YouTube guitarist Rob Scallon has amassed millions of followers thanks to his Metallica covers for banjo and sitar. Now he can add another instrument to his repertoire—the saw. In the video below, Scallon gets lessons from Natalia Paruz, also known as the Saw Lady. She gained popularity playing the eerie music in subway stations. They experiment with each other’s instruments, play duets including a Metallica song, and make some beautiful saw and guitar music together. All without hurting themselves or needing a tetanus booster shot.
Scallon takes to the saw as a musical instrument quite quickly and experiments with using a mallet, a bow, and his hands. Paruz patiently teaches him every step of the way, from how to hold it to how to play scales. Vibrato is even possible on a musical saw, though it’s apparently a bit of a thigh workout. They also discuss the importance of saw blade length and thickness to the sound.
Scallon’s first song on this instrumental saw is “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, of course. They do eventually get into a Metallica song, which is cool on a saw. Which goes up there with “Enter Sandman” sung by Kristen Bell, also known as Princess Anna from Frozen, on the list of Metallica covers we didn’t know we needed but are grateful we have.
Scallon and Paruz have some scientific discussions along the way too. They even put powder on the saw to show the vibrations rippling down the blade and how they change depending on the note played.
Who knew the saw was such a simple yet interesting musical instrument? Or for the less musically inclined, you could always mod your bicycle to have saw blades for wheels.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.