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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,

I have a question and I'm hoping some resident experts can help me out.

1) I've been playing electric for about 8 months now (played acoustic only for about 1.5 years) so while I have a solid understanding of chords, most aspects of technique, etc. I never really got into doing full-step bends until a couple of months ago.

Problem I'm having is that when I release a full-step bend on the high E or B string, 90% of the time I can hear a very subtle ringing (almost like a "hum") from the string(s) directly above them. To illustrate this, I am trying to learn the first solo from "Comfortably Numb" which starts out with a quick rake, then jumps to a full step bend and release at the 14th fret on the high E string. My intonation is OK, and I have no probs just bending up to the note; the problem is coming back down quickly.

My instructor mainly plays acoustic and didn't really seem to know how to prevent this slight "hum" I seem to get most of the time. Haven't found much helpful info on the internet, mostly people just saying "mute the strings" or "work on your technique".....not terribly helpful suggestions. I've been trying for a few weeks to bring my index finger up and onto the strings while releasing in order to mute the strings above the string being bent, but this isn't working out very well. I've also tried using palm muting, but most of the time I end up muting the string I am releasing.

So to sum up: Problem is quickly releasing a full-step bend on the high E or B string usually produces a very slight "hum" sound from the string (or strings) above the string being bent. It doesn't happen if I slowly release the bend or if I only do a half-step bend.

Wondering if anyone else had this problem when first working on developing their bending technique, and if there was something you did to work this out? FYI: I am using an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with extra light (.009) gauge strings, and have had a set-up done recently to ensure action, intonation, etc. are OK.

Thanks a lot!
 

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The only reasonable solution I can offer you is to work on your technique. I know what you mean and it is simply technique. I've had similar problems in the past with bends and it all boils down to muting the "humming" string ever so slightly (with fretting fingers or palm muting with the edge of you palm). Again technique. I have no problem with those bends now but it took a while to master.

Now I'm working on Edge's technique....I figure with a user name like yours, you know what I'm talking about.

Keep practicing.
 

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First of all, congrats on hearing the unwanted tone(s) and realizing they need to be corrected. Attention to details like this are what will make you an excellent player.


"mostly people just saying "mute the strings" or "work on your technique".....not terribly helpful suggestions"

That is the correct advice. If it's not useful, it's because you don't know how to implement it.

I've been playing for so long that this kind of technique is second nature, but I do remember when I had to work on it. Take it slow, experiment with how touching the unwanted strings with your fingers works best for you.

If you still have problems, PM me.
I'm also in Hamilton. I'd be willing to spend a few minutes demonstrating the technique(s) that work for me. It's simple, but sometimes you learn much better seeing something in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The only reasonable solution I can offer you is to work on your technique. I know what you mean and it is simply technique. I've had similar problems in the past with bends and it all boils down to muting the "humming" string ever so slightly (with fretting fingers or palm muting with the edge of you palm). Again technique. I have no problem with those bends now but it took a while to master.
Thanks for replying...

So which technique do you primarily use to mute the strings, palm or fretting-hand?

When you say it took a while to master, how long would say?

Now I'm working on Edge's technique....I figure with a user name like yours, you know what I'm talking about.
Well, good luck! I remember I had a buddy when I first started getting into guitar that used to complain about how the Edge "doesn't even know how to hold a pick properly".....I think a lot of "guitarists" dump on him without understanding the complexity of his technique and style.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First of all, congrats on hearing the unwanted tone(s) and realizing they need to be corrected. Attention to details like this are what will make you an excellent player.

That is the correct advice. If it's not useful, it's because you don't know how to implement it.
Yeah, I should've worded that better. It wasn't that I thought muting the strings wasn't the right advice, it was that there was no detailed explanation behind the suggestions (just replies saying "mute the strings").

I've been playing for so long that this kind of technique is second nature, but I do remember when I had to work on it. Take it slow, experiment with how touching the unwanted strings with your fingers works best for you.

If you still have problems, PM me.
I'm also in Hamilton. I'd be willing to spend a few minutes demonstrating the technique(s) that work for me. It's simple, but sometimes you learn much better seeing something in person.
Alright thanks. I will spend a bit more time on it and let you know. It is encouraging to see that other people had this problem when starting out.

Thanks again
 

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Thanks for replying...

So which technique do you primarily use to mute the strings, palm or fretting-hand?

When you say it took a while to master, how long would say?


Well, good luck! I remember I had a buddy when I first started getting into guitar that used to complain about how the Edge "doesn't even know how to hold a pick properly".....I think a lot of "guitarists" dump on him without understanding the complexity of his technique and style.

I have no idea. I tend to work on one thing for a bit, then when I hit a wall I move to something else and come back to it later. Eventually, I just got it. While my method of learning may not be the most efficient, I play simply because I enjoy it. I've noticed recently that things are coming together very quickly.

It's just a matter of repetition, attention to detail, more repetition etc... then one day you just get it. You will get it.

I should add that I never plan to learn someone else's song note for note (solo and all). I just learn how it's put together and then do my own thing.

As for the Edge, I really like the way he textures the guitar parts. I'm playing around with learning some of his basic riffs (setting the delay is the hardest part) as well as trying to play acoustic arrangements.



:food-smiley-004:
 

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I remember vaguely having these problems, and I think part of the solution is to bend with 2 or 3 fingers . You have more control , and the string over the one your bending usually does less noise. The other part is to mute with you picking hand .

Muting is a big part of playing with distortion . You don't have to worry as much about making your notes sound even , but you must mute a lot to keep your playing intelligible .
 

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Mmmkay, the 'hum' = lower strings ringing out due to not muting them... been there. I remember busting my balls on bending when I started out then I watched some Zakk Wylde up close and figured it out. Total muting while bending 101 at 3 AM here so my typing might be off lol.

Use your index to mute a couple strings above the string you're bending so they don't accidently ring out during the bend. Check out my index finger here (exagerated, you don't need it that high up but you get the idea lol):



This also let's you smack the muted strings and give you that heavier sound that I dig. Think Zakk Wylde again, he does this all the time.

To mute the lower ones (aka the hum!) you can either use your thumb (if you have long enough fingers) or your picking hand... or both. For the thumb, look at the pic above, see how it rests over the top? Keeps them strings nice and tight.

For the picking hand there's 2 ways. There's the palm muting way which will take practice if you rarely play palm muted music, you've just gotta' get used to the technique. Then there's the side of the thumb / palm / pick way. It's like this:



Example if you're bending on the B string you'd use the palm to mute the low E, the side of the thumb to mute the A and the D then the pick to mute the G after you've picked the B string / note you want to bend.

Combine them and you'll have nice clean bending.

Then for the speed of the bend I'd suggest working on your vibrato aka bending up a full step, bring it back down, back up, back down, etc. making sure each bend is even and consistent everytime. Start slow and build the speed up. This also works on finger strength which is a huge part of lead playing in general anyway. Just remember developing good / even vibrato takes awhile... don't rush it.

One last thing... watch the master Zakk everytime he bends and see him use all the techniques I mentioned (including the smackin' muted strings while bending lol): http://youtube.com/watch?v=WkzTQawmtG4

Since he is my favorite player I just watched, listened and then applied what I saw/heard him doing. Watch your favorite players and see what they do too, maybe they've got a different way about doing it that'll be easier to you. Everyone's different!

Anyway, hope that helped. Time to hang up the guitar and get some sleep LOL. :rockon2:
 

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yup violation is right- yu will learn to mute the strings that you dont want to hear. i use my right hand to do this, actually usually resting the knife edge of my hand over the strings and/or bridge and flexing the hand to allow the wanted notes to ring thru as i go and to a lesser degree muting with the fingers behind the note. its something that seems hard but will not after years of practice.
also- is that guitar properly setup- it can be important
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, thanks for all the additional suggestions everybody (and thanks for such a comprehensive post violation!)

As an update; I've been practicing bending using my middle and ring finger while using my fretting-hand index finger to mute the string(s) above the string I'm bending on. It is definitely helping, though I'm still having trouble getting the palm-muting techniques down -- I'll just have to keep working on it. I've also got somewhat small hands....I think so anyways -- like 7.25 inches from heel of palm to tip of middle finger, so that may make things more difficult (though I'm sure there are people with smaller hands/fingers who can bend with ease) :rockon:

Canman - I've actually been interested in getting a compression/sustainer pedal for some time but haven't gone out to test any yet. I will definitely check out the MXR Dynacomp if I can find one at the music store.

Thanks again everybody for helping out a sorta-old man who waited way too long to start playing guitar
 

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HOLY SH*T!! Violation appears to be very well endowed in the fingers department. Your fingers are like a foot long!! I have big hands with short stubby fingers. I am envious. It took me months to barely be able to play some "Jimi Hendrix" chord voicings. I believe my hands are better suited for the UFC. However, I love making noise, so here I am and no one will stop me!! sdsre
 

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Haha they're not too long, I think the camera is playin' tricks. They're just barely long enough to play leads with the strap as low as I have it :eek:
 
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