Tonefiend Forum

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1] 2
Author Topic: Ebow abuse
Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Ebow abuse
on: September 2, 2012, 22:36
Quote

I'm kind of a noob when it comes to using the ebow. I've had some luck recording with it ('cause I get unlimited do-overs at home), but have found it a bit hard to control live. Anybody (I'm looking at you, Joe) have any tips for ebow performance? Handy pedals that help the harmonic take? Hints for hand positioning/damping? And should mine eat batteries with the rapaciousness that it does?
I suppose this could've been posted under techniques or effects...hmmm.

Oinkus

Posts: 236
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 3, 2012, 04:16
Quote

Wish I had bought one when I first discovered it in the mid 70s , was using it on a Guild doubleneck acoustic 12/6 in a guitar store. What a fantastic guitar that was I played it about 3 dozen times with the ebow everytime I passed that store.Would imagine that an OD,Pitch Shifter and focused EQ setting would help that alot if you work the settings out.It is what I use in front of my Talkbox to broaden the sound. Maybe even put a loop in your rig just for the ebow.

mwseniff

Posts: 149
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 3, 2012, 08:04
Quote

First there are tutorials a both the web site and on the cd that comes with it.
https://www.ebow.com/lessons.php?cat=1

Here are some tips I have picked up over the last 30+ years I have used one.
>There are a number of areas where it has a strong influence, over the pickups, at the harmonic nodes (with an open string at the 12th,24th,36th,48th frets or 12,24,36,48 frets above the note fretted or where the slide is positioned). So as your fretting hand moves up the fretboard the ebow should be moved to stay at the harmonic node like a slap bass or hitting a pinch harmonic.
>If you are playing a fretted instrument you can help start the ebow effect by a hammer-on the fretboard especially on fretless guitar or bass.
>Once the ebow is in operation it is usually much louder than a picked note so many users roll off the volume control to maintain a cleaner tone.
>A compressor pedal can help make you guitar respond a little quicker and sustain better.
>A guitar with more sustain will respond much faster to the ebow (my Switch guitars are almost overkill due to their extreme sustain properties and lack some of the finer control with an ebow). OD, fuzz and distortion can help as well.
>You don't necessarily have to have it sitting on the strings to work so by holding it above the strings slightly and move it side to side you can ebow 2-3 strings as a chord.
>Moving the ebow away from and towards the harmonic node or pickup increases and decreases the volume. This helps produce the swells of bowed strings.
>You can also use the ebow as a physical object to strike the strings or slide it back and forth sideways on the string washboard style.
>I found that using the ebow on an acoustic is a good way to practice as it requires more accuracy to make it work. When you use it on an electric after that it seems easier.
>When I use mine on a lapsteel I use a sort of reversed grip pointing it towards the bridge instead of the nut.
>When I use mine with a guitar-synth I find I need to do a sort of hammer-on to trigger the synth initially but once it is excited the synth keeps playing until you damp it (this is not really much of an issue on my new Roland GR-55 but it was on my older Roland GR-30).

As for using batteries quickly it could have a problem, mine works quite a while on an alkaline battery (you should definitely use fresh alkaline batteries with an ebow). I have both a new one with the 3 position switch and an older black one with just an on-off switch the older black one sometimes has the led lit up very dimly when off but it still lasts quite a while on a good battery (I like the old black ones better personally as they respond a bit differently and they also lack the 2nd harmonic setting which I don't like YMMV I've been on the lookout for a couple more but am leery of buying one used without trying it first so Ebay is not a good answer for me). Ebows are all potted in epoxy internally so they are not repairable. You may want to unplug the battery when not in use to see if you have some sort of drain going on. If this is one of the original chrome ebows without a power switch you need to store it in a non-magnetic case or it will turn on an off just by carrying it around or riding in a car as they were designed to turn on when they sensed a magnetic field change.
Hope this helps. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have.
My best advice is to persevere at the ebow and practice,practice,practice. Try playing things that don't necessarily seem ebow material like hawaiian type songs or even The Star Spangled Banner (or what ever national anthem you've got handy like Fripp's God Save the Queen from his first Frippertronics tour). Try not to drop it too many times but they are incredibly sturdy from my experience.

bear

Posts: 153
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 3, 2012, 13:01
Quote

In my experience the harmonics jump easier off of the wound strings, especially low on the neck. Finger vibrato can help. Damping never seemed quite as big a deal as with slide playing for me, but one tip is to use your right hand fingers as they hold the ebow to also damp the strings that the thing is resting on. If open strings ring sympathetically, I can usually go with it because I don't do particularly harmonically tricky stuff that it'll bite me in the butt.

Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 3, 2012, 14:25
Quote

Thanks mwseniff, I figured I would hear from you! I have checked out the tutorials that Heet links you to, but I figured you guys would be able to go a little deeper. Your point about the harmonic nodes is a fine example of what I'm digging for (and kinda' obvious now that I think about it).

Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 17, 2012, 09:35
Quote

Oh yeah! It definitely doesn't want to be fed the dollar store batteries I keep for the fuzztone. Maybe we should start a thread on "which effects like good batteries and which really benefit from cheapo cells"?

joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 17, 2012, 14:30
Quote

Unless I'm going for a deliberately abrasive sound, I pretty much always roll of most of the tone and stick to the neck pickup.

It probably also helps to practice two particular techniques: Getting smoother at playing melodies up and down a single string via super-fast position shifts, and minimizing the interruptions when you have to move the contraption from one string to another.

I'd try practicing legato melodies with a bare minimum of glissando. That may sound counterintuitive, since glisses work great on EBow. But they can also be a crutch. It's often more effective to play mostly gliss-free and add them only occasionally as an expressive device. A good procedure, IMHO, is to practice voicing familiar tunes on one string, as described in this post.

When you have to play a melody across the string, it helps to initiate the first note on the new string with your left hand, as opposed to waiting for the EBow to "warm it up." For example: Imagine a descending C scale beginning on (written) middle C on the third string at the fifth fret: Try playing C, B, A on that third string, and then, as you switch to the fourth string to play G at the fifth fret, hammer on that pitch with your pinky or ring finger at the same instant you shift the EBow, and then "snatch" the vibrating note in the EBow's magnetic field. You may never get absolutely perfect legato, but you can get it much cleaner than you might imagine.

Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: September 17, 2012, 15:25
Quote

Quote from joe on September 17, 2012, 14:30
Unless I'm going for a deliberately abrasive sound, I pretty much always roll of most of the tone and stick to the neck pickup.

It probably also helps to practice two particular techniques: Getting smoother at playing melodies up and down a single string via super-fast position shifts, and minimizing the interruptions when you have to move the contraption from one string to another.

I'd try practicing legato melodies with a bare minimum of glissando. That may sound counterintuitive, since glisses work great on EBow. But they can also be a crutch. It's often more effective to play mostly gliss-free and add them only occasionally as an expressive device. A good procedure, IMHO, is to practice voicing familiar tunes on one string, as described in this post.

When you have to play a melody across the string, it helps to initiate the first note on the new string with your left hand, as opposed to waiting for the EBow to "warm it up." For example: Imagine a descending C scale beginning on (written) middle C on the third string at the fifth fret: Try playing C, B, A on that third string, and then, as you switch to the fourth string to play G at the fifth fret, hammer on that pitch with your pinky or ring finger at the same instant you shift the EBow, and then "snatch" the vibrating note in the EBow's magnetic field. You may never get absolutely perfect legato, but you can get it much cleaner than you might imagine.

Coooollll!!! I know what I'll be doing when the wife and kid are in bed asleep tonight!

Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: October 5, 2012, 01:27
Quote

Joe, I went back to the Christmas post (which I had read when I first stumbled upon this last March) and made myself play a whole medley of bloody Christmas tunes using the 'shifty-left-hand' approach. What a cool way to have to approach playing melody! And what a practical time of year to brush up on some seasonal melodies that I will inevitably be called upon to play at some point pretty darn soon. That was a real head-turner of an exercise! Oh yeah, and the ebow tips were super constructive from both you and mwseniff, so thanks for the input. I want to get it out and perform something with all these new ideas; I can never cement anything (chops, concepts, WHY) until I've done it live...

Oinkus

Posts: 236
Permalink
Post Re: Ebow abuse
on: October 5, 2012, 04:27
Quote

Actually learning new technique is going to kill me ! I don't feel so bad , guy came over that loves strange noise guitar stuff (no clue about that it sounds awful to me)and he had never seen an Ebow before.Pretty much he held it for a minute or 2 and gave up, learning anything new isn't his thing.Now it is up to me to spend a few days (weeks,months, years?)and get it under my fingers.

Pages: [1] 2
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.088 seconds.

Comments are closed.