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Yesterday I was at God is an Astronaut live performance and was close to the scene.

One of the guitarists (Gazz Carr) performed tremolo picking. But I noticed that on a few songs he used a small machine instead of a pick. It had a blue luminodiode too. So he held this machine over the neck pickups, lighting this luminidiode along the string over fingerboard. It sounded like tremolo picking, but all he was doing was vibratos with his left hand, right hand was immovable.

I want to know how this machine is called (googled a lot — no luck) and, if it not helps to perform tremolos, it's purpose.

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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It probably is an E-Bow which uses an electromagnetic feedback mechanism to vibrate the strings.

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If OP is talking about the blue LED, then this is definitely it -- my guess is he was running through some kind of effect to give the illusion of tremolo. –  NReilingh Nov 2 '13 at 4:19
    
Yes, there are digital tremolo effects for guitar (and I'm not referring to "whammy" or pitch-bend effects pedals; that's something different) which can produce a rapid, choppy sound. Using one of those in conjunction with an Ebow would be a novel way to achieve an interesting effect. –  Wheat Williams Nov 2 '13 at 15:27
    
Wow, curious thing, I give 99% that this is it. @NReilingh, I think that it's not an effect (because in many songs he was playing tremolo by fast picking, so why use an effect on a few? And then the purpose of the device is undefined). So, anyway, here is the video, recorded by myself (Gazz Carr is on the right relatively to me; sorry for the quality): youtu.be/XkFJliIbBGk?t=3m40s –  efpies Nov 2 '13 at 15:42
    
AAAAAAAAH, I was thrown off by the mention of tremolo picking –  Alexander Troup Nov 2 '13 at 16:18
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I remember paul gilbert doing solos with a drill, he literally just mounted multiple picks on a cordless drill:

. Does that look like anything like what they were using?

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Gilbert had a famous accident in a huge arena concert when his Makita power drill picking apparatus got tangled in his long hair during a solo. It resulted in his getting a tongue-in-cheek endorsement from the Makita tool company. The 80s are long gone; these days, Mr. Gilbert has short hair, but he no longer uses that device, either. –  Wheat Williams Nov 2 '13 at 15:30
    
That's hilarious :D –  efpies Nov 2 '13 at 15:42
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