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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jeff Bonny, Dec 25, 2000.

  1. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    The idea of the eBow is appealing to me. My main instrument these days is a fretless acoustic bass guitar (my web site is under construction but there is a picture of it up) that actually bows well on the inside two strings but won't on the E and G due to lack of body clearance. I saw a guy at NAMM last year using an eBow quite effectively but the several times I've tried one I can't get it to drive the strings. I don't expect to have instant technique with the thing but I have doubts about it being able to drive flatwounds on an acoustic bass guitar. Anyone ever hear of mods to beef up the eBow's output (or what ever makes it work) or have any other experience with them?
  2. It should work just fine. I used it on my fretless
    with flatwounds (which I recently epoxied the fretboard and am currently using roundwounds). I never did any sort of mods to it. However it is the newest version (the grey one). You need to use your left hand to get ther string moving. The material of the string may also be a factor.
    I have used it on a Tacoma fretless with bronze roundwounds it worked very well on that to. Just keep experimenting.
  3. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    This sounds like quite an interesting device. How exactly does it work, anyway?
  4. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Are you using strings that have ferrous metal in them? Otherwise, the eBow might not work. For example, the Thomastik acousticore strings won't work with a magnetic pickup because there isn't enough ferrous metal in the strings. Maybe the same principle applies to the eBow...
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Gotdawg! I thought I was about the only bassist with one besides M. Manring,(about all of his latest album). I got an "Energy Bow" way back in the late `70's from Bob Heil Sound when sustain was more elusive than now. One of the guitarists I played with tried it on an acoustic guitar with a bridge transducer. The EBow couldn't get the output it could get on electric and we were told that's normal and that a soundhole pickup would give better results. Never heard of any mods for the unit.

    Since it's designed for 6-string guitar, I found it works best for me by placing it next to the string I wanted to use and holding it at an angle beside the string. As for the flatwounds, you may well be right. On electric bass, it worked best for me with roundwounds.
  6. Sorry, man :-( Lots of bassists use them! One technique I use is to angle the ebow into the next higher string and use it as a guide while plucking a drone tone with my thumb. As Rickbass had mentioned it was designed for 6 string guitar, but anyone who has ever used one on a fretless bass before knows why they were REALLY invented! ;-)
    Le Manthing RULES!!!
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm using Thomastik Jazz flats which as far as I know are mostly steel; kind of a bass guitar version of Spirocores? After reading what's been said here I think the problem is me, not the strings. The thing about using yer left hand to help excite the string makes a real lot of sense.

  8. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Maybe if everyone who uses an eBow on bass writes the company, they'll start putting out eBows design specifically for bass! And maybe JT could buy a custom one designed for 8-stringed basses. ;)
  9. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Michael Manring devoted a recent column in BP on how to
    "adapt" an E-Bow for use with bass.
  10. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    The regular E-Bow and E-Bow+ both work just fine for bass - it takes a little getting used to, but isn't that hard. I use one for about 30% of my solo playing, and love the texture you can get with it. The harmonic setting is really cool on bass as well, giving you some lovely sounding soaring high notes. To hear it in full effect have a listen to the MP3 or RA file of 'drifting' on my web-site...




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