Wednesday, August 7, 2013


It's like having a pick of a different color.
Henry Kaiser

The EBow or ebow (brand name for Electronic Bow or Energy Bow) (often spelled E-bow in common usage) is a hand-held, battery-powered electronic device for playing the electric guitar, invented by Greg Heet in 1969. The makers say:

The EBow was introduced in 1976 at the NAMM Show (National Association of Music Merchants) in Chicago. Jerry Garcia was our very first customer. He bought three.

Instead of having the strings hit by the fingers or a pick, they are moved by the electromagnetic field created by the device, producing a sound reminiscent of using a bow on the strings.

The EBow is used to produce a variety of sounds not usually playable on an electric guitar. These sounds are created by a string driver that gets its input signal by an internal pickup, which works like a guitar pickup. Its output signal is amplified and drives the other coil, which amplifies the string vibrations. With this feedback loop the player can create a continuous string vibration.

By varying the EBow's linear position on the string, the user can change the sound due to the changing string harmonic along different positions of a vibrating string. Fading in and out by lowering and raising the EBow is also possible.

Starting with the current generation of EBow (PlusEBow, the 4th edition EBow), the user also gains an additional mode known as harmonic mode, which produces a higher harmonic sound instead of the fundamental note. This is achieved by reversing the signal phase to the driving coil, which dampens the string's fundamental frequency and creates higher harmonics.

Many different artists have used the EBow in a wide variety of musical styles. One of the first notable users was Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, who used the device on "Carpet Crawlers" from the band's 1974 album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Another early pioneer of EBow playing was Max Sunyer, who used it in a 1978 live album Iceberg en directe, recorded and released in Spain Picap. It was used later on by Bill Nelson, who introduced it to Stuart Adamson of The Skids. Adamson went on to use it with Big Country. Contemporary Christian performer Phil Keaggy (of Decca recording artist Glass Harp fame) is also a prolific user of the EBow, more notably in his 1978 instrumental release The Master and the Musician, which features many different sounds created with the EBow. The EBow is frequently used by Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien in studio and for live performances of songs such as "Talk Show Host" and "Nude". It has also been used on Opeth's 2001 album Blackwater Park, to create ambient background melodies. In the Pop field, Blondie has used it on several songs including "Fade Away and Radiate" and "Cautious Lip".

Besides its appearance in Rock and Jazz music, the EBow also made its way in the domain of contemporary art music, being used by John Cage in his harp piece A Postcard from Heaven (1982), Karlheinz Essl in Sequitur VIII (2008) for electric guitar and live-electronics, Elliott Sharp on SFERICS (1996), Arnold Dreyblatt in E-Bow Blues (released 1998) and David First in A Bet on Transcendence Favors the House (2008).

In 2013, the EBow was used on the song "From Can to Can't" for the film Sound City directed by Dave Grohl (Sound City Album). Corey Taylor is the vocalist for the song. Dave Grohl handles the drum duties, Scott Reeder on bass and Rick Neilsen on guitar. Rick uses the EBow to create the haunting guitar sound that fits perfectly in the track.

Although the EBow is most commonly played on the electric guitar, because of its ease of use and the responsiveness obtainable from the pickup, many artists have experimented with the EBow on other types of guitars and string instruments to various effect. While the EBow is not normally used with the electric bass guitar, which has heavier strings, Michael Manring (who uses light bass strings) has persevered, and it features heavily on his 1995 album Thönk. He has even been known to use two at once. Another instrument that the EBow is sometimes used on is the steel-string acoustic guitar. For example, guitarist David Gilmour of Pink Floyd used one on his Gibson J-200 acoustic in their 1994 song "Take It Back" to great effect. Generally an acoustic guitar gives a limited response for varying reasons, including the density and spacing of the guitar strings. But despite these limitations, using an EBow on an acoustic guitar gives a rich, flute- and clarinet-like tone with a slow-swelling response.
Steve Rothery of Marillion has used the Ebow in a number of tracks, including on the 1985 UK Number One album Misplaced Childhood, the song "The King of Sunset Town" and the ending part of "Seasons End", both from the 1989 Seasons End album, and also throughout the song "You're Gone" from the 2004 Marbles album.

Composer Luciano Chessa employs EBows regularly in his music for solo Vietnamese dan bau. Furthermore, an EBow can also be utilised on a grand piano (with depressed sustain pedal) to create sustained sinusoidal sounds as it was used by Olga Neuwirth in Hooloomooloo (1997) and Karlheinz Essl in Sequitur XIII (2009) for extended piano and live-electronics.

1967 concept inspired by Iron Butterfly and Jimi YouKnow
1969 working model
1974 hand-held version
1976 introduced at NAMM in Chicago
1983 new model introduced
1989 licked-circuit model
1996 ebow web page makes a splash
1998 PlusEBow model introduced
2009 media rich website debuts

WHO PLAYS EBOW (according to the EBow company)
Adrian Belew • The Final Rhino
Agalloch •  Fire Above, Ice Below
The Airborne Toxic Event •  Wishing Well
The Alarm • Howling Wind •  Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke
Alice In Chains • Heaven Beside You
Alon • Art's End • The Artist Manifesto: Document 1
Analog Missionary •  Lilith E-Demo •  Minotaur
Anathema • Fragile Dreams •  Leave No Trace • One Last Goodbye
Anthrax • Bare
Archers of Loaf • After The Last Laugh • Smokers in Love • White Trash Heroes
Bauhaus • Exquisite Corpse • Lajartija Nick
Bela Fleck •  Various
Belinda Carlisle • Love Walks In (EBow by Chrissy Shefts)
Berlin • Intimate (DVD) on Lost My Mind and Drug
Beth Patterson • listenHay Toil Month
Beyond the Bars • Various
Big Country • Big Country • listenThe Storm
Bill Nelson • A Private View •  Another Day Another Ray of Hope • Blue As A Jewel •  Live •  My Highland Home In Thailand •  Rainclouds over Paris of my dreams. •  The October Man
Black Crowes • Gone
Black Oak Arkansas • Exodus - They played this in concert with the three guitarists in a single spotlight all playing EBows. Killer. I would love to get a copy of one of these performances.
Blind Melon • Time • Wilt
Bloc Party •  Biko (live) • On • Selfish Son •  Song For Clay (live) •  Uniform
Blondie •  Cautious Lips • Dog Star Girl • Dreaming • Fade Away And Radiate • Heroes • Kidnapper • Youth Nabbed As Sniper
Blue Man Group • EBow by Chris Bowen
Blue Oyster Cult • Don't Fear The Reaper
Boiled in Lead • Shamrock Shore
Boris • various
Buddy Emmons •  Once Upon a Time in the West
Caifanes •  La Llorona • Miedo
California Guitar Trio • Kan-non Power • Punta Patri • Relative Illusion
Camouflage • Seize Your Day
Carl Weingarten •  Between Here And There • Cambodian Waltz • Tango In Tangiers • The Acoustic Shadow
Cenk Erdogan •  EBow Taksim •  On Perdesiz Gitar
Chad Johnson • listenLife Gets in the Way (Clip) • listenLife Gets in the Way (Full Song)
Chameleons • I'll Remember • Soul In Isolation
Chris Proctor •  Nights In White Satin
Chris Tomlin • How Great is our God
The Church • Constant In Opal • listenHappenstance • Myrrh • Shadow Cabinet • Tantalize •  Under the Milky Way
The Cocteau Twins • The Spangle Maker • Why Do You Love Me?
Coldplay •  Amsterdam •  See You Soon •  Spies
Collective Soul • Disciplined Breakdown •  Forgiveness • Giving • In Between • Link • Maybe • Tremble For My Beloved
Craig Anderton • Quote
The Cranberries •  Daffodil Lament
The Cure • Various
The Dandy Warhols • Live
Daniel Ash • Various
Dave Navarro • Falling Into Grace • One Big Mob
David Barrett •  Grace And Grit •  The Art of Dreaming
David Bowie •  Heroes (live) Mick Ronson • New Killer Star • New Killer Star (Official)
David Byrne •  Never Thought (Leo Abrahams also on EBow) • The Lighthouse
David Rhodes • Bread and Wine (Last Temptation of Christ). •  My Brave Face (McCartney) •  Passion (Peter Gabriel) •  Wall Of Breath (Last Temptation of Christ)
Def Leppard • Fractured Love • listenStandup • listenWhite Lightning
Delirious? • Cutting Edge • King Of Fools • Live & In The Can • Mezzamorphis
Depeche Mode • Walking in My Shoes
dEUS •  Bad Timing (live)
Dick Tracy • Quote
Don DePaola •  Loch Ness •  Night Shade Trip •  Signs Theme •  Sleepwalkers Theme
Dream Theater • Space-Dye Vest
Duncan Sheik •  Barely Breathing
Duran Duran • American Science
Earth • The Dire and Ever Circling Wolves
EBQ (EBow Quartet) •  White Room
Echo & The Bunnymen • In the Margins
Eddie Vedder •  Wishlist
Edison Suit • listenBlue Nine • listenBullet Hole for a Mouth • listenMetaphysical Vertigo • listenModes of Perception • listenNeon Depths • listenNo Freedom in Oblivion
Einstürzende Neubauten • Sabrina
Elliott Sharp • Various
Elton John • listenThe One
Emmylou Harris • Bang The Drum Slowly • Boy From Tupelo (Darryl Johnson) • My Antonia
Erkan OĞUR •  EBow •  Fretless Guitar and E-Bow •  Janet Jak Esim Ensemble • The Other Side Of Turkey
Explosions In The Sky •  various
Faith No More •  MIdlife Crisis
Fields of the Nephilim •  Last Exit for the Lost
Flock of Seaguls • Hot Tonight • Nightmares • Transfer Affection •  Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)
Flowers of Hell •  Live
Foo Fighters •  M.I.A (live)
Frank Zappa • listenFilthy Habits
Fred Frith • What Dilemma •  Workshop
Garbage •  You Look So Fine
Genesis •  The Carpet Crawlers Steve Hackett
Gino Robair • Electromagnetism (EBow on snare drum) •  In My Bath •  In My Kitchen
Goo Goo Dolls • Close Your Eyes • On The Lie
Hasan Cihat Orter •  Hicaz Taksim •  Pırıltılar (Ebow)
Heart • Barracuda • Crazy on You •  Led To One
Henry Kaiser • Aloha • Daredevils • If Looks Could Kill • Info Mechanics • Wind Crystals • With Friends Like These
Howie Day •  Ghost
Ilse de Lange •  I'm not so tough
Interferenze • Fade To Grey
Interpol •  Take You on a Cruise •  The Scale (the last 40 seconds)
Iona (Celtic Rock Band) • Encircling •  When I Survey
James • She's A Star •  Sound
Japan •  Fall In Love With Me • Gentlemen Take Polaroids •  Quiet Life • Still Life In Mobile Homes • Swing • The Art Of Parties
John Butler Trio •  Revolution (live at The Troubadour) •  Revolution (live in Sydney)
John Ashton • Various
John Cage • Five (E-bow version) (Hear it) • Postcard from Heaven 10 harps with EBows.
John Ellis • Improviso • Infanta • Infinite Sustain (Hear these here)
Johnny Rzeznik • Close Your Eyes • On the Lie.
The Jones Gang •  Angel
k.d. lang • listenThe Air That I Breathe •  The Air That I Breathe (commercial)
Kajagoogoo • Too Shy (Hush, Hush, Eye To Eye)
Karlheinz Essl • listenSequitur VIII
Kenn Lowy •  Space
kidofdoom (south africa)
King's X •  Cigarettes (live) • Ear Candy
Kiss • Ain't Quite Right • Love Gun (demos) • Move On • Tonight You Belong To Me
Krzysztof Misiak • Zdjecie z Misiem (Photo With The Bear)
Lachlan Higgs •  Have you got it in you?
Lenny Walker •  Eleanor Rigby •  Fast Distortion •  Harmonic Mode With Fuzz • listenWhen I'm Sixty Four
Leo Abrahams • Never Thought (with Brian Eno and David Byrne) • played on Steve Jone’s 'Sayonara Deadweight'
Limp Bizkit • Boiler • Hold On
Linkin Park •  Iridescent •  No More Sorrow
Love And Rockets • All In My Mind • An American Dream • Haunted While The Minutes Drag • Laralay • Love Me • Saudade • Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven • The Light
Mambo Sons • listenBlues for Zanny •  Blues For Zanny (2) • Heavy Days • Single City
Man On Fire • Various
Marillion • Cinderella Search • Nightwater By The Wishing Tree •  Pseudo Silk Kimono (the intro of Misplaced Childhood) • Season's End (live version) • Your Gone
Mats Hedberg •  Nordiclights
Metallica • Blackened • Sad But True • Unforgiven
Michael Manring •  Adhan (2 EBows on Bass - EBow only) • Bad Hair Day • Big Fungus • Cruel And Unusual • On A Day Of Many Angles • Plus other cuts on Thonk • Resonances Teaser
Million Year Dance • Various
Missing Persons • Noticeable One • Racing Against Time (solo) • Waiting For A Million Years
The Mission (UK) • Blood Brother • Dance On Glass •  Wasteland
Modern English • I Melt With You • Life In The Gladhouse
Mofungo • Hosting A War • Union Of Scabs
Nachtmystium • Instinct: Decay • Worldfall
Nine Inch Nails •  Home At Mountain View • La Mer On DVD and All That Could Have been •  With Teeth
Oasis •  Don't Look Back In Anger • What's The Story (Morning Glory) • Wonderwall
Opeth •  Drapery Falls •  Isolation Years
Papa Roach •  Forever EBow in the second part of the first chorus.
Pat Metheny •  The Way Up (live)
Paul Kurzweil • Song 86 • The Tango Express
Paul McCartney •  My Brave Face
Paul Richards •  Earth Harp and EBow • Hope (RFSQ) • Kan-non Power • Punta Patri • Relative Illusion
Paul Stanley •  Ain’t Quite Right •  Move On •  Tonight You Belong To Me
Pearl Jam • No Way • Not For You • Release • Storytellers • listenWish List •  World Wide Suicide
Peter Frampton •  Black Hole Sun (live)
Peter Gabriel • Bread and Wine (Passion - 1989) •  Passion •  Red Rain (live)
Phil Collins • It Doesn't Matter To Me
Phil Keaggy • listenAmazing Grace • I Love You Lord • Let Everything Else Go • Pilgrim's Flight • Reaching Out • Rise Up O Men Of God • Town To Town • When The Wild Winds Blow
Phil Niblock • Sethwork
Pink Floyd • Keep Talking • Take It Back
PJ Harvey • To Bring You My Love
Placebo •  I'll Be Yours •  Leni • One Of A Kind •  Passive Aggressive
The Psychedelic Furs • Alice's House • Dumb Waiters • Highwire Days • Like A Stranger • Only You And I
Queen •  Good Company (Night At The Opera album - Brian May) •  Heroes (Bowie)
Queens of the Stone Age • Another Love Song • The Blood Is Love
R.E.M. • Accelerate •  EBow The Letter • Leave • Sing For the Submarine • The Lifting
The Raconteurs • Broken Boy Soldier
Radiohead • All I Need •  My Iron Lung • Nude •  Talk Show Host •  Where I End and You Begin
Ratatat •  Wildcat
Red Hot Chili Peppers • listenFalling into Grace • listenOne Big Mob
Richard Barone • Flew A Falcon • Miss Jean • River To River
Robert Fripp String Quintet • Hope • The Bridge Between • The Chromatic Fantasy
Roger Powell • Air Pocket (Todd Rundgren)
Scott Huckabay • A New Sunrise • Between Tommorrow and Now • Divine Union • From the Moment of Life • If You Believe •  Live • Metaphors • Mist of Avalon • On Shimmering Ground • Psychedelic Dolphin • Reflections • The Journey • The Nature • Touching Solid Branches
Seven Percent Solution • Blindshore • Lost •  Revolve • The Sky Suspended • Tomorrow Never Knows
Sigur Rós •  E-Bow •  E-Bow (Untitled 6) •  You and the Light
The Sisters Of Mercy •  Marian
Six Organs of Admittance • Alone • Increase
Smashing Pumpkins • Believe •  Daphne Descends • listenDrown • Here Is No Why • Hummer • In The Arms Of Sleep • Obscure • Porcelina (live) • Rocket • Shame (live) • listenSinfony • Soma •  Stand Inside Your Love (live) • To Forgive (live) • Where Boys
Sneaker Pimps • Various
Soundgarden • The Day I Tried To Live
Steve Hackett •  Narnia • The Carpet Crawlers
Steve Howe • In The Presence Of
Steve Lawson •  Grace And Gratitude
Steve Ouimette
Steve Vai • All About Eve (Fire Garden)
The Strawbs • Burning For You
Supergrass •  Mary
Third Day • Medley •  Take It All
Todd Rundgren • Lucky Guy
Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers • Climb That Hill • Crystal River (Mudcrutch) • Dog On The Run • Fooled Again • Luna • Others
Tones On Tail • A Bigger Splash • Burning Skys • Christian Says (Good EBow example) • Means Of Escape • Performance • Rain • When You're Smiling
Travis •  Closer
Trilok Gurtu • African Fantasy Nicholas Fiszman brings a gloriously subtle E Bow guitar.
TYR •  Regin Smiður
U2 •  Night and Day •  Unforgettable Fire • With Or Without You (live)
Uğur Varol • Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım
Van Halen • Spanked
Vinnie Moore • Cryptic Dreams from Maze
Violent Fems • Breakin' Up
Weird Al Yankovic • Callin' In Sick • Syndicated Inc
William David Brohn • Mary Poppins (the musical) • Wicked (the musical)
Yes •  In The Presence Of
York Shire • Maiden Voyage • The Three Welcomes (all EBow)

Get one.

Source: Wikipedia,