Mostly self-taught guitar player here, haven't had a lesson in 30 years. Running into particular problems with string bending, and after some google searches, trying to finally come up with a strategy to deal with it. It's a shame that the top search result I keep coming across is this one at TGP, as you have to wade through some bologna to get to 2 or 3 decent posts with good information.
When I set up a guitar with "low action", I seem to have trouble getting string bends to consistently sound good. It depends on which string / fret / finger I am using, but the most problematic seem to be strings eBG on frets above #10, with my 3rd (ring) finger. What happens is that I will fret a note and then proceed to bend it upwards, toward the sky. As I push this primary string up, my finger will naturally come into contact with other secondary strings and bend them too. However when I have the action set low, these other secondary strings become quite difficult to keep off of the fret.
For a very long time my goal has been to get these secondary strings to "catch" onto a finger, and using the force that they exert back onto the finger, hold them in place off of the fret. What I have found is that with low action, these secondary strings have a tendency to slip & slide under the finger(s) trying to hold them out of the way, eventually landing underneath of the finger, becoming fretted, and sounding, which is not what I want. Sometimes the strings gradually slide down the slope of my fingertip, sometimes they "pop" down very quickly, and on a rare occasion, I am able to successfully keep the unwanted strings from being fretted -- so I get inconsistent results from this technique / strategy.
This inconsistency also makes it very difficult to use my pick hand to mute the unwanted strings. For example when bending the high e string at the 17th fret up a whole step (from A to B), the strings get very close together, even down at the bridge. Successfully muting the B and G strings with my pick hand, yet letting the e string ring, always seems like a tightrope walk. The pick hand has to strike the e string, mute the B and G, and then move along with the bending motion to keep them muted while simultaneously preventing the e string from being muted. The fact that the strings slip, slide, and pop down onto the frets from being suspended above them adds to the difficulty of keeping the pick hand in exactly the right position to mute only the things that should be muted.
After reading through the TGP info linked above and other things I found online, I'm starting to wonder how much this may have to do with personal limitations due to the shapes of my fingertips. They are fairly rounded, though I haven't really compared them to anyone else's fingertips yet, so I'm not sure. I can say that when I have the experience I described above, I know for a fact that the strings are sliding down the curved slope of my fingertip down underneath of it (and onto the fret). I can also say that the issue is worse when my fingers get slippery with sweat & skin oils, and worse with fresh strings. It really seems to be a problem with not enough friction to keep the strings from sliding down the slope of my fingertip and down onto the fret.
Another thing I have tried is using more of an arch in the finger to fret the bent string more with the top/tip of the finger than with the pad, but I get the same results. Even the tip of my finger is sloped, and in fact I get worse and even less consistent results with this approach because the string doesn't have to travel as far to slide down the slope of the finger tip and, you guessed it, right onto the fret.
So it seems like I am down to only 3 options that I can imagine. Avoiding note bending and having my fingertips surgically altered are not options:
Apply talc, chalk, or some other drying agent to my fingertips to keep them dry and increase the friction between them and the bent strings that I am trying to keep off of the frets. I've never heard of anyone doing this, it was just an idea, and may very well be a bad one (I have not tried it yet). Would be worried about getting residue all over the strings, having to constantly wipe them down and reapply material to fingertips.
Keep the low action, let other strings slide under my finger tips (or even do it on purpose), and get superhumanly good at muting the unwanted strings with my picking hand. This is a really daunting challenge, especially at my age, and I'm not even sure if it's the "right" thing to do.
Raise action to a point where the strings are at a height that makes them less prone to sliding down the slope of my fingertips and onto the fret. The downside to this approach is that I will end up with action height over 1/8 inch (but less than 1/4 inch). This approach can also cause other potential problems, because though I need that height to work for my ring finger, it can be too much for my pinky, causing strings to slide up the slope of that fingertip rather than down. It is however easier to manage that problem and keep it from making unwanted sounds.
Just wanted to put these ideas up and see if I am on the right / wrong track. Any other techniques that I am not covering?