Possible way of playing Ricochet Saltato and Tremolo

Possible way of playing Ricochet Saltato and Tremolo

Ricochet saltato or English meaning rebound with springing is joyful, exciting technique, I have ever faced with. Actually, this technique has a special place  in my career-life, since I usually cope with the challenging, extraordinary Paganini pieces of art. Especially caprices, concertos, solo violin pieces include much combinations of ricochet stroke. Maybe caprice no.1 is the best example of ricochet-saltato technique. It is totally based on this technique. Once you get the formula of playing ricochet, you manage to create enormous virtuosity, with maximum elasticity and comfort. One other best example of ricochet stroke emerges at the last variation of Paganini’s greatest piece named “Nel cor piu non mi, sento”; variations on theme of Paisello’s La Molinara’ opera. In order to conclude the piece at the point of virtuosity, the composer prefers to write the last variation on ricochet stroke.

On the other hand, Leopold Auer makes academical comments for Ricochet saltato. According to him, the bow should be held as lightly as possible and should be played with springing (as high as possible) bow above strings. Besides he also claims that, “…let it fall with an elastic movement of wrist , and you find that it will rebound as far as you freely allow it to. At first you will find that, this gives you a certain number of unequally hurried tone.”(Auer)

As I said before; after working for a time along the lines laid down one will succed in guiding, controlling this irregular movements, will be able to play two, three, four or eight notes absolutely rhytmic manner with one bow stroke according to a performer may shorten or lenghten it. (Auer)

The Tremolo

One other technical stroke which also has same basic principles as Ricochet-Saltato but with two strokes. According to Auer again, when the performer produces tremolo, s/he should “…give each down-bow a clearly marked accent from the wrist, which should be greatly relaxed in order to make the bow rebound.” (Auer)

I also noticed that, tremolo stroke looks a little line sautille, while being produced. However, it is played on same string (and repetition of same notes) unlike sautille, and the more elastic and relaxed ‘accent’ one makes, the more bow will leap. “This applies also to the rebounds in the case of the up-bow.” (Auer)


  1. Auer, Leopold, ‘Violin Playing as I Teach it’, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 2009 http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usimg/7/7d/IMSLP29626-PMLP66515-Auer_Violin_Playng.pdf,  30.10.2012

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