Curves Ahead!

In order to get a sound out of the saw, you must be able to bend it a little and create a slight S-curve in the blade. This is one of the benefits of using a saw that is specifically made for music. Musical saws are thinner steel than regular work saws, and so they are often easier to bend. If you sit with the saw between your knees, you can grab the tip and bend it, creating an S-shaped curve in the blade like this:

Nive_&_The_Deer_Children_Rudolstadt_08.jpgNive & The Deer Children at Rudolstadt-Festival 2016. Charles Shapiro playing the musical saw.

As you can see, he has his thumb on the top of the saw and his other fingers underneath it, so that he can create a curve in the saw blade. This takes some practice and many people find that holding the saw is tiring and takes strong hand muscles. In order to prevent fatigue, some people use a “cheat,” meaning a handle attached to the end of the saw to aid in bending.

(Nive and The Deer Children are an interesting indie band out of Greenland. You can hear the musical saw if you click on the link below and listen to track 5. The saw starts at about 2:15)

nive sings!, by nive nielsen & the deer children

nive sings! by nive nielsen & the deer children, released 09 December 2010 1. room 2. good for you 3. aqqusernit 4. autoharps! 5. dear leopold 6. pirate song (feat. howe gelb) 7. done & gone 8. my coffee boy 9. in my head 10. vacuum cleaner killer 11.


Photo by Schorle (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (


Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.