how they sound.

Depending on what I’m playing, I sometimes find myself bending practically every note just a little…

Good Luck!


 

stevebo

Member
Messages
708

The only “exercise” I can recommend is to pick a scale pattern, practice playing it as smoothly as possible and bend each note (both a little and a lot) until you get a feel of which ones sound good.

Depending on what I’m playing, I sometimes find that I bend practically every note just a little…

Good Luck!


Wouldn't that make every note out of tune?
 

DrewJD82

Member
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819
I learned a TON from Eric Johnson’s Total Electric Guitar vid, he sells it on his website on DVD now. He gets into some different bending techniques and legato stuff in there.

Or if you really want to go down the legato hole, check out some Joe Satriani. It doesn’t have to be played up to speed to get the technique down!
 

AxemanVR

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536
Wouldn't that make every note out of tune?

First off, you’re almost always hitting the “key notes” before bending, so there is a firm connection to the scale irregardless of any bends.

After that, it really depends on how “jazzy”, “bluesy” or “psychedelic” one wants it to be.

But it can also help with the legato thing too, in the sense of giving each note (or at least certain key notes) a smoother transition to the next.

Of course one has to use their ears as well - if it sounds like crap then don’t do it!

P.S. I used the word “irregardless” on purpose, just because I like it… ;)


 
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cram

Member
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14,166
it's your ear - not your fingers (as much).
hear the pitch match what you're playing against.
Play to chords.
Use jam tracks or something like this in the background - develop a pattern and pass you'd like to work through.
feel and hear how it lands the right note.
learn to adjust when something is foul.
the motion of bending; often times what you're doing in and out of that spot where you're bending to a pitch is just as important. exercise through the entire passage to stop anything - anticipating with, "oh, here it comes; that part..." that is taking away from the approach and exit from your bend.

this has helped me.
That and being able to play loud to interact with an amp, but that's a different level.
 

Speedmaster321

Silver Supporting Member
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56
What helped me was a Truefire course from Jeff McErlain called Beginner Blues-Rock Soloing. Although it is nominally aimed at beginners there are several legato exercises that I found really helpful for making my lead playing sound less 'sloppy'. The beauty of the interface is you can just loop the video over and over until you really perfect the sample licks.
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate therefore I am...
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536
Well, if you arbitrarily just bent the strings, sure, but if you practice bending up to the next note in the scale, you can really hone in on half and whole step bending.

There’s also a thing called “micro-bending” that makes things more “flowing” than “stiff” sounding.

Jimi Hendrix comes to mind.

Of course there are plenty of times where I do little or no bending at all - so it obviously depends on what a person is trying to do…


 
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stevebo

Member
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708
Well, if you arbitrarily just bent the strings, sure, but if you practice bending up to the next note in the scale, you can really hone in on half and whole step bending.
True, but arbitrarily bending was the instruction given in that post. "and bend each note (both a little and a lot) until you get a good feel of how they sound."

I'm not sure that's helpful.
 

stevebo

Member
Messages
708
I've been a rythym player for the longest time, but I'm forced into the lead guitarist role currently and am seeing it as a great growth opportunity on the instrument. Could you guys let me know some good legato and bending excercises?
Just addressing the bending part of the question, there's a mechanical component to work through and then the project of training yourself to bend in tune. If you're a bluesy/rock sort of player I'd recommend taking something like this:



Or this:


and try to get your playing of the melody to sync perfectly with the track.
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate therefore I am...
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536
True, but arbitrarily bending was the instruction given in that post. "and bend each note (both a little and a lot) until you get a good feel of how they sound."

I'm not sure that's helpful.
`
"...until you get a good feel of how they sound" is absolutely the main point!

How else is a person going to "get a good feel of how they sound" if they don't try each note? Arbitrary as it may seem, each note can be "altered" for "effect".

Is it more helpful if they don't try at all?

Your criticism leads me to believe that you are suggesting only bending "certain" notes. If you're so anxious about being "helpful", then, pray tell, exactly which notes should the OP be allowed to "bend" until they "get a good feel of how they sound"?...



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stevebo

Member
Messages
708
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"...until you get a good feel of how they sound" is absolutely the main point!

How else is a person going to "get a good feel of how they sound" if they don't try each note?

Is it more helpful if they don't try at all?


`
I think if one of my students came to me and asked for some help developing skill with bending and I gave them that advice, it would not move them any closer to having a useful skill. Developing any ability on any instrument requires a degree of listening and emulating, the same way we learn to speak. Your advice is more like, "Here are some letters, have a go."
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate therefore I am...
Messages
536
I think if one of my students came to me and asked for some help developing skill with bending and I gave them that advice, it would not move them any closer to having a useful skill. Developing any ability on any instrument requires a degree of listening and emulating, the same way we learn to speak. Your advice is more like, "Here are some letters, have a go."

So, your advice to your students is to "NOT try everything"? That NOT trusting their ears is a "useful skill"? That bending only notes (a) (b) or (c) is acceptable, but don't even think about the rest? What kind of advice is that?

Like I said in my last response:

If you're so anxious about being "helpful", then, pray tell, exactly which notes should the OP be allowed to "bend" until they "get a good feel of how they sound"?

As for me? I say "BEND THEM ALL"!

Just because some notes don't work for you doesn't mean they won't work for them... or anybody else. Who are you to limit a person's choices? I think it's VERY important to try them all. Then they will at least know what works and what doesn't.

Anyway, I've found that every note "can" be bent at one point or another. But even if they don't "equally" work out, what's the harm in trying?

That oddball note that nobody bends may be the one that totally nails it!

I personally learned most of what I know (musically) by exclusively using my ears - and I’ve found the benefits to be incalculable. To suggest otherwise is pure negligence on the part of any so-called "music teacher"...


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kranick

Member
Messages
48
I had the same goals several months ago. I started with Chris Buono's Practice Sessions: Bending Workouts on truefire website. And these lessons helped me a lot! It has "Basic Bending Technique" series in the beginning and these ones help to understand my weakness in bending and fix it.

In January I decided to start another lessons to fix my hammers/ pull-off technique. I took lessons from another truefire's course (Chris Buono's Guitar Gym: Hammers and Pull-Off Workouts) and still go with it. These lessons are not about music, but they focused on the legato technique only.

Both courses are priceless for me!
 

stevebo

Member
Messages
708
So, your advice to your students is to "NOT try everything"? That NOT trusting their ears is a "useful skill"? That bending only notes (a) (b) or (c) is acceptable, but don't even think about the rest? What kind of advice is that?

Like I said in my last response:

If you're so anxious about being "helpful", then, pray tell, exactly which notes should the OP be allowed to "bend" until they "get a good feel of how they sound"?

As for me? I say "BEND THEM ALL"!

Just because some notes don't work for you doesn't mean they won't work for them... or anybody else. Who are you to limit a person's choices? I think it's VERY important to try them all. Then they will at least know what works and what doesn't.

Anyway, I've found that every note "can" be bent at one point or another. But even if they don't "equally" work out, what's the harm in trying?

That oddball note that nobody bends may be the one that totally nails it!

I personally learned most of what I know (musically) by exclusively using my ears - and I’ve found the benefits to be incalculable. To suggest otherwise is negligence on the part of any so-called "music teacher"...


`
I appreciate how much you contribute here so take this as friendly.

The way this typically works is, someone comes on the forum, asks a question, then gets a dumpster full of information to wade through, some of which is from people who are repeating things they found in other dumpsters on a forum. Some of the info is good, some is bad, some is from personal experience, some is internet lore. This creates a challenge for someone trying to actually get to the meat of the specific thing they're after, and often they're not even sure they're asking the best question in the first place. ie, "I think this is what I need but I'm not entirely sure..'

This is why so often the best advice is to find a teacher to guide you. I still think it's almost always the best advice. If that's not an option the next best advice is to use your ears and eyes to listen to and emulate the target skill. That's why I gave the advice above. I identify what you 'd like to play, a song, a specific part, and learn that thing...by listening and if possible, watching. This comes from 35 years or so of doing this for a living.

What I often see in your posts is advocating for more of an exploration of the instrument or technique that's not tied to a particular genre or repertoire. That's fine and perfectly valid for some folks. Most people, however, want to learn songs and make them sound like their reference, usually the recording.

Similarly, if you want to learn to compose an interesting piece of music I'd suggest studying a variety of songs you like and emulate those qualities. You can also play around with a bunch of chords that fit well together and come up with something you like. But you'll truly develop your craft when you study the masters.

Back to the OP who asked for exercises, start with the parts, something like the tracks I posted if that's in your wheelhouse, and make those the exercises.

Another thing I've posted before is to try to vet the messenger. Dig through the forum and find some evidence that the poster has some skill to back up the advice. Plenty of folks post examples of their playing. If what they do resonates with you then go for it. If not looks elsewhere.

Best of luck to all. It's a jungle out there! :)
 




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