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Ebow on bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RS, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Has anyone ever tried to use an ebow on bass? If so, did it sound cool?
  2. check out Steve Lawson's forum and ask him or do a search. Tons of info on it. :)
  3. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    My guitarist has an ebow and while it's cool on guitar, it doesn't work too well on bass... the strings are too thick or something... the Ebow doesn't even work too well on the guitars lower strings..
  4. I remember reading about a bassist who got it to work very well, but I forget his name, so really this post has little to know qualitative value except that it's been done before.
  5. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've got one of the old black Ebows, and it works great on bass. It works best on a fretless, IMHO.

    As for the strings being too big, while it is more difficult to get the bigger strings moving, it most definitely works on them all--even the low B.
  6. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    Michael Manring uses an EBOW quite frequently with stellar results.

    i have a couple of his videos.

    he's a master with it.

    very tasteful too.

  7. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I use one quite regularly (with some tips and trick courtesy of Mr. Lawson). It does take a little work to get the technique down; you can't move your right hand around too much, although changing the position of the ebow alonf the length of the string can dramatically alter the tone. While it does take a little practice to learn how to get the strings going (esp. in the "harmonic" mode), it works great across all four or even five or six strings.
    and yes, it does sound cool....but perhaps not as you expected.
    I would suggest find a gtrist who has an ebow and try it out for yourself.
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Ah EBow... :oops:)

    yes it does work on a bass, no it doesn't work in the same way that it does on a guitar... don't expect to be able to do the 'sweep picking' style stuff that guitarists do, but do expect to be able to get sounds on a fretless that thin-stringed people only dream of...

    take your time, think about the physics of what's going on (ie, getting the EBow as close to the strings as you can without it stopping the string from moving.) and experiment.

    have a listen to some of the samples on my site, or even better, have a listen to 'Adhan' by Michael Manring...


  9. As has already been stated - two words

    Michael Manring
  10. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    I read something a while back (for a thread on Harmony Central Bass Forum) that the guys behind the EBow were considering making a bass version of it. They were really unsure of the time horizon for this project, though. A pity, though, since it's a great little invention.
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I really can't see the need for a bass version when the normal one works so well on bass - what would one want the bass version to do that the current model doesn't? If it was strong enough to do that sweep thing on bass, it'd be very difficult to control for normal playing, and you'd certainly lose the lovely attack that the current model has.

    The EBow as it is is IMHO perfect for bass...

  12. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I actually saw Michael Manring at a seminar here in Denver over the summer and it sounded pretty good when he use the EBow to me! Interesting device.
  13. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    The only thing that I think could be improved in a "Bass" model is the actual spacing of the bottom of the unit. The string guides are spaced for guitar. If they had one spaced more for bass (allowing the ebow to rest on adjacent strings), it would be easier for people new to the Ebow. Granted, this isn't a big deal if you spend time with it, and practice. I have the occasional flub squelch when the ebow hits the strings, but for the most part it's fairly easy to get a good, consistent sound out of the Ebow without the benefit of 'tracks.'

    BTW, Steve, I've got your first cd, and I'll be ordering the new duets cd soon--as soon as a medieval tribute to Black Sabbath sung in latin shows up. No, I'm not kidding. :D
  14. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    I agree, and this is the main issue for a bass Ebow, I think. But sure enough, everything is possible if you just practice long enough! I must admit that I haven't got too much experience with the Ebow myself, but I come from cello, and would love to have the bowing capability for my bass, too. Guess I'll just have to buy me an Ebow???
  15. Youngie_01


    Apr 4, 2002
    I've used ebow in the studio and live, it does work and sounds quite nice, but you have to have the ebow at a safe distance or the thing will just feedback like Bon Jovi on Heroin:)

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