String bending on the classical guitar.

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Tomzooki
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Tomzooki » Fri May 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Carlo Domeniconi piece "Variations on Anatolian Folksong" uses bending
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Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:28 am

Since listening to Jason Vieaux's Naxos Guitar Recital CD, I think I heard a touch of string bending on Variations On A Moldavian Hora and 1 or 2 of the Morel pieces. Unless I'm mistaken.
Great CD by the way.
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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

davekear
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by davekear » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:39 pm

Sure, it's fine, but you got to keep your eye out for the electric guitar string police. :) Go ahead and bend your strings if you want. I do it all the time. If the tune or solo calls for it, go for it. It takes more effort than electric, but it's not going to hurt your guitar or anything. Certain strings and areas of the guitar are easier to bend than other's. Experiment. Just watch out for the string police.

Rognvald
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Rognvald » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:50 pm

Hi, Smudge,
An honest question: what is your fascination with string bending in re: CG? Other than contemporary writing, how do you think it would work with Elizabethan, Baroque, Classical Music, or Romantic Music? Is this a sound, in your opinion, that should be included in our historical literature and, if so, how? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:23 pm

Hi Rognvald,
I'm not fascinated with string bending necessarily on pieces from all the different genres you mention. I was actually wondering if I could play a non-classical guitar piece which had a lot of string-bending on the CG.
And then I wondered if it would be physically possible, and also, how the concept of doing it was considered by you good people out in CG-forum-land especially, as I mentioned in the OP, one usually sees electric guitar players wrap their thumb around the top of the neck when they are doing string-bending.

So part technique question and part how it is perceived.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"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

Smudger5150
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Smudger5150 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:33 pm

In fact Rognvald, before I started using delcamp over the last year or so, the idea of performing pieces in an authentic manner to which they were originally played (can't remember the phrase people use...) was something that I hadn't really considered in great depth before. Although the Noad books I worked through would mention things in the notes for various pieces that one would consider that kind of thing i.e. pointers on how to play it 'authentically'.
So with that in mind, I would probably try and play pieces in the manner to which one would expect to play them e.g. Trills in lute pieces, Rubato in Romantic pieces (or whatever).
So I wouldn't envisage using string-bending in this type of scenario unless the music indicated it.
However, the topic of how past guitarists and musicians may have improvised when they play is something else. One day, I might have a go at that (and some on delcamp have suggested that improvising around a piece might be more authentic in some cases..) and maybe, just maybe, I might throw in a string-bend or tap here and there, merely because these are the techniques I've been exposed to in my listening in modern guitar music.
But I'm a long way off improvising around classical pieces unless I could identify the main chords (or maybe the key and harmony..??) and work around that just like some people do solos around a key or the chords in non-classical music.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"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

Sean Eric Howard
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Sean Eric Howard » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:22 pm

Maximo Diego Pujol bends the strings when he performs his Preludio Rockero - it changes the mood of the piece tremendously (he's recorded it this way as well); I've recorded his Heavy Wood with bent strings and (I think) it's here on Delcamp . . . somewhere . . .
"Besides, this criticism of Segovia is pointless. If you disagree with what Segovia did, take that energy and go out and do something positive. Otherwise, shut up." - Eliot Fisk

mcmurray
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by mcmurray » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:36 am

Proper bending requires the thumb over the neck, therefore you'll never hear a classical guitarist agree to the idea.

PeteJ
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by PeteJ » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:33 pm

String bending doen't work on nylon strings except for minor effects. It just isn't possible to bend up a tone. But faux-semitone bends, or bends used for colour or ornamentation are common and I use them all the time. Serious bends require a different hand position to get some leverage, but no amount of leverage will allow us to play a Clapton solo on nylon.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:40 pm

Smudger5150 wrote:
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?
I did it ...I play a lot of blues sometimes on classical too.
But:
1. It does not change sound with the same color as bending of metal strings
2. Nylon Strings do not like bending - very soon they becoming untunable...not possible to tune because nylon could be stretched by it
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

MessyTendon
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:55 pm

Thomastik John Pearse strings work for folk picking and bending on nylon. They are different than regular nylon. If your not looking to play pure classical they are good hybrid string but about 25$ a pack.

davekear
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by davekear » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:09 pm

You can bend strings on classical guitars to a certain extent. Not like an electric guitar with Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, but you can bend them and have fun. Won't hurt your guitar or ruin your strings or tuning etc. Here's a short excerpt I just recorded of bending a few strings.
These are D'Addario Pro Arte composite's. Forgive the tone quality, just straight from my camera.


Youtube

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guitareleven
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by guitareleven » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:02 pm

[ ed. note subsequent to having posted this: Quite a bit of what's below is from a post I submitted to a "fingerstyle" group many years ago, in response to a lengthy and nonsensical series of missives in which classical technique was generally derided as useless of application and even counter-productive for folk, modern fingerstyle, or anything but strictly classical music, and further, that it even somehow mitigated against ones ability to improvise- a totally irrelevant consideration. Bending notes was only one of many issues addressed. The posting immediately below originally had a reference to the midneck thumb position as having "been so decried in this forum because of its 'classical' association"-- this was one of many such references which had been edited out for the present purpose, as they obviously have no context in this forum, at Delcamp-- it was the other forum in which this attitude had been expressed. Somehow that one had slipped by - so, anybody returning after having already read this, that is the explanation of the curious seeming reference.
mcmurray wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:36 am
Proper bending requires the thumb over the neck, therefore you'll never hear a classical guitarist agree to the idea.
No, it doesn't. The thumb over position can be positively forwarded as a common method to go about bending a note-- It's a method which will certainly work, and is good if there is not much else needful to be done at the same time. But its not THE way. The "properness" is in the bend itself as a musical phenomenon, not in the means of producing it.

It has already been noted that on nylon one gets less bend for the same amount of string displacement in comparison to what one can get from a steel string; nevertheless, a very satisfactory bend can be achieved, and this factor is to some extent alleviated in that on nylon, there is typically less tension to work against, and, because of the wider string spacing, one has more scope to move the string a sideways distance in compensation. I am among those who do so without hesitation on a classical, for playing blues, obviously, or in any other appropriate context, as do several others who have already replied to the same effect in this thread. There is no compromise to tuning as a result.

The thumb-over approach may be typical of a someone who plays exclusively in a folkish style on a narrow-necked steel string, but the assertion that this is therefore how it MUST be done promulgates a concept of leverage predicated on the misconception that the hand is only operable in its most primal instinctive mode as a grasping implement, in which to do ANYthing, its components must contract, in direct opposition, towards a central point. This is good for basic tool using, but is not very good as a one-and-only exclusive basis for left hand technique in guitar playing. It is a mode of operation that is overly conducive of an involvement of the entirety of the hand into anything to be done. In this basic mode of operation everything tends towards subsumation into over-all gesture; chords are dealt with as though they are objects to be surrounded and approached from outside of their parameters in ones grip, anything entailing a reach or stretch is thought of as difficult, and the multi-partite functioning necessary for handling anything more than rudimentary simultaneity of movement of musical lines is mitigated against. All this is exacerbated by a thumb-over position, in which the space between the palm and the neck is nearly or completely obliterated, the fingers compressed together and the third and fourth fingers reduced in function to adjuncts, the fourth in particular practically relegated to vestigial use. This is even more the situation on a classical with its wider neck. Yet this is an approach which many never transcend.

With the thumb in the classical mid-neck position lending counter-support to the fingers, in either direct or indirect opposition as occasion demands, and co-support derived from the wrist and arm, the rest of the hand is freed to be held above and to open up over the strings so that the fingers are afforded the scope to operate in an outwardly expressive manner against the surface of the fingerboard, independently of each other and with equivalency of access. There are very few situations in which it would be necessary to disrupt the advantage of this position by repositioning the thumb over the neck, and a string bend is not necessarily one of them.

In either of the positions described there is a learning process to moving beyond a contractive mode of operation to an expansive mode, but the mid-neck position is much more supportive and inculcative of that mode, and provides for all the "leverage" necessary for any operation. In bending a note this works as an oblique sliding rather than a direct squeeze, and is every bit as effective. This is true even on steel strings with their higher tension than nylon, which factor is compensated for by the lesser deviation required on steel for an equivalent degree of audible bend.

As for the finger position itself. the fingertip naturally can, and must assume a variety of attitudes, varying in accordance to the task at hand; according to whether a situation is one in which one must take care to avoid muting of adjacent strings, whether such muting of adjacent strings is of no consequence, or is deliberately employed. The tip attitude will vary in furtherance of any lateral or longitudinal reaches; in preparation for a downward slur taking into account the extent of outward reach and the combinant effect of other simultaneous actions; lateral vibrato; and, in contemporary literature, bends.
Last edited by guitareleven on Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Todd Tipton
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by Todd Tipton » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:06 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
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.
Well, now I'm just going to do it! ...lol :D
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
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http://www.toddtipton.com

davekear
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Re: String bending on the classical guitar.

Post by davekear » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:20 pm

Todd Tipton wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:06 pm
Erik Zurcher wrote:
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.
Well, now I'm just going to do it! ...lol :D
Yea. There are no string police. Experiment with bending the strings if you want. Have fun, enjoy yourself.
You can actually bend nylon strings quite a bit. Play some solos; Play some blues, whatever. No big deal.
:)

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