Bending while soloing...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lovebown, Mar 3, 2001.

  1. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Just curious, is it important to bend a lot if you want play cool sounding bass solos?
    I know bending is obligatory for rock/blues guitarists while soloing. Personally I haven't really tried it much on bass...
    Maybe the thickness of the strings deny the cool, yet cheesy sounding of a guitar bend?!
  2. if it works for you.. do it. I don't like it much but if it's your style of playing.. go ahead
  3. I don't like the way bends sound on slap stuff, eg. what Mark King used to do (he used/uses 30- 90 gauge strings)- think the theme to Seinfield (even though that was done on a keyboard) , but Doug Wimbish makes good use of bends on slow solo lines.

    *blatant plug* I do a bit of string bending in the first track "Antithesis" on my page on the fuzz and wah lead lines;
    I use 45-105 gauge strings.

    Billy Sheehan uses string bending a lot, and I think he uses 45-110 gauge.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Billy SHeehan also has another thing he has done to facilitate his string bending. He has carved slots in his bass at the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st frets. Those five slots reach to the A string.

    I can't remember his exact string gauges right now, but I remember when he had a Rotosound set that was sold with his picture on the package that the set was slightly heavier than normal for the E string because he used a Hip Shot D-tuner to drop to D, so he wanted a heavier guage. His G string was slightly lighter than usual to make string bending easier.

    Sheehan no longer endorses Rotosounds. I don't know if he endorses other strings now or if any sets are available with his unique specifications.

  5. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    As an aside, it's much easier to bend on a lower radius fingerboard (more curved) than those with "sidewalk" fingerboards.
  6. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Bending strings has always been a natural part of my playing. I just consider it another tool of expression.
    I have a blues orientated background though, so maybe that is why I do it.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think Stanley Clarke is probably the best user of "bending" in bass solos - he uses it to get a distinctive sound or style, so you know it's him when you hear this. He also uses very narrow gauges of strings and mostly the tenor bass ADGC so I think the point about gauges is valid - it's easier to get more "expression" in on narrower gauges.

    But it's all down to developing your own style really - if that's what you like, then explore this. If not then you can develop your own style without "bending" and this is perfectly valid - of course fretless players don't need to bend to get similar variations and expression.
  8. the Rotosound set Billy Sheehan used was 43-65-80-110

    he then used Yamaha strings for a while, which I think were 45-110 or maybe even 45-115 (there's a BP interview somewhere that lists it).

    he's now got a signature set by Snarling Dogs- they do various gauged sets- explains what he uses-
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like slap bending A LOT and do it very often.

    .035-.095 gauges help too :)
  10. lol :D
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Funny, I think the same thing about Fenders [​IMG]

    Listen to some Marcus Miller and you'll change your mind...;)
  12. I'll definitely have to check out his solo albums- I liked the multi-tracked bass stuff I heard of his (w. fretless lead lines)
    but looking at his signature DR string set info he uses 45-105 gauge- i assume that's what he uses for stuff with bends...
    so listening to Marcus Miller didn't change your mind about Fenders, though?:)
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Not really, since I'm not Marcus, but me! ;)
  14. ....actually, after listening to RHCP's "Stone Cold Bush" again I retract my statement about disliking bends on slap stuff:oops:
    I just dislike Mark King really- and that's mostly because I'm sick of seeing him endorsing every product under the sun.

    ....but doesn't Flea use 45-105's?:D