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Tried an eBow today

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tedintheshed, Mar 10, 2006.


  1. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've asked about the eBow, and finally got to try one out. GC had a used one for $35.00 when I went up with my drummer to get some DW stuff, and I was going to try and piggyback an effects pedal deal on his.

    I was disappointed.

    The effect took about 10 secconds to ramp up to an audible level. Even then, it was extremely week. Everytime I went to fret a new note, it took time to ramp up.

    I thought maybe I was screwing up, so the GC automoton than was helping me grabbed a guitarist who used on regularly and it didn't work well for him either.

    Is there a secret to these?
     
  2. Sounds like a broken one, it's harder to use on a bass, but no the string should just vibrate like crazy within no time, especially on guitar.
    Dirk
     
  3. maybe not a broken one, sounds like a dead battery
     
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    As a user of eBows for 15 years, I can assure you that you aren't going to get it after 5 minutes.

    Just like you can't string skip with a plectrum in 5 minutes, you can't use an eBow in 5 minutes....
     
  5. idoru

    idoru

    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Try a fresh battery.

    The ebow does work on bass, it's just a little clumsy to use. I found it to be strongest on the E & A strings (higher mass, slightly lower tension?). Also try holding it at different places along the strings, you'll find a definite sweet spot near the pickups where it just blossoms.
     
  6. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I use a regular eBow on bass as well and +1 on the learning curve, and that the startup time for a note on a bass string is longer. Work with how you position it, how you maintain distance to the string and pickup, and where you place it on the pickup (front to rear). And yes, try a fresh battery.
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Using it on a fretted usually makes it a bit tougher to have the notes start up immediately. The EBow works really well with fretless.
     
  8. hervetlse

    hervetlse

    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    Hello Guys !!!
    Seems that some of you use an ebow on bass without problem.
    I've bought one last year, as i was impressed by the diversity of different sounds the ebow can simulate on a guitar upon the demo samples, and even more now that i've got the K7 that comes with the ebow, but in one year, i managed to produce only the sounds of a sustain cello on my bass but none of the other sounds like flute violin trumpet or saxo/trombone and so on.
    Upon you is it only possible on a guitar or the same variety but with the bass strings is also possible with training?
    I saw Michael manring on bass day 98 and i have his training video, but, it appears to me again, that only one or two sounds are possible with an ebow on bass.
    Michael found a technique where he uses two ebows, one on each string at a time, but for me it's kind of boring.
    I paid 105euros for it last year and now it's cost 80euros, is it a good idea to sell it, as i don't use it often?
    The other problem i have is that i always play just with my fingers, even when i want to simulate a plectrum, i do it with my fingers, and if i use the ebow, it's like a plectrum, i have to put it somewhere when i want to play with my fingers again, so what do you think in my case, the best to do?
    Keep it and learn to find different sounds it can reproduce or sell it?
    Excuse me to have been so long:meh::hyper: :bassist:
     
  9. zipflint

    zipflint

    Sep 25, 2005
    Spartanburg, SC
    As others have said, it takes a good deal of practice to get the sounds you want from an Ebow. I've had mine for a few years and I enjoy it a lot, but I mostly use it for ambient-type tracks. I'm not good enough with to incorporate into other types of music. I use a lot of effects with mine, like chorus, delay, and phasers.
    It's a weird little gizmo and it might not be for everyone.
    And +1 on it being slightly more difficult to use on bass.
     
  10. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I have a guitar ebow. I ground the guide grooves down to just before the plastic ends (and the internals start). That helped get the magnetic structure closer to the strings of the bass. I also use lighter gauges and thus less tension - so the strings now get excited into excursion faster.

    Still, unless I'm playing it a lot, I lose the touch and the tonal variety.
     
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    It took me a couple years to get what I wanted out of it.
    No chance to control it within minutes.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There isn't an Ebow made for bass- an Ebow is just an Ebow.
     
  13. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    That may be so, but his advice is still sound if I remember my physics classes right ;)
     
  14. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Actually there was an announced BASS EBOW. If my recall isn't totally shot, it had a gray casement, and they only made a few before discontinuing it.
     
  15. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Oh yeah - forgot to mention one of the ebow's dirty little secrets. You can get a lot of mileage out of single-stringing your lines instead of crossing to other strings, especially when just starting out.
     
  16. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Also hammer-ons help get the string moving.
     
  17. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I know the creator made a prototype, but I don't remember it ever being marketed. He brought it to Michael Manring to test, but Manring found it too bulky to use quickly.
     
  18. +1 When I first tried one on my buddies guitar and I could hardly get it to function at all. He grabbed it from me and made that guitar scream with it. The subtleties of it were amazing. I still plan on buying one to try out on my guitar.
     
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I haven't gotten too many other sounds other than the sustained cello-esque sounds and the really nice distortions out of it, but then again I haven't really worked on getting those weird sounds out of it. I think they are more geared towards guitar.

    As for holding it, you can keep it tucked into your palm, held down by your ring and pinky while you pluck with your index and middle, and then quickly flip it out when you want to use it. I usually just keep mine on a very nearly shelf- usually the top of my amp- and grab it. I've also thought of attaching velcro tape to it and my strap so I can grab it off at will.
     
  20. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Well, I want to try to emulate a cello, so perphaps I'll try again.