Imagine an EBow that can be used on multiple guitar strings at once: someone has just designed one

Victoria Shen
(Image credit: Victoria Shen / Twitter)

San Francisco sound artist / experimentalist and designer Victoria Shen has revealed her prototype for a 'contactless strummer' – imagine an EBow that can drive multiple strings at once instead of just one. 

Shen, who last year mashed a turntable and Eurorack together, says her strummer has adjustable frequency range and is "more immediately" responsive that an EBow. Now players are calling for her to pursue the idea to make it commercially available. Well Shen is ahead of them there.

"I'm talking with a couple companies right now about putting out a commercial version," she replied to one request.

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While an EBow functions as a movable guitar pickup that can be held by the player and moved around to drive individual strings to resonate for a bow-like effect, Shen's design uses a motor with multiple spinning magnets to vibrate multiple strings at once using their magnetic fields, making for a much more drone-like effect. 

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The frequency is then adjusted by her thumb with a small control. It's a really interesting idea and we look forward to seeing where the designer can take it next. 

You can hear more of Victoria Shen's experimental music at Bandcamp

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.