Recipe for easier string bending

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Kmaz, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    According to the page I'll link below, Clarence White strung his Tele with a .009 to .042 set, but swapped his 'G' string with a .013. I think I'm gonna try that next string change.

    http://www.burritobrother.com/gear.htm

    Going from a dread with (probably) medium gauged strings to a Tele with .009s and a really light 'G' string must take an incredibly delicate touch. Clarence White certainly had one! I like .009s on my Tele and Strat, but sure can mash them out of tune if I'm careful. Even though .010s on a Gibson have the same feel, that thicker wire really helps with tuning and intonation.
     
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  2. Gig Young

    Gig Young Orson Welles; Mercury Theater 1935 Silver Supporting Member

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    ^^^ This!

    Through the years I also had the neck pocket routed down a bit too,
    and other guitars shimmed the headstock and of the pocket.

    .
    i
     
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  3. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Use 3 springs. I do not use any sort of measurement, I just float the pivot edge barely off body in front and then about 1/16" off on back edge. Set Trem plate height with outer two screws with the middle 4 up a bit higher.
     
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  4. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    In my younger days on guitar, I did use the 9-42 string gauge. Switched to 10-46 gauge, at some point, back then. Is it common for players to return to a lighter string?

    I'll admit, I don't play guitar as much as I once did.
     
  5. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Gold Supporting Member

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    Monitor and control the fretboard relief, in addition. There’s a sweet spot between dead flat, (can be buzzy) and excess relief, which feels tighter.

    I’m a fan of the raw vintage springs as well.
     
  6. Franklin

    Franklin Supporting Member

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    Also; try to bend with your forearm and not your wrist or fingers. Lock your wrist and fingers and twist your forearm.
     
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  7. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Silver Supporting Member

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    Callouses, lighter strings, practice.

    Tweaks to the guitar setup will make relatively little difference. Proper bending is ideally not something you really think much about ... it just happens in the flow of your playing.
     
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  8. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member Vendor

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  9. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Either go with lighter gauge strings if you don't want to mod it, or refret it with jumbo stainless steel frets. I'd personally opt to refret it with bigger stainless steel wire it if it was my guitar.
     
  10. deepcove17

    deepcove17 Supporting Member

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    Higher action and practice, and more practice.
     
  11. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Silver Supporting Member

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    If you want to really learn how to bend and do it well, learn to play some very simple melodies on ONE STRING up and down the neck and bend into every third or fourth note. Practice, one, two and three step bends into the melody note and to it until you can play a very recognizable melody with a lot of bending into notes. I'd suggest the B or G string as ideal for this exercise and again, pick something simple ... a melody you like and really focus on bending right up to the note the melody requires. That will build your strength and timing as well and help your ear understand what it means to get the bend up to where it needs to be to create music.
     
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  12. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Start with a good setup. That makes a world of difference in how a guitar plays, feels, sounds.
     
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  13. fitz

    fitz Member

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    As others alluded to, loosen up the tremolo springs (3) so that when you bend a note the rear of the bridge pops up slightly to release tension. This makes all my Strats feel loose and slinky.
     
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  14. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    I find the Fender 150 and 250 strings are easier to bend and vibrato than others.
     
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