I am interested in buying an electronic bow, but the one I found is for guitar. Would this ebow work for my bass?

The description of the product says:

E-Bow Plus - handheld electronic bow for guitar, replaces the pick in the right hand allowing the guitarist to mimic strings, horns, and woodwinds with unbelievable sensitivity.[...]

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    There are loads of examples online of players using ebow on bass; as far as I can tell they are just using regular guitar ebows. – Bob Broadley May 29 '14 at 15:47
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    I have seen many of them as well, but when I looked at the description of the ebow, it said that it was for guitar. I wouldn't want to spend 80 bucks on something that wouldn't work/produce good sound on my bass – Shevliaskovic May 29 '14 at 15:49
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    @filzilla I use a regular bow on my double bass, but I want to try out an ebow for my electric one – Shevliaskovic May 29 '14 at 15:57
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    I think this is a worthy thing to try, don't let my opinion get in the way of your hands on education. New things should be explored not ignored, kudos to you. – filzilla May 29 '14 at 16:00
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    Ya know -- the ebow web page's FAQ discusses how to deal w/ it on an electric bass! In the meantime, try using a 1/4" cordless drill (no really, someone does that, sans drill bit) – Carl Witthoft May 29 '14 at 19:03

The reports I've heard are:

  1. The grooves in the base of the e-bow do not align with bass strings, thus it is more difficult (though not impossible) to get a steady, consistent placement of the bow at the right location over the string.

  2. Due to their thickness, it is more difficult for the ebow to activate the strings; thus you are more likely to need to start off the note by a hammer on.

Despite these, it is possible to use an ebow on a bass, e.g. this video, however I'd expect there to be a more difficult learning curve in getting to use it relative to getting it to work well on a guitar, which itself requires dedicated technique practice.

I haven't tried it out myself (maybe the next time I'm with my bass).

  • Is that a guitar ebow? – Shevliaskovic May 29 '14 at 15:54
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    Nowadays they only make guitar ebows (I have one of the newer, blue-light ones); I've heard rumors that many years ago there was a run of bass specific ebows manufactured, but I've never actually seen one. – Dave May 29 '14 at 15:57
  • @Shevliaskovic I use mine on guitar and bass. My godfather showed me a trick to make it easier on bass, which was putting some epoxy (~5mm) on either side of the EBow, which was just about perfect for support. Also, I don't have to hammer on with my bass, though it has active pickups which may make a difference. – RICK May 30 '14 at 10:14

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