General questions about Ebow technique

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by nairanvac, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. nairanvac


    Aug 7, 2005
    After watching this performance of Adhan, I immediately decided to buy an Ebow. It's a ton of fun to play with, but pretty hard to use on the bass. It seems almost impossible to get a consistent tone on a bass. I have no trouble with it on a guitar, though.

    Michael, do you have any advice on using the Ebow with a bass guitar? Should I try using a lower gauge string?

    Also, would you mind going over the techniques you use in the performance of Adhan? How much of it relies on the use of reverb/delay/looping? Is the constant low drone note solely the result of the second Ebow?

    (God, watching this video again, I'm reminded how hauntingly beautiful this piece is. Thank you so much for it.)
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thank you again! I find the Ebow works well on all the strings I use (D'Addario EXLs of various gauges), but it does take a good bit of sensitivity. You need to pay attention to all the angles in which you hold the Ebow relative to the string, as this has a big impact on the sound.

    For "Adhan" I use 2 Ebows in my right hand, playing the outer two strings. By moving the Ebows I'm able to activate different harmonics and blend in pickup distortion. I generally use a good bit of chorus and reverb for "Adhan" and occasionally use a continuous controller to add a bit of delay, but both notes are created and sustained with the Ebows.