6 ways to use an EBow on electric guitar

GTC340 EBow Lesson
(Image credit: Future)

The EBow is a hand-held device that provides endless string sustain, and has been used on many iconic records by artists such as The Blue Öyster Cult, U2, Big Country, Andrew Gold, and Radiohead. The EBow uses ‘Direct String Synthesis’, and in many cases the sounds produced are like those of a monophonic synthesiser.

However, there are challenges with the EBow, and one of these is string crossing. It takes practice to evenly jump from one string to the next, since the Bow needs to be placed accurately. Also, the note doesn’t sound immediately, so it’s best to start a line by hammering on the first note with the fretting hand. To swell into (and out of) a note, movie the EBow from a position where the noise builds quietly, to the ‘sweet spot’ where it should bloom beautifully. 

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Andy G Jones

A professional guitarist for many years, Andy G Jones has played with Van Morrison, James Ingram, Lamont Dozier, Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor), Robben Ford, Billy Cobham, John Illsley (Dire Straits), KT Tunstall, Albert Lee (featured on Andy's upcoming CD), Mike Finnigan, Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth from The Bros. Landreth, Malford Milligan, The BBC Radio Big Band, Patti Austin, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Lalo Schifrin (Hollywood film composer Bullitt, Mission Impossible), Hank Marvin, James Dean Bradfield (the Manic Street Preachers), Grady Tate, Agnetha from ABBA, Cliff Richard, Dudley Moore, Nathan James (Inglorious), Joey Tempest (Europe) and Kelsey Grammar.