My second bow arrived in the mail today and I can do some basic harmonies with the two bows now. However, I'm very interested in using the two bows together for fast melodies. What's the best way to go at it, though? Do I alternate notes so that one note is with the right bow and the next is with the left bow, even if it's a repeated note?


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For me, it's more about the distance between consecutive notes. So if you have a farther distance to go be ready to use the other bow so you won't have that small gap jumping from one note to the other. Definitely use the same bow if it is on the same note. For instance if you watch my video of "Let it Snow" you might see what I mean. It starts on "C" and then jumps to the "C" an octave up and you can see I use the other bow to make the jump. But, simply using every other bow for each note is often more cumbersome to do when the notes are closer together. You can go to my youtube channel and see more examples, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" in particular, shows using the 2 bows to help with jumps for faster playing. Also, if a part in the music is 2 notes alternating back and forth, keep the one bow on one note and the other bow on the other for that sequence.

I hope this helps a little. Each person develops their own techniques and this is mine.

Thanks, Brenda! Your response and video have definitely helped!

I've been working from the It's Easy to Play the Bowed Psaltery DVD and have found it good up to the point at which it shows two double bowed techniques. The first technique which is harmonized is easy to follow and the melody notes in the accompanying book help. However, the second technique which involves fast two bow melody playing is so fast that I can't see what each bow is doing.... I like what I saw and heard but wish that they had slowed down the first 10 notes :D


Linda, glad it helped some. So far I was just doing "performance" in my videos and I hoped you could kind of see what I was talking about in them. You have inspired me to maybe do a video to show the technique, slow it down and talk through some bow movements. That will have to be after Christmas break though. I plan to put up a few more Christmas songs on my youtube channel in the next few days; I will try to have my videographer (my daughter) to show the bowing more.

Enjoy your bowed psaltery! And have a Merry Christmas!


I'm looking forward to seeing more videos from you, Brenda.  A video showing your bowing technique would be great.....as well as more performance videos.  Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!

Thank you Debbie! I'll be putting some more on my youtube channel. And a very Merry Christmas to you, too!

Hi Brenda,

I've had some success with the two bow work. I've managed to work through Red Haired Boy in the key of D with two bows and am now working slowly to bring it up to speed. It's rather fun!

I notice that you use a little stand in your lap when you're playing your bowed psaltery. It looks like it helps a lot. I've rigged something up with an old music stand but it's not quite what I want.


Hi Linda, 

So glad you are finding it fun. Slow and steady does it.

The little "leg block" is something a friend of mine made for me.  He has said he is willing to make more and charge $15 which would include shipping. Let me know if you are interested. You can email me at mangan6@nctv.com


Thanks Brenda!


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