String bending on the classical guitar.

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Smudger5150
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String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Fri May 12, 2017 10:41 am

Is string-bending a la rock and blues guitar soloing considered a no-no on the classical guitar or is it a simply a case of it is difficult to do with the wider neck?

I don't know of any classical guitar pieces that use the technique but I am interested in playing non-classical pieces on the CG occasionally.
One that I'd like to try and play is Jerry Donahue's King Arthur's Dream (from the Hellecaster's 1st album) which uses a lot because string-bending was one of Jerry Donahue's main techniques.

I would not want to hook the thumb over to facilitate this technique but I suspect that might be 1 of the deal breakers here. In other words, is it a case of string-bending can only be done effectively when one is hooking the thumb over the neck? Which is typically used on non-classical guitars because they have narrower necks.

Your thoughts?
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Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Fri May 12, 2017 10:42 am

Incidentally, I had a 'quick' search for this topic on delcamp and couldn't find anything.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

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dtoh
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by dtoh » Fri May 12, 2017 10:56 am

I thought I had seen something before on a different thread that noted

1. Because of the lower tension of nylon string, a bend of the same distance on classical guitar generates less change in pitch.

2. Unlike vibrato, you can only raise the pitch.

Vasco Passeira
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Vasco Passeira » Fri May 12, 2017 11:57 am

The only piece that I know of in which string bending is used is Roland Dyens's Libra Sonatine (the Fuoco movement).
You can check it here, around minute 1' and onwards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO9AhMqXs_s

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eno
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by eno » Fri May 12, 2017 12:42 pm

It is sometimes used at lower frets because vibrato does not work at lower frets. Look at 0:54 in this clip
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Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:15 am

Vasco Passeira wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 11:57 am
The only piece that I know of in which string bending is used is Roland Dyens's Libra Sonatine (the Fuoco movement).
You can check it here, around minute 1' and onwards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO9AhMqXs_s
Thanks for this - I really enjoyed it! Didn't think there was an significant amount of string bending but maybe I've seen too many rock players bend the note up 2 or 3 notes.
I am aware of Dyens but haven't listened to much but this really whetted my appetite to check out more of his work.
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hpaulj
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by hpaulj » Sat May 13, 2017 1:54 am

I was just listening to a tutorial video by Kevin Gallagher on 'LH Technique Concepts'. One topic was LH Support. By that he means, pushing or bending a string slightly toward the 6th string to avoid muting an adjacent string. He notes that we have to 'bend' the nylon strings a lot more than that to change pitch.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/h5tafymoag9zo ... 3.pdf?dl=0

Bill B
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Bill B » Sat May 13, 2017 1:56 am

most of the classical guitarists I am familiar with pretty much play composed pieces with the techniques that are specifically called for in the piece. string bending hasn't been a normal technique for most classical guitar composition so for the most part we end up not doing it. I wouldn't say its a no no, so much as its usually just not present in the pieces many of us play. Maybe you need to write some pieces!
I would say that string bending will wear out your nylon strings crazy fast..... the bass strings even faster. not only do steel strings respond better (sound wise) to this technique, but they also withstand it better.
you might hear more nylon string bending from Willie Nelson....
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guitarguy
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by guitarguy » Sat May 13, 2017 7:00 am

I believe that you are "allowed" to do anything you want with your guitar, as long as the result is good. Wouldn't use it as an ornament in a Bach piece though :D

If you look at Jason Vieaux's rendition of "In A Sentimental Mood" on YT you'll find a great example of this technique.

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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Guitar Maniac » Sat May 13, 2017 2:29 pm

Well you can see the bending technique in a small section of the famous Usher Waltz by Nikita Koshkin (starting at 4:09):
https://youtu.be/Ybi5bLr3X0s?t=249


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robin loops
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by robin loops » Sat May 13, 2017 9:30 pm

The main issue isn't that the neck is wider. The problem is that you can't bend the notes as much as you can on an electric guitar or steel string. Huge bends can be done on an electric, slightly less on a steel string and more limited on a classical.

The workaround i usefor this is to incorporate slides instead of bends or combine the two. For example a bend that is a step and a half is quite difficult with nylon strings so I may slide up a step and bend a half step from there or just slide a step and a half depending on which serves the song best. You can also bend a little first and then slide to the note to give the feel of a bend to a slide. Find this works most of the time but some things don't sound quite right. In the case of the later I may incorporate a bit more Spanish sound to it making the slides sit better.
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat May 13, 2017 9:37 pm

Bottom line: don't bend the strings on a classical guitar, unless the composer instructs you to do it.
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Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:47 pm

Bill B wrote:
Sat May 13, 2017 1:56 am
most of the classical guitarists I am familiar with pretty much play composed pieces with the techniques that are specifically called for in the piece. string bending hasn't been a normal technique for most classical guitar composition so for the most part we end up not doing it. I wouldn't say its a no no, so much as its usually just not present in the pieces many of us play. Maybe you need to write some pieces!
I would say that string bending will wear out your nylon strings crazy fast..... the bass strings even faster. not only do steel strings respond better (sound wise) to this technique, but they also withstand it better.
you might hear more nylon string bending from Willie Nelson....
I remember seeing Willie Nelson on a live TV program called Later... where different bands/musicians take turns to play (you may know of it) and I was relatively impressed with his guitar playing accompanying his songs. But maybe he was cranking it up a bit to get people to buy his music so he can pay off that IRS bill! (Apologies to Willie if I misunderstood his predicament re: taxes!).

But as for writing something, I have been toying with the idea of trying it but have never done it before.
But trying to get string-bending in a piece on my 1st attempt might be tricky.
Just started to look at Tuxguitar as a tool to do this. Haven't looked for any others but use this for viewing tab and it's free!
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"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

Bill B
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Bill B » Sun May 21, 2017 1:31 am

I actually like Willie Nelson. If you just don't think of him as a classical guitar player and enjoy it for what it is, I think his music is great. But then I have wide ranging musical tastes.
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by rguitar » Fri May 26, 2017 5:05 pm

John Duarte asks for a string bend at the end of "Darling Cora" from the Appalachian Dreams suite. He wants a wailing sound, and it's followed by a Bartok pizzicato. It fits in quite nicely with this piece.

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