String bending on a bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by waytoodeep03, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. I have seen a couple bassists do this real fast when playing that gives the bass like a vibrato effect. Is there a correct way to do this? WHen I do it, it doesnt sound right.
  2. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Bear in mind that when you bend a string on a fretted bass, you are pulling it sharp. A little is OK for vibrato If you remember to not keep the string under tension constantly - let it come back to its true fretted pitch. I you want to bend the string up to a new pitch, make sure you have developed your ear enough to know the difference between bending a half step & a whole step, & that you are hitting the note you intend to.

    You can get some vibrato by rocking your wrist to actually bend the string some, or use the fretless technique of rocking your finger in the same direction the string runs - this is more subtle, but if you move on to fretless or upright you'd best learn it now.
  3. It's really important to use proper technique when you bend. You want all the bending force to come from the wrist. You just turn your hand like when you unlock a door. Rotation. When you bend towards the floor use the side of your hand as a fulcrum. Then when you rotate your wrist clockwise (for left handed fretting) the string gets pulled towards the floor. To bend towards the ceiling, put your thumb on top of the neck and use it as a fulcrum, turning your wrist counterclockwise. And to do vibrato just do small bends.