Jerry bending notes

Jerry bending notes

Postby javalina » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:04 pm

Here's a question that's probably so general as to be almost meaningless but... can anybody shed any light on what Jerry is doing when he bends his notes? Sometimes it sounds like he's bending almost all the notes, but it always sounds so profoundly right somehow; and really traditional. I think it could be a lot in major pentatonic, but beyond that, can anybody give me any other little hints about this?
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby caspersvapors » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:19 pm

hmm im not sure what you mean by him bending all the notes. but i think the way jerry uses bending is incredibly unique. im at work right now so i cant find immediate examples at the moment but just the context of the way he uses bends is much unlike other guitarists. a lot of dudes use it to hit a high musical peak, like the high part of a jam. but garcia would bend in the middle of runs in certain ways thats hard to replicate. ill find some clips when i get home

from a technical standpoint - most guys bend from their ring finger, but ive seen jerry using, his pinky and middle finger as well
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby caspersvapors » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:58 pm

this performance has some of what im talking about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t7HVgeW2Kk

at 7:44 right when they zoom in, jerry does a little 3 note pull off and then a bend on the b string, 18th fret (F note). this bend interesting for 2 reasons: it occurs in the middle of a run of notes ANd because hes bending an F, which is not in the G major scale which the song is in. after a watching that I sat there for a while wondering why this bend would work. then I realized F IS in the G blues scale which also works over these chords.

Jerry does another interesting bend at 8:48 using his ring finger from Bb (also in blues scale) up to the B
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby jackr » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:59 pm

Although he is bending the notes, it is not a traditional "bend" to tie into another note. What he is doing there is his vibrato.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby mijknahs » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:59 pm

Sometimes Jerry bends several notes at once. Sometimes he bends a chord. Parts of Johnny B. Goode come to mind.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby Adam Deckard » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:51 pm

Just a thought, play around with a B mixolydian scale (e major but from b to b) and add notes in between to make it sound chromatic.... then start bending all kinds of shit till it sounds right, take a note thats not in the scale but when u play it, bend it to sound like the next note up that is on the scale, or take a note thats in the scale, bend it, THEN pluck it and relax it into its reg tone. i was just thinking that same thing earlier this morning, tried that out and got a couple new things out of it. weird.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:41 am

Silent pre-bend and release.
I like his country sounding bends the best.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby verbenco » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:32 am

I think the main thing about bending for Jerry and most good guitar players is that they bend to a different real note. In other words if Jerry is playing a C on the high E string he is bending to a C sharp or even a D but not somewhere in between unless he has a specific reason to do so. A lot of players simply bend the string a bit shortening the string and raising the note a partial pitch - if one hangs on that pitch long enough that technique would be discordant or even cacophony. It is, of course not always important to stay in the scale related to the key but usually even a passing tone should be an actual note and not something totally foreign to good music theory, but remember he is/ was Jerry Garcia so if he did hit "something in between" it would still make sense because it would be in the context of "the dead's" style. but in general bend to the next semi-tone or full tone, usually the next semi-tone unless you like a big bend.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby strumminsix » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:18 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:Silent pre-bend and release.
I like his country sounding bends the best.

Yes on the first part. and I really dig his country alot :)
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby jeffm725 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:37 am

mijknahs wrote:Sometimes Jerry bends several notes at once. Sometimes he bends a chord. Parts of Johnny B. Goode come to mind.

^^ this a very common chord bend for jerry is in 1-IV-V songs he will bend the IV chord right on the change using the "A barre shape" I use this all the time.
Say you play your A shape barre chord (lets use a C for example) Barred at the 3rd Fret with you index. Your Ring finger (or Pinky) barring the 5th Fret 4,3,and 2 strings) Just bend all 3 of 4,3,2 strings at the 5th fret at the same time out of the A shape barre chord by pushing up toward you and then release back to standard barre. VERY COMMON Jerry blues scale trick.
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:07 pm

Jerry also uses vibrato bending with his chords and in almost all chordal transisions like Jeff was talking about, Standing on the moon comes to mind:

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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby Grant » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:30 am

mijknahs wrote:Sometimes Jerry bends several notes at once. Sometimes he bends a chord. Parts of Johnny B. Goode come to mind.

playin' verse is a great one too
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby Pete B. » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:59 am

One thing is the half-step-above/below bend.
I show a kinda descendeng run with some half-step bend-backs and pre-loads in this vid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnomJd1OG6U
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Re: Jerry bending notes

Postby Mick » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:00 am

caspersvapors wrote:this bend interesting for 2 reasons: it occurs in the middle of a run of notes ANd because hes bending an F, which is not in the G major scale which the song is in. after a watching that I sat there for a while wondering why this bend would work. then I realized F IS in the G blues scale which also works over these chords.


The blues scale is one way to think of it, but I think of it a different way. In the key of G, the 7th scale degree is F#, but the dominant 7th chord would use a natural F. I think that particuar bend either way (bending the dominant 7th up to the natural 7th or prebending to the natural 7th and unbending to the dominant) is common in rock tunes using dominant chords. I'm not thinking of anything specific here, but I can hear the rolling stones playing in the back of my head.
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