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Bowed guitar is a method of playing a guitar, acoustic or electric, in which the guitarist uses a bow to play the instrument, similar to playing a cello or a viola da gamba. Unlike other bowed instruments, the guitar has a flat bridge, making it difficult to bow individual notes on the middle strings. Perhaps the most famous examples of this technique are found in the work of Jimmy Page with The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and Jónsi from Sigur Ros.
Bowed guitar players [ edit ]
Eddie Phillips was one of the first 20th century guitarists to use a bow. His bowed guitar can be heard on The Creation's " Making Time".
Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin and The Yardbirds, is perhaps one of the most famous bowed guitar players, such as on the songs " Dazed and Confused" and " How Many More Times" (from the album ) as well as " Led Zeppelin In the Light" (from the album ). Physical Graffiti
Jón Þór Birgisson, the vocalist and guitarist for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, uses the bowed guitar extensively.
Jonny Greenwood, lead guitarist of Radiohead, plays bowed guitar live on " Pyramid Song" to make sounds similar to whale cries (his brother Colin Greenwood used to make them on double bass).
Jeff Martin of the Canadian rock band The Tea Party plays bowed guitar on some of his earlier songs such as "Save Me", from the album . Splendor Solis
Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo plays bowed guitar on occasion, most notably in the intro to " Hey Joni".
The Besnard Lakes also make use of bowed guitar. Avant-garde composer Scott Fields often uses bows, including modified bows, in performance and on recordings, including "Mamet", "From the Diary of Dog Drexel", "We Were the Phliks", and "Beckett".
Claudio Sanchez from the American rock band Coheed and Cambria often uses a bow during live performances.
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters used a bowed bass guitar on the songs " Lucifer Sam" and " The Scarecrow". Tim McTague of
Underoath uses a bow in the songs "Writing on the Walls," "To Whom It May Concern," and "Casting Such a Thin Shadow." English instrumentalist and composer
Mike Oldfield played bowed guitar on his album . Amarok Andrew McKellar of the South African band
Civil Twilight also uses a bow, on their songs "Perfect Stranger" and "Letters from the Sky" when performing live (source: video YouTube). Skyler Skjelset of
Fleet Foxes uses a bow on live performances of "Drops in the River". Russell Senior of Pulp used a bow on live performances of " Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)". Italian guitarist
Sergio Altamura frequently uses a bow and in some pieces applies a violin bridge to his guitar for that [it] or uses a self-created [1 ] electronic bow. [2 ]
Whitesnake's Adrian Vandenberg and Steve Vai used a bow in the song " Still of the Night (song)" during live performance. Igor Haefeli, guitarist of
Daughter, uses a bow on the songs "Love", "Still" and "Lifeforms". Paul Gregory of
Lanterns on the Lake plays bowed guitar during live performances of "Ships in the Rain". Cliff Williams of AC/DC played a bowed bass with his previous band, Home, on the song "Lady of the Birds".
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam played a bowed on the song "Pendulum" from the album Lightning Bolt Aidy James Stevens, guitarist of English post-punk bands You The Living and The Murder Act uses a cello bow extensively, on You The Living's "Reprobates" and "Precipice" and The Murder Act's "Red Cow" to name a few.
Kristoffer Lo of
Highasakite was seen using a bow on his guitar during a live performance of the song "Lover, where do you live?" Eddie Branch, working with
Peter Murphy, used bowed electric bass on the track Cuts You Up as part of it's signature refrain.
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