The Appalachian Mouth Bow: Easy to Make, Easy to Play!

No one knows what inspired its transformation from a hunting weapon, but the mouth bow is one of humanity's oldest and simplest instruments.



mouth bow - flexing hardwood slat
Every mouth bow begins as a flexible wooden slat or stick. If the center of your slat can be flexed 2 inches off the straight, it's sufficiently resilient.
Photo by Rick Sell
mouth bow - the single tuning peg
A wooden tuning peg from a violin adjusts the bow's tension. Here we see the tuning peg, holding peg (optional), screw, and string.
Rick Sell
mouth bow - tensioning the bow
Set the tension.
Rick Sell
mouth bow - playing
Lay the bow against the hollow of your cheek and make music!
Rick Sell











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