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The Botar with bow (click for a smaller picture)

The Guitar and the Bow

The Botar® was developed by Thomas Dramm to be the ultimate meeting of guitar and bow.

To create an electric guitar that one can successfully play with a bow, it was necessary to redesign the neck and the fingerboard, the body, the bridge, the pickups and the electronics. All other parts of the conventional electric guitar are unchanged.

The fingerboard had to be much more curved than on usual guitars and the radius of the bridge has to be in accord with it. The body has to leave room for the bow, and the pickups and electronics have to work with bowed strings.

Over and above that, the Botar® should look and feel like an electric guitar and it should be possible to play standing up and sitting down.

Although the emphasis of the Botar® is on bowing, it is possible to use all the usual picking techniques too. You should only avoid heavy stringbending and six-string chords. In exchange you will get a whole new world of guitar sounds and you will never again talk about sustain!

The Botar® is new, the idea to play the electric guitar with a bow is not.

Back in the 1960's Eddie Phillips of "The Creation" was the first in europe who used a bow with his electric guitar for example on the song "Making Time". In the USA Wayne Gray played with a bow on his guitar while he was with Tommy and later Jonny Cash. The most prominent bow user is undoubtedly Jimmy Page, who played with a bow while he was a member of the "Yardbirds" and later as the guitarist of "Led Zeppelin". Younger guitarists who use a bow are, for example, Pat Donahoe of "Redshirt", Jeff Martin of "The Tea Party" and Jón Birgisson of "Sigur Rós".

Nevertheless the use of a standard electric guitar with a bow has its limitations. You can not play single notes with the bow on a normal guitar and the bowed notes are faint compared to the plucked sounds. The latter is due to the construction of usual guitar pickups.

To really play the guitar with a bow, one needs a special guitar, the Botar®!

With its curved fingerboard and bridge you are able to play every single string separately. And the body is sculptured to allow room for the bow when you play the outer strings.

The two handwound ConArco™ pickups are specially designed for the Botar®. Together with the matched special active electronics, they deliver the bowed and the plucked sounds with balanced volume.

The Botar® opens up a completely new way to play the guitar!

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