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The cool blue light that made a cool noise...

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by EasyBass, Aug 13, 2001.


  1. EasyBass

    EasyBass

    Nov 19, 2000
    Portland, Oregon
    I was told to come here to ask you this, hopefully you will know!


    A while back a friend of mine told me, he is one of our guitar players, that he saw a bass player performing and said "he used this cord with a blue light on the end of it and when he put it up to the strings while he played it made a cool noise" Or somehting like that, anyone hear of something like this? Thanks
     
  2. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Well, it sounds as if your friend saw someone using an Ebow (which are becoming more and more popular with bassists). It is not a cord...but a hand held electronic magnet which is used to produce and infinitely sustaining bowing effect. It has a blue LED on the front which lights when on. Very cool and useful tool. NOT an effect, but more an extension of the bass when used properly. I use one, as does Steve Lawson (with MUCHO creativity and musicality, by the way) and of course Michael Manring....amonst others.
    Max Valentino
     
  3. EasyBass

    EasyBass

    Nov 19, 2000
    Portland, Oregon
    Exactly waht it was! Awsome, you know where I can see/get them and how much? SOunds like nothing too cheep.... THanks
     
  4. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    They are available at most music stores...even thru Musician's Friend and such. They are designed for guitar, and a bit of a trick to work with bass. It takes a lot of practice and patience. They cost something around $75-100. They are not an effect tho'. There is a lot more to it than just turning it on! It takes some real technique and touch to work an EBow on bass.
    Your best best is maybe find a guitar playing friend who might have one, and try it out (tell him/her not to worry...playing with it oin bass will not hurt it!!)
    The device is a hand held magnet, which by placing over a string creates a magnetic field which sets the string vibrating. Finding the sweet spot and angle of the Ebow...along with a steady right hand, is tricky...and when not done right can be a most irritating sound.
    Maybe Steve would like to chime in on this....he's much better than I at ebowing the bass. BTW, thanks Steve, for the Ebow lessons! They have come in very handy )Oo.
    Max
     
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    No, they're relatively inexpensive. They've been through several updated models over the years, the latest being the Ebow Plus. It's in the $100 neighborhood. Older models go for around $70.

    Just go to www.ebow.com They have a number where you can here it demonstrated over the phone. It creates bowed cello-like sustain on a bass by creating an energy field that vibrates the string.

    One caveat - they were designed with guitar in mind, so playing the bass with one is an acquired skill.
     
  6. EasyBass

    EasyBass

    Nov 19, 2000
    Portland, Oregon
    Now, I am sure it is, but is it worth getting for the bass. When you say it is hardier for the bass do you mean there is that one tiny spot you can hit and it will work or just getting the way it works down and all the tricks to it? Thanks fo rthe help! Now jsut need to find 80 bucks....
     
  7. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Sorry for not replying sooner - I'm on a mini tour of France at the moment.

    E-Bow works really well on bass, but don't expect it to sound like it does ona guitar - it sounds even better on bass!!! it takes time to get it to respond quickly, but it will work on all the strings, even the low B.

    It's now an indespensible part of my gigging set up, and I'd be lost without it :oops:)

    have a listen to Pillow Mountain and Drifting on my site to hear some of what's possible.

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  8. EasyBass

    EasyBass

    Nov 19, 2000
    Portland, Oregon
    That is okay, I was takin care of by maxvalentino and rickbass1, but there is stil more that you can help me with, first off, awsome stuff you have there, I am going get a CD soon !! THat whole song isn't with the ebow is it? (Drifting) Does it work just like, kinda, a pick? Like the second you put it over the string it starts mking the note? For some reason I am thought it takes a seconds... Not sure why! Thanks !
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Easy - Look at the FAQ on the Ebow website. They have a question/answer pertaining to how it works on a bass. FWIW, I use it off the side, diagonally, of the string I want to sound. But, different people use it differently, with satisfying results after some time with it.
     
  10. EasyBass

    EasyBass

    Nov 19, 2000
    Portland, Oregon
    That would probably bet teh best place to look. Thanks for all the help.... I jsut didn't liek the site too much since it was made for the guitar, all teh info I saw was about guitar. thanks
     
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    It can take a while for the note to blossom, depending on where you place it over the string/pickup. It's a lovely sound to hear the note 'threatening' to appear and then to blossom... that softer attack is kind of the sound of the E-Bow...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk