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View Full Version : Bends - How much can you get on each string?



SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 02:29 PM
I am practicing a blues course. Its based on the guitar but I'm trying to learn the techniques on uke.

I find that my stock Fluke nylon strings can only comfortably get a half step bend. Maximum.

The comfort is reaching its saturation point because some strings you really got to push or pull to get there and maintain the bend.

I am using a chromatic tuner and my ear to tell me if I'm getting there. I trust the tuner more.

Do wound strings work better for bends?

If I did have steel strings on my uke, could I get whole step bends ? or are all uke strings too short for a whole step.

Are we limited to 1/4 and 1/2 step bends?

Tudorp
04-28-2011, 02:36 PM
I wouldnt put steel strings on a uke that didnt have a truss rod. You risk folding it in half. There is a BUNCH of tensions on a neck joint and bridge mount. Much more than people think, especially with steel strings.

That said, I will check, but I do allot of bending, and get a whole step out of bends fairly regularly. If I can bend where some will slide, I'll take the bend because it is much more fluid..

SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 02:50 PM
I wouldnt put steel strings on a uke that didnt have a truss rod. You risk folding it in half. There is a BUNCH of tensions on a neck joint and bridge mount. Much more than people think, especially with steel strings.

That said, I will check, but I do allot of bending, and get a whole step out of bends fairly regularly. If I can bend where some will slide, I'll take the bend because it is much more fluid..

Good point about the truss rod. I have ukes with steel strings (and truss rods). I just don't plug in as fast as my FLuke lets me just pick up and start picking.

If you get whole step bends on nylon strings, can you verify it with a chromatic tuner and if so, what strings do you use, what size of uke are you using and do you only get whole steps on certain frets.

I don't think frets 1 thru 5 will bend a whole step but I'd like to know if otherwise.

SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 02:52 PM
oh and if anybody has any experience with how much faster the strings need to be replaced by all that stretching, let us know.

I'm thinking the strings will get out of shape fairly quickly if they keep seeing loads more regularly.

Tudorp
04-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Good point about the truss rod. I have ukes with steel strings (and truss rods). I just don't plug in as fast as my FLuke lets me just pick up and start picking.

If you get whole step bends on nylon strings, can you verify it with a chromatic tuner and if so, what strings do you use, what size of uke are you using and do you only get whole steps on certain frets.

I don't think frets 1 thru 5 will bend a whole step but I'd like to know if otherwise.

Nylguts, and bends like that from soprano to tenor, BUT that said, no not below about the 5th fret.. Like on guitar, bends might depend on how strong your fingers are. On guitar, and steel strings sometimes on the aggressive bends I will use three fingers to push/pull, especially if I have to hold it for any length of time..

I will check it on the tuner for ya.. I never paid much attension exactly where, and how much, I play by ear, so I do it till it sounds right for what I am playing..

Tudorp
04-28-2011, 03:09 PM
Also yeah, depending on playing style, it will effect your string life. My daughter goes through about a set of strings a month on her Les Paul. She plays allot, and flat wears em out. She'll come tell me, "Dad, my strings are dead again... " I don't tell her but I keep a stash of GHS Boomer 10s for our guitars, lol..

mm stan
04-28-2011, 03:14 PM
Aloha Frank,
Either you down tune you uke to release the tension on the string for easier bending or buy thinner strings...that should solve your issues..

philpot
04-28-2011, 04:47 PM
I never do bends... but I just tried, and I couldn't get past a half step :P could just be because I'm not used to it. idk.

SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 06:22 PM
Aloha Frank,
Either you down tune you uke to release the tension on the string for easier bending or buy thinner strings...that should solve your issues..

that is interesting. Thanks Stan.

SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 06:25 PM
So, Thanks Tudorp for telling me whole steps are possible and suggesting the Aquila nygluts.

I tried again and got some whole steps; but, also have really made my finger tips feel like ground beef right now. I was only using one finger so maybe 2-3 fingers might help; but, that kinda seems gorillaish; but, its worth a try. I saw a friend doing that earlier this week so maybe I need to give it a try.

I am willing to see if the detuning helps out.

Thanks all!!!

Brad Bordessa
04-28-2011, 09:28 PM
Practice. If I feel like wringing it out I can get a 2 step bend (4 frets). You've just got to get your fingers used to it.

The more mass a string has, the faster it will bend up. You can bend a low g a lot farther than the A string.

Why are you using a tuner? Just play the fret or two (or three) above where you are starting the bend and then bend to that reference note. It will make you ear better too. So say you want to bend from the 10th fret to the 12th fret, play the 12th fret, hear the note, then drop down to the 10th and bend to the note.

I don't think it wears strings out any faster. I'm using Worths though. They are pretty tough.

Yes, please use 3 fingers. PLEASE!!! You your ring finger and ROLL your wrist (start with your wrist clockwise and roll counter clockwise pushing the note up).

This video looks promising for the basics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Prhi5FgScEM.

ConspiracyUkeist
04-28-2011, 09:28 PM
The Aquilas on my Cordoba bend great. I know because I was messing around finding beginner lessons on youtube and some were not so beginner, and had some cool bends. I could bend right along.

How much can mine bend? "yay" much.

SuzukHammer
04-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks Hippie. I really didn't know if I should approach the guitar methods because I wanted the uke experience. But, if it works, it works. I'll give it a shot.

I had previously tried to bend by ear. When I used the tuner, I found out how thin I was bending. WIth the tuner, I could see how far I bent and gauge my next attempt at a bend. I agree once I know the general strength and bend position, it will be easier to do the ear method.

2 whole step bends? wow. I'd think you'd need to anchor that string on the wall for that. :)

Tudorp
04-29-2011, 01:21 AM
Yep, if you are not built up for it, it sure will tatter your diggits, lol.. But, I am a huge Blues guy and do allot of bending, hammer on/offs so it's just 2nd nature for me. It might be awkard using 2 or 3 fingers for awhile and but as you get better at it, you can use more fingers and still be fluid with it the more your practice. On guitar and steel strings, it can be damn near like running your tips through a cheese cutter at 1st, lol..

I know a guy that can bend chords effortlessly. Try doing that? lol.. I do that, but can't get much bend before I loose it.

Tudorp
04-29-2011, 01:25 AM
You your ring finger and ROLL your wrist (start with your wrist clockwise and roll counter clockwise pushing the note up).



I have some videos posted somewhere doing allot of bending. I never noticed it until you said this, but I roll my wrist and never really realized I did that... funny..

Tudorp
04-29-2011, 02:39 AM
Ok, here's the scoop.

On a concert w/nylguts, using a tuner. I only messed with the #1 "A" string. On the 3rd fret bent from a "C" to a "C#. 4th fret bent from a C# - D#, and from the 5th fret bent a D-F. That full 2 note bend on the 5th fret I have to admit I wouldn't want to do that often, and for very long, that one hurt my kevlar finger tips a bit, lol..

SuzukHammer
04-29-2011, 05:30 AM
Ok, here's the scoop.

On a concert w/nylguts, using a tuner. I only messed with the #1 "A" string. On the 3rd fret bent from a "C" to a "C#. 4th fret bent from a C# - D#, and from the 5th fret bent a D-F. That full 2 note bend on the 5th fret I have to admit I wouldn't want to do that often, and for very long, that one hurt my kevlar finger tips a bit, lol..

haha.


I found out that with the 3 finger wrist curl, I could get decent bends; however, I found out that my finger tip callouses were causing a thumping on the next string was pushed up a bit.

Fricking A. My callouses are mishappen!! Do I need to use an emory board on my callouses?????