First of all, I am new to playing guitar. I've been playing for about eight months or so. I'm currently working on BGU and SWS. (I have alot of time to practice) I have solo 1 down, totally memorized and can play with the track that has guitar. I kind of have to cheat to do it though. I couldn't quite get the bends a full step, so I tuned my guitar down half a step. Now I can bend to pitch. I thought that when my fingers gained more strength I would return to standard tuning. Today I returned to standard tuning and my bends were much better than they were, but still a little flat. I decided to put in a little work learning solo 2. The first riff has a bend on the 3rd string (a full step from D# to F) The best I can manage right now is a half step bend on this string. Of course with my guitar tuned down a half step I can bend it a whole step. I play a Stratocaster and I know that because of the scale length the strings have to be tighter and are harder to bend. (I don't know how much harder it is to bend, I don't have anything to compare it to) I'm just curious how others have handled this. Is tuning down the answer? or is it still just a matter of gaining strengh in my hands and calluses in the right places? Anyway, I'll post a recording of solo 1 when I can get the other strings to shut up. I'm still working on muting strings.