How To Play The Saw With A Bow: A Unique Musical Technique

Camper's Bowsaw Bow Saw Hand Saw Folding Saw Tree Saw Etsy
Camper's Bowsaw Bow Saw Hand Saw Folding Saw Tree Saw Etsy from

The Art of Playing the Saw

The saw is not typically thought of as a musical instrument, but its haunting and ethereal sound can add a unique touch to any musical performance. One of the most interesting techniques used to play the saw is with a bow, similar to how a violin or cello is played. In this article, we will explore the steps to play the saw with a bow and how you can create beautiful melodies with this unconventional instrument.

Choosing the Right Saw

Before you start playing the saw, it is important to choose the right instrument. Look for a saw that is made of flexible metal, such as a steel saw, as it will produce a better sound. Additionally, make sure that the teeth of the saw are not too sharp, as this could cause injury while playing.

Preparing the Saw

Prior to playing, you need to prepare the saw for optimal sound production. Place the saw between your legs, with the handle resting against your chest. Use your hands to bend the saw slightly, creating an arch shape. This will help enhance the resonance and improve the sound quality when playing.

Holding the Bow

Hold the bow as you would when playing a violin or cello. The bow should be gripped firmly but not too tightly. Experiment with different bowing techniques to find the one that produces the sound you desire. You can try using long, sweeping strokes or short, quick strokes to create different effects and variations in the sound.

Producing Sound

Start by placing the bow near the base of the saw, just above the handle. Apply gentle pressure and slowly move the bow along the length of the saw. As you do this, you will start to hear a distinct sound. Experiment with bowing at different angles and positions to explore the various tones and pitches that the saw can produce.

Creating Melodies

Once you have mastered the basic technique of producing sound, you can begin to create melodies. Start by practicing simple scales and arpeggios to familiarize yourself with the different notes and pitches that the saw can produce. As you become more comfortable, try playing popular songs or improvising your own melodies.

Adding Vibrato

To add depth and expression to your playing, you can incorporate vibrato. Vibrato is a technique where you slightly vary the pitch of a note to create a trembling or pulsating effect. Experiment with different speeds and intensities of vibrato to find the one that enhances the overall musicality of your performance.

Playing with Other Instruments

The saw can be a wonderful addition to an ensemble or band. Its unique sound can blend well with other instruments, adding a touch of mystery and enchantment to the overall sound. Experiment with playing alongside guitars, pianos, or even orchestras to create harmonious and captivating musical experiences.

Recording and Sharing Your Music

Once you have mastered the art of playing the saw with a bow, consider recording your performances. You can create your own YouTube channel or share your music on various streaming platforms to reach a wider audience. Remember to experiment with different recording techniques to capture the true essence of the saw’s haunting sound.

Exploring Saw Music Communities

If you are passionate about playing the saw, consider joining online communities or forums dedicated to saw music. Connect with fellow saw players, share your experiences, and learn from others. These communities can provide valuable insights and support as you continue to explore the possibilities of the saw as a musical instrument.


Playing the saw with a bow is a unique and captivating musical technique that can add a touch of magic to any performance. With the right saw, bowing technique, and practice, you can create beautiful melodies and explore the endless possibilities of this unconventional instrument. So, grab a saw, grab a bow, and let the enchanting sound of the saw transport you to a world of musical wonder.