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Bending strings on different guitars


BluesWithoutBlame

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This is probably a real basic thing (maybe neck scale length?) I just overlooked, but...

 

I especially noticed this while trying to teach a friend of mine a song. He was using my Telecaster, and I was using my main Strat. I'm showing him a section that involves some bending, and he's consistently flat.

 

I try to focus him on that, but he can't really get the note. I switch guitars and find I can barely get the note but I am bending (I don't remember exactly which one but something like) 2nd or 3rd string almost to the top of the neck and still just barely getting it. On my strat, I'm only bending it up a little into the 5th string.

 

Point is, I can get much higher bends, much more easily on the strat. One thing, I did get some fatter (but definitely NO fatter than the Strats') strings on the Tele...I think I went from 10's to 11's.

 

So it isn't just how hard, it is mainly how much higher I have to bend to get the same note on the Tele as I got on the Strat.

 

Anyone notice this? Will string gauge effect it? Or is it due to scale?

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Originally posted by ellwood:

I have only noticed that with different string gages before I decided to run the exact same sets of stings on everyting. I use the same gage set on ALL my instruments, so I think the guitar itself does not cause this condition.

So you're saying...with the same guage, no matter which guitar it is about the same bend to get to the same note?

 

Thanks! That could be it. I thought they were the same gauge strings, but now I'm beginning to doubt myself. Have to look tonight.

 

Thanks!

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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It's minor...but shorter string length = less tension = easier bending.

 

It would probably be noticable to someone who is new to string bending and/or who doesn't play a lot.

 

I think if you are a regular player....you probably won't notice the extra ease on short-scale guitars...

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Now, there are so many variables in set-up, string-gauge, guitars, a player's finger-strenght and sensitivity... I think it's a safe bet that EVERYONE here has experienced what they're claiming...

 

If you're action's really low, you'll have to bend the string further across the fretboard than you would with a medium action. Some of the increase in tension (and thus pitch) will be coming from pushing down as well as across, so you won't have to go as far sideways. And with too low of an action, you'll be pushing the other strings, too; with a medium action, you can go partially underneath the adjacent strings when you bend. Too high of an action will make EVERYTHING unbearably stiff, though.

 

Scale length will change how much tension there is, it's simple physics. So will string-gauge. The two factors combined will make a bug difference: try a Strat (or one of Jim Soloway's extended-scale axes) with "elevens" on it, and a Les Paul with "nines", and the difference will be HUGE.

 

Conversely, I put "elevens" on my Les Paul, and it feels just cushy enough, while those same gauges on a Strat or a Tele will feel notably stiffer.

 

The headstock and tailpiece will have some bearing too, as noted, especially if there's a longer length of string there (you're pulling on all of it). If you keep the whammy from pulling forward and sucking up some of your bending effort, a guitar with a locking-nut like a Floyd Rose set-up will bend to pitch just a little sooner than the same guitar with the strings unclamped there. The locking-nut takes that length of string out of the picture.

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Originally posted by DC Ross:

I've found that scale length is the major factor. Here's a test: try some David Gilmour-style bends (like 2 1/2 or 3 steps) on an LP, then try the same thing on a Strat.

I have to disagree w/ miroslav here, you will notice how much less effort it takes on the LP, regular player or not.

????....

 

Ahhh...that's what I said. :)

 

Shorter scale (like on an LP)=less string tension=easier to bend.

 

What are you disagreeing with? About the type of player...?

 

Well...all I mean is that someone with very strong/developed guitar hands is probably NOT going to notice as much of a difference.

They will naturally/automatically push just a pinch more to finish the bend...

...but it would not be like, "Holy cow, I can't bend these strings!" :D

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I played a Fender/Strat-scale length (and before that, acoustic) for at least three years before I picked up a Les Paul and bent a note. The first push overshot it and that's the one time I've noticed a difference in bending ease. Plus switching string gauges radically at one point. But the scale length was minor-ly noticeable to me at one point. I'd test myself again but I sold my Tradition Les Paul for a nice profit already :)
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