Technique tips from Tina

From ricochet rookies to old hands

Last week was sectionals week and the first violins were looking to work on our  ricochet technique as Rossini’s William Tell Overture demands some fine rhythmic control. The cellos were having bit of a debate too about the bowing beforehand, so were looking forward to mastering the technique. 

Want to go from being a ricochet rookie to an old hand? Here are some tips: 

  • find the right point on the bow so it will bounce (usually upper third) 
  • use a flatter bow hair (when flatter it bounces more, but not too much or it will be out of control) 
  • use the horizontal speed of the bow to control the pace of the ricochet; a faster bow speed = faster ricochet 
  • often ricochet needs conscious control to get the rhythm accurate so getting the technique right requires a bit of concentration and good old fashioned practice 

How did we get on? There were lots of smiles on the faces of first violins rewarded with exploring the technique, and getting the rhythm under control. The cellos reported that despite being initially awkward for some, after a couple of run-throughs, they were getting the hang of it.  

Let's see how we get on in our March concert. Put Saturday 19th in your diaries and join us for some of that famous Rossini high energy. 

Tina, leader

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