You can use virtually any effect you’d like to with the Ebow to create your own sound. I also use overdrive, reverb and a volume pedal at times when playing the Ebow. Volume pedals are nice for controlling the dynamics as well as doing volume swells. The most fun comes with trying out different effects and combinations of effects together. Get creative and see what you can do!
In the video below, I demonstrate a few different basic techniques to consider when playing the Ebow. You’ll almost always want to play the Ebow on the neck pickup since it’s the easiest to control. The proximity to the pickup will greatly affect the volume and dynamics of the Ebow. Be careful when getting close to the pickup – the volume can spike VERY fast! This is where a compressor comes in handy.
Just about any playing technique you use with your chording hand when playing with a pick can be used with Ebow. You can do hammer-on’s, pull-off’s, slides, bends (only about 1/2 note bends though due to the size of the Ebow’s rails).
I also demonstrate in the video the differences between the harmonic and standard modes on the Ebow (older versions of the Ebow only have the standard mode). Both are very useful and you can even switch between the two as you play. The harmonic mode will give very controllable amp-like feedback sounds. Another technique you can use for ambient type sounds is to gently push down on the Ebow so that the drive channel of the Ebow briefly touches the string. This causes some added noise and vibration that with a little bit of practice you may find quite useful.
For a fairly lengthy list of musicians and songs which use the Ebow check out Ebow’s Artists page.
The Ebow site also has a lengthy list of video and audio demonstrations and lessons.