Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Saw gigs and a little Christmas carol on the Musical Saw (video)

I played an event at Craft Gallery on South 4th Street in Louisville last weekend, where Scott Scarboro curated an exhibit based on the idea of the saw as a canvas (it's very cool -- go see it, and get your holiday shopping done whilre you're there). Not surprisingl it was entirely a saw gig. It was a fun evening, filled with me basically doing karaoke on the saw and also giving saw lessons to random people coming through the gallery. 

Now I've taught piano lessons for, like, twenty years, but I always refuse to teach saw lessons. It's not a magician-giving-away-her-secrets thing that keeps me from teaching saw. It's that it's really difficult for most people to even manage a squeak on the thing. When someone tries it and they can't make a sound, there's very little I can do to help them. I can tell you how to hold it, how to make the S-curve, and approximately where to bow on the steel, but I cannot help you with the "feel." 

Basically, it's a lot trickier than it looks.

But feel free to give it a try. I play Stanley saws, and my favorite is the 26". When I'm abroad I settle for the 22" Stanley Fat Max because it's the longest I've ever been able to find (I only ever travel with a carry-on, and you can't carry-on a saw.) 

Anyway, for your holiday pleasure, here's a little video I shot yesterday of me and the Great Steve Cooley playing "O Holy Night" on the banjo and saw. I always loved this melody, and when you're playing saw, it's all about the melody (not the bass -- sorry, couldn't resist).

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