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Bending Strings On An Acoustic

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brothaweed
(@brothaweed)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

I am looking into buying an acoustic guitar. I have been focusing on the Blues since I've picked up the guitar again. What is the deal with bending strings on an acoustic? Almost every guitar I play around with in the various stores I've been going in and out of, either are extremely hard or basically unable to bend the strings. Especially the "g" string. Are there certain gauges that are a must? Or is it about forkin'-out some extra cash to get a higher end guitar?

All of this has led me to another question also... What is the best wood for guitar necks? I know I have seen this post before and it is not my intention to begin another "neck" discussion. All I have to say is I've been playing quite a few guitars and some are definitely "raspier" (not smooth) as others.

One last thing, it's late and I apologize if I'm all over the place.

Matt.


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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Guitars on display in shops might have been there for some time, and the strings might well be dead. Add to that the fact that the strings on a guitar on display will be cheapo nasty strings, and whilst you'll still get a fair idea of how good the guitr is going to sound you can sort of guess that whatever guitar you buy will need a new set of strings straight away to bring out the subtleties in the sound.

Accoustic guitars tend to have heavier strings - I have 11s with a wound 3rd on mine compared to 10s with a plain 3rd on my electric - which will require a little more oomph to bend, but bend them you can; you're unlikely to be able to bend then halfway across the neck, but then would you really want to?

My accoustic has awhat looks like a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard. My main classical has a mahiogany neck with an ebony fretboard. I like the way they sound - no other considerations.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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Embrace_the_Darkness
(@embrace_the_darkness)
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+1 to what Alan said.

Acoustics do tend to have heavier strings (unless you yourself put superlights on them) and the ones in the shop will have been played by lots of other people who probabaly tried bending them as well. So the strings will be knackered!

You can bend the strings on an acoustic, but you won't get very much out of it (one, possibly 1.5 semintones up). If I ever come accross a bend when playing my acoustic, I tend to use a slow slide up to the desired note and back again as compensation, it actually sounds better than trying to bend in my opinion.

Oh, and if you DO put super light strings on the acoustic, you will be able to bend them easier, as they are lighter. Obvious but worth pointing out I think! :lol: Other than that you can use two or three fingers to really push the strings, but then you risk either snapping them or pushing them out of tune.

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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I keep 13s on my acoustics that can take it (not my 12 string) for one reason: they sound better than 11s. I will gladly give up a half step of bend ability on an acoustic to get the nice woody tone I wanted when I bought the thing. So ... learn to slide as Pete recommends, and understand that your fingers will get a lot stronger as you work with a good set of mediums (= 13s) on an acoustic. Here's the other plus in putting mediums on an acoustic: better slide playing.

-=tension & release=-


   
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brothaweed
(@brothaweed)
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Right on! Awesome advice!


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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13's? Medium? Most suspension bridges are only held up with 12's......

I use 9's - tried 10's a couple of times, just didn't like 'em - always ended back up with 9's. Heaviest I use are 11's on an acoustic I keep in open tunings....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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Acoustic 'mediums':

Electric 'regulars':

-=tension & release=-


   
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