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I am going to buy a musical saw soon, and I was wondering if I could use my double bass bow to play it.

Q: Can I use my double bass bow to play the musical saw or do I have to get a new bow?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Standard appears to be a violin bow, but a longer cello or string bass bow would do. Personally, I'd keep my bass bow for that instrument, and have a dedicated saw bow. Not sure how much wear and tear on the hair it produces, but having a second bow to your string has always been thought of as something good...

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Yes, you can use a bass bow. Not sure why Tim above said that a cello bow is longer than a violin one - it's the other way round, which is why a cello bow is better than a violin bow for saw playing. Not sure why the person in the 1st answer thinks long notes would be difficult with a shorter bow - most sawists don't bow continuously like violinists - you bow then release immediately, letting the blade resonate for however long is needed. For more info and for recommendations about best saw to buy - e-mail me through www.SawLady.com I know all the above because I am

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Short answer is yes. I've heard the saw played with bows of all sizes, and in one concert, with a wooden dowel (just add rosin).

In my experience, a saw takes more physical pressure than a violin if you want a good tone. The shorter length of the bass and cello bows is an advantage for this, because the further you get from where you are gripping the bow, the harder it is to sustain even pressure. The downside, of course, is that longer notes become more difficult because your bow doesn't have as much length. I'd start out with whatever bow you have, or with a selection of wooden dowels in whatever lengths you want to try.

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