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Post new topic Working on behind the bar string pulls
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Author Topic:  Working on behind the bar string pulls
David DeLoach


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 4:36 am    
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I've arranged a tune that requires some behind the bar pulls. I've not done these before and they feel pretty awkward.

I'm holding the bar with my 1st finger and thumb, pulling with the 2nd finger, and leaving my 3rd & 4th fingers flat on the strings.

I've been trying out different sized tone bars and a long 4" x 5/8" bar that James Burden made me seems to make these bends a bit easier. Also, I've been trying different scale lap steels and the bends seem to go a bit better on my shorter scale Panda.

Of course I realize it will take a lot of practice to get these to where they are easy to do, but if anyone has any advice or good tutorial videos they can share it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Dave
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Michael Miller


From:
Afton, VA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 5:10 am    
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I'm certainly no pro but behind the bar bends feel best/easiest to me pulling with my ring finger.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 5:37 am    
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Here's a pretty cool video from one of my favorite lap wizards, Steve Cunningham. He does pulls with his pinky! My pinky isn't strong enough so I use my ring finger. You need your middle finger to keep the bar stable so I'd work on using your ring finger like Michael says.

It takes awhile to get it down. Intonation continues to be an issue for me. The amount of force required varies depending on your distance from the nut or bridge - the middle of the neck being easiest (and also easiest to overpull).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtsJ773XpAo
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 6:02 am    
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I also use my ring finger. Installing a string gauge one- or two-thousandths of an inch lighter can make the pulls easier.
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Tim Whitlock


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 7:14 am    
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Bill Sinclair wrote:
Here's a pretty cool video from one of my favorite lap wizards, Steve Cunningham. He does pulls with his pinky! My pinky isn't strong enough so I use my ring finger. You need your middle finger to keep the bar stable so I'd work on using your ring finger like Michael says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtsJ773XpAo


Just wow!! Shocked
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Jeff Garden


From:
Center Sandwich, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 7:45 am    
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Martin Gross is a master of behind the bar bends on resophonic guitar. He uses his ring finger for the bends. You might be able to pick up some of his techniques from his youtube videos...there are quite a few of them available.
Here's "Teach Your Children"...he sure makes the bends look effortless.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC-N4zl1QZo
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 10:46 am    
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Here's some info from my Exploring C6th book. Go slowly and build up your hand strength and calluses. It feels very unnatural at first but eventually becomes a cool technique to throw in whenever desired. Using the pinky is Ninja-level steel!


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Brian McGaughey


From:
Seattle, WA USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 7:12 am    
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Br careful to not over do it when learning this technique. There are specific muscles used that are not normally used in other activities and it’s possible to get yourself pretty sore. It takes time not only to learn this but to build up muscle strength.

I use this a fair amount on GBDGBD dobro pulling half step high b to c which gives a sus4 or detuning high b down to an a and pulling a full step sus2 to major.

There are several other pulls done with slants that are cool in the right spots musically.

Fun stuff.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 3 Aug 2019 6:04 am    
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Michael Miller wrote:
I'm certainly no pro but behind the bar bends feel best/easiest to me pulling with my ring finger.


I use my 3rd finger and will pull behind the bar to make 2 different 7th chords out of a 6th tuning, and to make an augmented chord by raising the 5th of a chord and diminished chords by raising the tonic.
I do not seem to be bracing my thumb on the side of the guitar, either, as pulling strings is pretty easy to do.

Now, getting it in tune is the trick!
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