Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by ceremony74, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. ceremony74


    Sep 27, 2004
    inspired by videos from manring & lawson on the web, i decided to buy an e-bow.

    i know it is not made specifically for bass, but i maybe there are some workarounds to help me use it.

    first, what about strings? usually my gauge is .45, is it too heavy for the ebow?

    second, is it a good idea to mod the ebow so i can increase its output and make it stronger to vibrate the bass strings properly?

    any other advice?
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I find I'm able to get what I'm looking for from the Ebow without any modifications and the ones I use are right out of the box. Although I suppose it works a bit faster on light gauge strings, I've had good results with all the strings I've tried, including hefty B strings. As with any technique, I think understanding and sensitivity are very helpful. I try to align the Ebow as carefully as I can in every angle and along the length of the string to get the sound I want. Once you get the hang of it, it really is a lot of fun. Good luck!
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  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    just to echo what Michael said, I've never felt the need to modify an eBow to make it do what I need it to do.

    It's a whole new technique, much like playing slide or learning to play with a pick, and I find that I'm still developing greater facility with it 16 years after first starting to use one. It's not a 'trick' that you can add in to your arsenal in a week or, or an effect.. it takes a while to understanding the sensitivity of it, and what your fretting hand needs to be doing to help shape the sound.

    Good luck - it'd definitely time well spent! :)

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  4. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    Is there a specific ebow model that is best for bass ? Thanks !!
  5. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    I don't think there are different models. I have one but have mainly used it on guitar. Note that it takes a bit more work on bass because of the string spacing and heavier strings. You can definitely make it work, though, as Mr. Manring has shown.
  6. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    The original chrome model has a very mellow drive. Great for cello and horn tones. The Black/red logo has a heavier drive allowing for arpeggios. The Black white logo has the best drive for string skipping and overdriven tones. The plus is great for getting the high octave on demand.


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  7. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb

    Apr 23, 2014
    I'm finding that, when I'm holding mine (it's an E-bow Plus') if I extend the right thumb and forefinger below the base of the E-bow, I can then use them to stabilize it - resting said digits on adjacent strings helps to focus the force. There's a noticeable tipping point with these things - takes a little time to effect - and stability, steadiness seems to be the key to getting there more easily.
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  8. Check this guy out, two E-Bows and some alternate tuning goodness on fretless

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  9. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    I had an easier time when using it on a 4 strings with standart strings spacing, I tried it on my 6 strings with 17 mm strings spacing and it didn't even made a sound, even touching the pickup didn't do anything while it worked very easily on a P bass.
  10. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    Does your P bass have 'better' pick-ups? Maybe the 6-string relies on active electronics and there is less magnetic vibration being picked up than on the P?
  11. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    The P-bass is actally an Ibanez SR that costed like 200$, it is really cheap and almost unplayable because the neck warp a little bit some years ago. My 6 strings are all Carvin so active pre with passive pickups. I feel like exposed pole peices helped and also the string spacing helped too since the E-bow isn't made for 6 strings bass at all, too big for the 17mm string spacing.