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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 28 Jun 2022 1:09 am    
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In the previous thread

D Schubert wrote:
But back to the benders, each one is slightly different but after using a bender for many years they're more-or-less interchangeable in use.


I would agree. But here are some of additional points of clarity worthy of additional discussion.

PULLING systems, be it neck plate or upper bout, are very similar in performance, they leave your picking hand free to navigate whatever it is you are doing, unencumbered.

There are many NET discussions about the various systems , which one is better etc.. The discussion that I find the most curious is those that say they are ruining the guitar with an installed system such as an Evans or a Forrest Lee jr etc , some even call it hacking up the guitar. Then there are those that say they can do everything they NEED or want to do with a Palm lever. Both of those leave me with questions.

Hacking up or ruining the guitar - These individuals have already decided that they will bring the guitar back to NON Bender one day, before they even began the journey. They need it to be reversable, like a Hipshot or a Palm lever. The Bender is a Novelty rather than a new Instrument.

Palm levers do all I NEED. In the Pedal Steel world that equates to I only need 2 Pedals and 1 knee lever, I'm never going to go beyond that.


I've joined plenty of NET discussions and they all end up in the same place at some point, many want to add a Bender pull but once it is on the guitar they don't know what to do with it because their fretboard knowledge or their THOUGHT process is still back in NON Bender territory. So when they get frustrated the easiest thing to do is reverse the installation.

Now I'm no Bender Savant here , but I did recognize early on that to become more efficient with the B or G pull, regardless of how it mechanically operates, it required stepping out of the OLD fret board box and expand into new territory, meaning different root positions and intervals which place the B or G pull (or release) into the ZONE.

Another thing often overlooked is while of course these are Benders, meaning they PULL the B or G UP , they also RELEASE back to the natural note. Meaning we are beginning a phrase with the string already PULLED ( ahead of time) but when we execute the phrase, its the RELEASE that is the primary phrase. This is very difficult to do with a Palm Lever.


The other part of many discussions is that many "new or infatuated" players want to sound like a Pedal Steel Guitar, so they add a Bender. Within a day or so they learn that B or G Benders don't actually emulate a Pedal Steel. Sure some phrases come close and do, but overall they do not. So now they are back to what do I do with this contraption ? There are basically 3 options- 1- remain where you are with fret board knowledge 2- Study and IMPROVE your fret board knowledge or 3- REMOVE the contraption from the guitar. Many choose option 3 .

OK--- There is a serious problem with #2- Once we study and get more acclimated and improve, we are not happy with just ONE Bender guitar ! Next thing ya know we have a room full of Bender guitars ! There may be medicine available for the phenomenon ! Laughing The most I have ever owned at one time was 5, I currently own TWO which for me , at this time, is fine.


Discussion Coming soon

Which Bender - B Pull or G Pull ? whats the difference ? But we'll save that for another day

Those of us that have Glaser Convertible systems, ( or double Bender) we can make the swap and probably answer our own question
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Emmons L-II , Fender Telecasters, B-Benders
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
jobless- but not homeless- now retired 7 years

CURRENT MUSIC TRACKS AT > https://tprior2241.wixsite.com/website
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 28 Jun 2022 2:40 am    
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Sorry- I'm on my phone and never learned how to post links - so you'll need to look it up on YouTube.

Jimmy Olander is one of the notable bender exponents and he uses it effectively with Diamond Rio. He has a channel where he dissects some of his solos; the later ones display the B/G bender. Jimmy uses a Glaser unit.

He's a remarkable musician to start with so well worth checking out. If you're wondering about the benders potential, he'll fire you up.

And Tony is correct. While the first objective in the '60s was to emulate steel guitar, what has evolved is a nuance all of its own. In the early days, Clarence White and Bob Warford were the pre-eminent bender players and their work is worth finding.

I didn't get the G option and I've no regrets
but I'll admit to a sneaking desire to try one for myself.

I just have two electric guitars nowadays - both Teles and both with benders! I've had more over the years. Smile
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 28 Jun 2022 3:20 am    
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Roger Rettig wrote:


I didn't get the G option and I've no regrets
but I'll admit to a sneaking desire to try one for myself.



Laughing LOL I did twice. Once with the previously owned Gibson Music City jr and then again not long ago with the Brent Mason Tele. Both have Glaser systems and I converted to the G pull.

I'll save the gory details for a later discussion but the simple short response is , I liked the G pull but I found myself trying to emulate the B phrases that I had been studying and they were now in a different position on the fret board ! All the intervals moved ONE string back on the fret board . What this exercise did for me ( twice) was to confirm that I am a B puller. Thats the music I connect with. But- It would be exactly the same, just opposite , for a G Bender player to switch to a B pull. All the intervals are now one string the OTHER direction . Geesh! The G Pull / Release creates very interesting phrases , I did enjoy it but I'm not going back there again which means studying two techniques at the same time. I come from the Clarence White / Bob Warford school of Bending.

And yeah, Jimmy O is not to be messed with , he is the premier Double Bender guy!
_________________
Emmons L-II , Fender Telecasters, B-Benders
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
jobless- but not homeless- now retired 7 years

CURRENT MUSIC TRACKS AT > https://tprior2241.wixsite.com/website
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Aug 2022 8:02 pm     Re: B Benders in general -again-some basics
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Tony Prior wrote:
In the previous thread

D Schubert wrote:

Now I'm no Bender Savant here , but I did recognize early on that to become more efficient with the B or G pull, regardless of how it mechanically operates, it required stepping out of the OLD fret board box and expand into new territory, meaning different root positions and intervals which place the B or G pull (or release) into the ZONE.


I had a discussion with Clarence White about this subject in late 1972.

He told me where to get one (Westwood Music); who was making them (Dave Evans, who was the only on building "production" benders at the time - and whose benders I use most of the time) some specifics about the use of amps (cranking them and using guitar controls to regulate the output fo the best tone...a long discussion for another day)...

...but most importantly - once I started playing one, when I strapped it on switch to a totally different mindset - don't "play guitar", but learn to play b-bender as a tottaly different musical instrument - and DO NOT TRY TO PLAY OR IMITATE PEDAL STEEL GUITAR LICKS/PLAYERS!

That was the best advice I ever got, and I never consciously tried to copy Clarence either. I'd learn licks, then twist them for my own style, which always sounded like me.

Clarence had a gold top Les Paul and a Strat that he used only at home or in the studio.. You'd never know where on recording, because his "Tele" style became all bender. It's especially noticeable in the contrast between his playing on Live at the Fillmore in 1968 and Live at the Royal Albert Hall just 4 years later - early on even HE played steel-like licks, but had completely abandoned then by '72.

I have a LOT of guitars - many with benders, most without. I can play part of a song in a jam at my place on my '69 SG and there might be some Clapton influence creeping in, some Albert King, some Duane Allman...then I switch mid-song to "The Terminator" (a '69 Thinline reissue with Velvet Hammer pickups, a '69 Mitey-Mite neck and Evans Pull String)or my hybrid Fender Custom Shop '54/Glaser b-bender Strat and I won't sound like any "normal" guitar player.

In both cases I'll sound like me, for better or worse - but not REMOTELY similar on bender vs non-bender guitars

And that's what I taught my b-bender students over the decades. It's ok to sound generally/sorta like Clarence, or Warford, or Orlander or Ray or whoever - but the second they spit two bars of an exact copy of somebody else's solo out I stopped them. explained "influence" is fine but "musical Xerox machine" was not - and we started over.

Those are my two stylistic thoughts - DO NOT copy anyone exactly: it's been done already, and better. And never try to play pedal steel licks. I PLAY pedal steel and I can't copy my own stuff, so don't try - it sounds lame. If you are going to play b-bender (or G bender) play bender - not steel.
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1921 Weissenborn Style 2; Hilo&Schireson hollownecks
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1959 Fender 400 9+2 B6;1960's Fender 800 3+3+2; 1970 Emmons SD10 Cuttail (Courtesy ReSound '65)
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2022 6:07 am    
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What Jim stated above, I personally can't stress enough to - "pay attention" . B or G Benders , while they are still 6 string guitars they are different Instruments . If we treat them as a novelty glued onto the 6 stringer, we may miss the entire objective. The thought process, the finger positioning, the intervals etc.. are what makes it "it's own".

Many players overlook, forget or maybe never considered that while the Bender mechanism is a PULL UP system...the B or G string can BEGIN a phrase already PULLED UP and its the RELEASE that creates the phrasing, not the PULL UP. The musical tension can be the release.

While I don't pretend to be any sort of "savant" ( LOL ) or expert, I am pretty dialed in with multiple redundant positions and intervals on the Bender which I prefer. Study redundant positions and intervals, placing the B or G string inside a triad, pull it or release it, alternate fingering - its a brave new world ! Very Happy
_________________
Emmons L-II , Fender Telecasters, B-Benders
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
jobless- but not homeless- now retired 7 years

CURRENT MUSIC TRACKS AT > https://tprior2241.wixsite.com/website
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D Schubert

 

From:
Columbia, MO, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2022 7:05 am    
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Another way to look at it? Those of you who are pedal-steel-proficient would have to alter your style considerably to play with the limitation only one pedal (B-C#)

And those of you who are very guitar proficient would also have to alter your style considerably with the significant addition of one pedal (B-C#).

As noted above, one of the first student priorities is to take a look at chord inversions up and down the neck, and see how that one moving note can be used. In both directions, from C#-B or from B-C#, additive and subtractive.

And then, take a look the bender plus another "trick" in the same chord. For instance, try a D chord shape on the first three strings, add a suspended 4th with your pinkie on the first string at the same time you bend up the second string.

Maybe it's just me, but I've found that the longer I've played a B-bender, the less I use it. However, when I do it's likely to be go-like-hell for 4-8 bars, and then shut it down.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2022 7:11 am    
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Good points.

It's a part of my playing now whereas, in the beginning, I over-used it rather self-consciously.

Yes, I love the licks that 'fall under the fingers' like those original fills on the Everly's 'I'm on my Way Back Home Again' - bends within other sustaining strings that would be impossible without the device - but my favourite application is to move the B string within a chord.

Even fingering a simple Cma7 at the third fret - barré across the strings, 4th str/5th fret, 3rd str/4th fret - then pull the 2nd string from the D note to the E. There are countless examples like this. It's not 'pedal steel-like', but opens another door for six-string electric.

I'm inspired to dig in again and find more (I've been somewhat preoccupied by my steel these last few months). Oddly, they're not everyone's cup-of-tea, but I like anything that broadens the scope of an instrument.


Last edited by Roger Rettig on 11 Aug 2022 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2022 7:16 am    
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I use the B bender the most but I do have one guitar that has a B&W bender (now taken over by a new vendor) with both B and G strings. The new Brent Mason Fender guitar has a really smooth bender. With .009 - .042 strings I can get pretty close to the bender sound by manually bending the strings.

There's many ways of doing this including the "pull-string" guitar technique and the guy that used to play for Tommy Cash that you could not tell from a pedal steel. I watched Buddy Charleton be amazed by this guy doing chromatic E9th riffs on a 6 string guitar at Ponderosa Park. He had the pulls and the tone down 100% on fast and slow songs!

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Fender%20Bender/Fender%20Bender.html
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D Schubert

 

From:
Columbia, MO, USA
Post  Posted 12 Aug 2022 5:14 am    
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I'm not sure I can put my hands on it, but there is a bootleg tape of Clarence White warming up before a show that is very inspirational. (I'll look for it today). Seems that he rambles through keys of C, G, D, A, and E in no particular order, and plays some things that maybe never made it to a released album.
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