So 'splain it to me: Why is it a B-Bender? Why not a G-Bender??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by decay-o-caster, May 21, 2008.

  1. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    It just occurred to me that I don't know why they (Parsons & White?) chose to make the movable one the B string instead of the G string? Seems like you're more likely to be playing a minor-to-a-major third on the G, given the guitar's heavy tendency to work off the E tonality?

    Can a B-Bender be put onto the G string instead? I know someone did hand levers for the G, but the yank-on-the-strap thing makes more sense to me. I just don't know why you'd use it on the B.

    Very confused... :confused:
     
  2. trazan

    trazan Member

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    Eh....the G-bender maybe? ;)


    I can understand why many would chose the B-bender though. The B is higher up in the stack of notes and takes on a more "melodic" quality; the G is lower and thus more subltle in effect. You can also bend the G-string to a full triad using just fingers, not so on the B.
     
  3. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    Doesn't Brad Paisley play with G-Benders and not B-Benders?
     
  4. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Since the guitar is tuned in 4ths except for the G-B interval, it makes sense to make it the B-bender, because then you can mess around with those intervals on the G & B strings a lot easier (IMHO).

    --chiba
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    you can do B Benders & G Benders, and Marty Stuart has, I believe, even added an E Bender to "Clarence", the legendary ex-Clarence White tele.

    One reason that Bill Crook told me he generally advises going with a B Bender rather than a G Bender if you're only getting one bender on a guit, is that generally the way most of us play we have learned to bend the G already, or if not, you can bend the G with your fingers and use the B Bender to bend the B string without interfering with the G string.

    If you have the G bender only, you're not moving the G string when you bend it mechanically, so if you go for a 2 note bend by manually bending the B string, you are likely to have the B string bump into the G string and deaden it.

    That made some sense to me.

    Cheers,
    Jon
     
  6. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Hmmm... Y'all make interesting points. A B-Bender gives you a whole tone rise, right? So you're really using it (maybe?) for getting a 6th (against E-based tonality), aside from specific melodic usage? Or am I just overthinking this?

    The ability to bend the G with fingers is a point I hadn't thought about at all, but it does make sense.
     
  7. dtube

    dtube Member

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    Owing to the inherant intonation problems with an unwound-G, I suspect most of us playing with an unwound tend to bend it a bit anyway to get it to voice correctly in chords. Perhaps a G-bender would make that a bit more noticable or difficult to adapt to? Maybe not - I'm just typing off the top of my head here (or out the lower expulsion port)...
    -Darren
     
  8. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    Yes.
     
  9. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

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    I thought he had at least one guitar with 3 benders, not sure which strings.
     
  10. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    A lot of the songs utilizing the B-Bender are in G major or E minor, so the B to C thing works fine.
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    B bender raises it a tone, not a semitone. there are tons of voicings with roots and 5ths on the B string, so you can raise the root to the 9th for the very common sus9 sound, or the 5th to the 6th for the very common 6th chord sound, both used a lot in the styles of music in which the B bender is used.

    You can't accomplish triad quality change with a bender that bends a tone (not semitone). You can make a minor triad a sus4, or a major triad a #11 (both of which can be useful things, sometimes).
     
  12. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    A(riel) Bender.
     
  13. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, "B" is the most common, and "G" second most. In a Parsons-White bender, one strap pin actuates the "B" and the other actuates the "G" if both are present on the same guitar. "B"string bends up a whole step, "G" string bends up a half step typically.

    Imagine you're playing an "A" chord on the fifth fret, "E" position. Bend the "E" on the "B" string (5th degree of D major chord in the "A" position fifth fret) to F#(the major third of "D"), and the C# on the "G" string (the major third of A) up a half step to "D"(root of the "D" chord), you'll have "bended" from an "A" major chord up to a D major - I - IV in "A".

    I-IV is a common change, especially in country music (GRIN - duh!) It also allows for bending the 2nd up to the third in the "A" position (B bend)_, major third down to minor third in the "E" position (G bend) as well as 5th to 6th as well as 4th to 5th (both B bend). Also, major to major 7th in the "A" position ("G" bend).

    Pretty cowboy sounding no matter which bend you use, I'm sure you can use 'em in another way, but it's not that common. Also, if there's a real steel player in the band, the "B" and "G" bender's won't get that much use.

    My several cents worth, Dana O.
     
  14. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    The double bender B&G Bender McVay combos on have the B bender using the strap button (pulling), and the G bender is hip-activated IIRC (as opp to the Parsons-White 2 strap button method)... I'm still tryin' to figure out how Marty Stuart does the E-Bender, too, LOL.

    [Edited to correct: Brad P only uses the G Bender on his Bill Crook guitars, I had confused that with another double bender guitar Bill Crook told me about]
     
  15. BMF Effects

    BMF Effects Supporting Member

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  16. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    on 2d thought I may be wrong and the 2d McVay bender is activated in the fore & aft plane (as opp. to up & down) ... all I knew is that there's no way I'm coordinated enough to do 2 so I stuck with 1. :cool:
     
  17. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    I'm scared to death of one, so twenty-three flavors of half- and whole-steps just makes my head explode! :)
     
  18. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    And it's actually worse than you're implying, IMHO. You never realize how much you push the guitar around against teh strap when you're standing up playing and moving around ... until you try it with a "B" and "G" bender equipped guitar.

    All of a sudden it's out of tune, andyou go to grab a tuner and all of a sudden, it's back IN tune, and then it occurs to you:

    "Doh - the dang Bender!"

    Next song - same thing. It takes a while to work it all out. Did I mention that if you play with a steel player, they'll start to hate you ... quickly.

    If you play in a trio or quartet though, they're really cool.

    Two more cents, Dana O.
     
  19. Chris Rice

    Chris Rice Member

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    I get used to strap-bending the B, then yank it to bend the G and get confused when it doesn't go.
    A little time spent getting used to the possibilities can make it very useful in any style (I hear B Benders in everything from Metallica to Led Zeppelin to The Black Crowes to The Eagles to The Byrds and on and on).


    [​IMG]
     

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