If you’re curious about the Pickaso guitar bow, you’ve come to the right post!
New Ways to Approach Your Guitar
You may not like what I have to say here, but the guitar is a somewhat limiting instrument.
This is especially the case with acoustic guitars.
And this comes from the perspective of a guitar player.
On the other hand, it’s the guitar players who make it a very expressive instrument.
This is where the so-called Pickaso Guitar Bow can help you take it to a new level.
As of this writing, it’s still in the “patent pending” stage.
However, we’re looking at a pretty exciting and useful little piece of equipment for imaginative guitar players.
What Is Pickaso Guitar Bow
For those of you who are a bit baffled by what this actually is, Pickaso Guitar Bow itself isn’t complicated.
Essentially, we’re looking at a simple bow for acoustic guitars.
Instead of picking the strings with a plectrum or your fingers, you bow them.
The bow goes over a string, the friction makes the string vibrate, and you get the sound.
But instead of one loud attack and slow fade, you get one continuous sound.
So, in short, Pickaso Guitar Bow is – you’ve guessed it – a bow specialized for guitars.
And what I should also add is that this is not an electronic device.
It’s all just pure mechanics and friction.
But it’s also the first of its kind, so that’s pretty exciting to know.
How It Works and What It’s Made Of
But that doesn’t mean that it’s super simple.
And even though there’s a lot of variation in how you can use it, you need to know some basics.
Firstly, we have a device that consists of a strong plastic handle and an elongated body.
The body is made out of aluminum covered with synthetic bow hair.
Its total length is about 6.3 inches or 16cm.
Now, you’re aware that the strings on the guitar are all completely parallel.
Essentially, they’re all at the same level and form one flat surface or a plane.
So going directly over the strings would make it impossible to play just one string.
Instead, you push the bow in between the strings and right into the soundhole.
This is why the Pickaso Guitar Bow would be pretty difficult to implement on regular electric guitars.
You could probably only use it on the top and the bottom string.
Other than that, it’s pretty much a bow, just adapted for acoustic guitars.
But it’s still a bow, so there are some things to know about.
Pickaso comes with rosin that you should use on the bow hairs, ultimately helping the strings vibrate properly.
In addition, you’ll have this cloth along with it to clean up the strings after using the bow.
There’ll be some rosin residue, so you’ll have to remove it.
As I already mentioned, the bow goes between the strings and right into the soundhole.
When you’re in between two strings, you can easily reach either of them.
However, it’s much easier to bow the one that’s under the bow.
This way, you just lay the bow on the string and use its weight.
This is a bit limiting in a way since you cannot implement this bow the same way you would on a violin or a cello where strings aren’t all at the same level.
So if you want to change the strings that you’re playing, you’d need to pull the bow out and put it back in between these two other strings.
However, there’s still a lot of stuff that you can do with it.
With a bit of practice, you can also play two strings simultaneously.
This requires you to place it at an angle and use both hair surfaces, one on the string below and the other on the string above it.
I find it useful for music with drone notes.
Plenty of players that I’ve seen use it with a looper, creating that feel of a string ensemble.
Here’s one example below.
Although it looks like a paid promotion, he implements it pretty well.
What I’ve noticed myself is that it works much better on lower strings.
In particular, it’s on the wound strings.
I just couldn’t get that consistent and full tone on the top two strings or an unwound G string.
Some Tips and Tricks
There are two things that I found to work the best if you want to use a guitar bow.
Firstly, it’s much better to have a piezo or a microphone to amplify your guitar.
Secondly, adding reverb, octaver, and altering the EQ will make it sound fuller.
To make the clean playing sound good, you’ll need a lot of practice.
You’ll also need a great guitar that resonates well, along with heavier strings.
Is It Worth It?
We’re looking at a modestly-priced and simple tool.
For about $80, you get a fun little bow.
You’ll also get the chance to explore your instrument the way you never did.
But with that said, it’s something out of the standard.
So I’d only advise it to those who are into string instruments or experimentation in general.
On the other hand, I think you shouldn’t get too hyped about it.
The bowing technique takes a lot of time to master.
And even if you get really good at it, you’ll never get a full cello or a violin tone.
For that, you’ll have to get yourself a violin or a cello.
It’s also a pretty unconventional technique and requires additional time and effort to figure out.
That’s not entirely a bad thing, but you just need to be aware of it.
Above all, bear in mind that you’ll need additional gear and effects to make it sound full.
It’s worth your money if you know what you’re going to do with it.
Here’s one pretty interesting demo that might help you decide whether to get it or not.
Pickaso Guitar Bow: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through this bow and whether it’s for you.
If you have more questions about it, please let me know in the comments!
And if you want to read more about gear review on this blog, check out the following posts: