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Whole Step Bends on an Acoustic?


(@ak_guitar)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 48
Topic starter  

I'm trying to follow a lesson book (“Blues You Can Use”) and it's calling for a whole step bend, D string, 7th fret bent to sound like 9th fret. After trying to accomplish this for a while on my acoustic guitar, I made the following observations: the D string needs to be almost to the edge of the fretboard to sound like the 9th fret, my guitar is now woefully out-of-tune, and my fingers are trashed. I'm using a Traveler with extra-lights as I don't want to break my Taylor attempting this.

My questions are three:
(1) Will doing the bend described break my acoustic guitar? If not, why is it out-of-tune?
(2) My fingers seem to go UNDER the strings to the outside of the D to get it to bend far enough. Should I be moving all those strings?
(3) I just figured I could do the “Blues You Can Use” book with my acoustic (that's all I have). Am I crazy? If so why? Is Blues limited to electric?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:2-4


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(@jimmy_kwtx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 115
 

Try your bend "upwards", use 3 fingers and the tuning issue could be the light guage strings (and they are probrably old) this would be the tuning issue.

Blues for acoustic....... They played blues prior to electrics (most likely with out the bends).

Suggestion on bends till you get an electric---slide to the note you need to reach. It may not help you with your bending but will help train your ear so when you do get an electric you will be able to "hear" the bends.

my 2 cents. Good Luck and Rock on!!!


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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2268
 

Sliding instead of bending is sound advice - I barely bend anything on my acoustic, and even then only by 1 fret. I've learned two versions of about half the solos I know :)

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


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(@redpoint)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 210
 

I've got Blues You Can Use, and I've tried to do the whole-step bends on the acoustic, but I agree, it seems very hard to do. On the electric I have it's pretty easy, so I'd go with slides instead of bends.


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(@telemarker)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 65
 

I've been playing a long time and I only do full step bends on the B and E strings. All other strings I'll do 1/2 step bends. I'd do what everyone else says and slide to the note you're going to - either that or fret it one fret higher and do a 1/2 step bend.


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

I think you should practice more.2 half steps bend are not very diffcult on a steel string guitar.And bends are usually made high up the fret board , say atleast above the 5th fret.

If you adopt the correct technique , i don't see any reason you won't be able to make bends.

On a yamaha steel string acoustic guitar , i have been able to make bends three half steps high.(or 4 too i think)


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(@telemarker)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 65
 

On a yamaha steel string acoustic guitar , i have been able to make bends three half steps high.(or 4 too i think)

On the D string?!


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(@ak_guitar)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 48
Topic starter  

Thanks everybody for your clarification.

What is is about electrics that make them easier to bend? Just lighter stings? Or is there some type of spring mechanism in the bridge?

Just for my own edification, proper bending technique involves moving all of the other strings out of the way at the same time as bending the string your picking, right?

Thanks again!

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:2-4


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Yea , i did make those bends.Although my fingers weren't there with me at that time...


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(@artguitarhendsbee)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 157
 

Try usin more than one finger Ex: if youre bending the 7th fret place some other fingers on the 5a dn 6 frets while bending and use them too, I find it gives me extra controll when doing bends on acoustics


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