"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet
on the ground" - Teddy Roosevelt
Come this way for a different musical
Musical Saw Specialist, wrote the book
"Scratch my Back" (sample page) and had three
recordings that has now been refined to a CD and
his only current recording is only issued from
Japan. See below for ordering information.
"I began playing the musical saw in 1975.
Since then, I have become not only an expert
"sawist", but I have developed a
revolutionary new method of playing the
Jim's career started when he sent an order to
Mussehl & Westphal, Wisconsin- based
manufacturers of musical saws, see
company history. Two days after receiving his
saw, Jim was barely able to get a tone out of it.
After two weeks of practice, however he was able to
play a few tunes. Two years later, he had attained
a level of skill on the instrument that took most
players a decade or more to reach.
doesn't read a note of music, he was raised in
a musical family and has the ability to memorize a
song after hearing it once. He excels at musical
improvisation, so he takes advantage of every
opportunity to trade riffs with other
Jim's early performances were at club
meetings, convalescent homes, picnics and church
groups meetings. Eventually, he felt that he was
skilled enough to play at bluegrass festivals.
Most saw players were limited to playing ballads
and slow waltzes because of the physical
limitations of the instrument. But Jim was
determined to find a way to play faster numbers. He
found it by snapping the saw from note to note, he
eliminated the sustain between notes and allowed a
Jim demonstrated his new technique at the first
Musical Saw Festival in Santa Cruz, California. The
gentleman whose act preceded Jim's had written
a book on methods of playing the saw and explained
to the audience that only slow tunes could be
played on the instrument. Jim then came on stage
and proceeded to play lightning-paced renditions of
"Tico Tico" and the "Twelfth street
rag". The crowd gave him a standing ovation,
and from that day on Jim was known as
Jim demonstrating playing the saw during a stay at a Ballet performance in San Jose California.
Wonderland by Night on the Musical Saw by Super Saw Jim
Uploaded by mmeijer103 on Dec 22, 2011
Saw Jim is nearly 80 years old and is one of the kindest men I know. He was decreed the first Master Sawyer in the world by Dan Wallace owner of Mussehl and Westphal Musical Saw Company. He has been playing the saw since 1975 and stared at Disneyland off and on as an outside contract musician playing on the porch of Thunder Ranch. He is also the author of "Scratch My Back: A Pictorial History of the Musical Saw and How to Play It." This movie was made at the recording studio Alexsandra Meijer's Living Room and produced and edited by Michelle Meijer.
recommend the following source
for musical saws. Mussehl and
Musical Saws, The Professional
Tenor, Solo Musical Saws
Mussehl and Westphal
W0626 Beech Drive
East Troy, MI. 53120
PO Box 1526
Inyokern, Ca 93527
Click on the picture for a trip to a terrific
page put together by a long time, awestruck
fan of Jim's musical saw. (Got to be an
oxymoron). You'll find desert news, a bit
of whimsy, a puzzle or two, etc.
Click on the picture to go to a site in
Switzerland and a beautifully done treatise
on MUSICAL SAWS. How they're made,
different types (bass, tenor, etc), played.
Has a nice classical example that plays well
Click on the picture to go to the site of a
true professional saw player who also plays
the THEREMIN. HUH??? Very interesting and