The E-bow is a device that causes your string to vibrate without it being plucked, almost like a violin bow makes a violin string vibrate. It requires a dramatically different technique to play, as it basically replaces your pick. Furthermore, due to its true sustain capability, it is possible to actually slide up and down along the string without the loss of volume.
The Ebow is basically a self-contained amplifier with sensing coils and driving coils, using the concept of audio feedback. When placed over a string, the driver coil causes it to vibrate, which is picked up by the sensing/input coil. The electrical signal is then amplified by an opamp and produces a varying magnetic field of the same frequency in the driver coil, which then feeds a magnetic field of the same resonant frequency back to the string, thus sustaining its vibration.
- The ebow is easiest to use when using a humbucker in neck position, as it provide twice the available effective surface when compare to a single coil. If a single coil sound is desired, you would need to be able to provide an alternative wiring such that the coils can be connected in parallel; one such case would be the Ibanez H-H configuration. Alternatively, you can use a "two-single coil" positions (such as position 2 and 4 on a Stratocaster).
- Use the pilot light to position the ebow.
- If the guitar side is not on full volume, the ebow may take 10ms before it takes effect; this is especially true on the higher strings.
- Due to the sustain, the guitar may sound more monotone then a normal picking if you just keep it over the hotspot. Remember to move back and forth away from the hotspot to make it sound more natural.
- Be careful when moving from string to string, as the two stop-grooves may move the string side to side, providing a mismatch of string to the driver groove.
The harmonic mode of the PlusEBow occurs due a reverse in polarity of the output coil, which dampens the fundamental frequency of the string and accentuate the harmonics, which are driven more. Thus, many normally unachievable harmonic notes are also available. However, the harmonic mode will only produce a different timbre of the fundamental note while used on 1st (e) and 2nd (B) string, as well as the higher notes on 3rd (G string).
In harmonic mode, whether to slide into the note or fret it normally will easily change the timbre of the sound. Sliding will keep the tone from before, but fretting it will easily change it. Generally, when a note is fretted close to the bridge, the note will have more bass than one that is fretted close to the nut.