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Rachmaninoff on the Saw?

March 3, 2018

When I was young, I took singing lessons for a while, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” was one of the pieces my teacher wanted me to learn. I failed miserably. “Vocalise” is difficult for the same reason that it is beautiful. It wanders here and there in a relaxed and magical […]

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Poor Butterfly

February 26, 2018

Here’s Andy McCormick playing “Poor Butterfly” on the saw along with the wonderful organist Mike Grandchamp. One of the tricks to sounding nice on the saw is finding the right songs to play, and this song is perfect. This was filmed at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. You […]

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The Reason For Rosin

February 25, 2018

You should always use rosin on your bow before you play the saw. Rosin comes from pine trees and other conifers, and it is collected like maple syrup, from small taps in the trees. Each rosin company has it’s own unique recipe and mixes the rosin with other ingredients. The […]

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A Dog’s Life

February 21, 2018

Here’s a clip from Charlie Chaplin’s movie “A Dog’s Life,” a silent movie from 1918. The soundtrack includes a saw. I think the saw works well with all the crying. The music was composed by Chaplin himself, who specifically indicated that the passages should be played by a saw. You […]

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Let’s have an octave! Or Two! Or Four!

February 18, 2018

One of the advantages of playing a musical saw over a regular handsaw is the wider octave range. A sawyer can usually only play about one octave on a regular small handsaw, but a longer musical saw, 28 to 30″, can easily produce two octaves. In France, they have have […]

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Saw Player of the Month: Andy McCormick

December 16, 2017

One of my favorite saw players is Andy McCormick. He lives in Minnesota and plays in a duo called Dreamland Faces. You can’t go wrong listening to any of his recordings. Here he is playing Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood.” Have a listen…  

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