Ricci on Glissando: The Shortcut to Violin Technique

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Press:Indiana University Press Indiana University Press (November 7, 2007)
Publication Date:2007-11-7
Author Name:Ruggiero Ricci


In his book on left-hand violin technique, Maestro Ruggiero Ricci addresses common problems in shifting by advocating the study of the glissando technique. 
He asserts that re-incorporating this technique will not only aid violinists in developing a better-trained ear, but also provide them with "shortcuts" to playing some of Paganini's most difficult passages.
Ricci introduces and compares old and new systems of playing to provide a context for the glissando system.
He outlines a series of glissando scales that provides the student with a blueprint for developing additional glissando scales in other keys.
He offers exercises designed to increase flexibility, ear training, coordination, and crawling technique and has included a DVD in which he demonstrates various bowing techniques.

From the Publisher

"Ricci's book presents to every serious violinist a unique view of left-hand technique and the challenges of playing the instrument at the highest level. 
His views are based on a lifetime of experience as a virtuoso and on his inexhaustible search for answers to the problems faced by every violinist." --Kevork Mardirossian, Professor of Violin and Coordinator of Strings, Louisiana State University

About the Author

Ruggiero Ricci, in a career spanning more than 75 years, has played more concerts and produced more recordings than any violinist past or present. 
Ricci became the first violinist to record the complete Caprices of Nicolò Paganini in their unadulterated form in 1947.
Gregory Zayia is an amateur violinist and longtime aficionado of the artistry of Ruggiero Ricci.


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Comment List (Total:11)

  •     This work is an excellent exposition of the contrast between the two traditions of violin playing, the pre-chin rest and the after chin rest styles. It explains aspects of Paganini's approach I had not known prior to reading this book. The contrast between the styles is much more dramatic than I had envisioned, probably because I have been unable to locate his earlier work, "Left Hand Technique."I highly recommend it, particularly to those who can suspend judgement until they have experimented with the possibilities implied by these concepts.
  •     Ricci presents some very interesting non-mainstream ideas, and other sources confirm that there is reason to believe that Paganini (and some players who followed him) used similar techniques. An intermediate or advanced player would very likely find useful concepts here, and perhaps even a beginner could benefit from the approach to intonation.There is one small glitch, in that Mr. Ricci unfortunately misrepresents the nature of mainstream technique before the chinrest. Although this doesn't affect the practical value of his ideas at all, it is in danger of creating yet another false violin world myth as people (such as another reviewer here) innocently perpetuate it.For the record, numerous written sources from the 17th and 18th century universally document the use of shifting and positions in left hand technique on the violin.
  •     Dear Seller,It is a wonderful book! I am very admirable about the book's writer who is a powerful violin soloist.
  •     So far so good! I have not quite finished the book, but I like the style in which Ricci puts his point across. On technical aspects of playing it is very informative and a good read so far......would recommend if you are looking for some answers in your own playing and or just interested in violin technique and approach.
  •     The ideas sounded kookie when I first read through it, but I now think thatRicci is really on to something after practicing the method. After all, he gotthis idea from Paganini himself, and he was no slouch (although he playedwith a very unusual posture!). This method has already improved my tech-nique a lot..Rod Langston By the way, I first heard Ricci's wonderful playingwhen I was a member of the Austin Symphony in 1949.
  •     It is an interesting book, with a fresh take on a number of issues (particularly shifting), but in no way is this a groundbreaking work like Flesch's Art of the Violin, or even Simon Ficher's Practice and Basics. It makes a good complement to a broader violinistic education though.
  •     Minus two for editing. It's padded out a bit to make it book length and there are unnecessary repetitions and omissions.BUT, I wish I'd adopted this approach decades ago.
  •     Although this book has a lot of advanced concepts for playing, I would not advise just trying out posture suggestions without some sort of input either from a teacher or a...
  •     I found the book well written, but I wouldn't recommend it for new violin students as it may confuse their learning.
  •     Mr. Ricci is one of the most innovative violinists on the planet. While being vividly aware of the many traditions in violin playing, Mr. Ricci is a true iconoclast, someone with the knowledge and confidence to challenge some of the old notions. He has suceeded in going back and salvaging our past - and, at the same time, added some extraordinarily important ideas to inform "modern" technique. Essentially, the ideas involve negotiating the fingerboard with pivoting and hinge motions rather than the more orthodox arm shifting. Of course there are many more ideas which I have not mentioned. Each violinist will use this material differently, but it should be invaluable to all. Bravo! Bravo!
  •     Many thanks for such a candid assessment of the techniques involved! I applied this to Ziguenerweisen by Sarasate and my performance had more ease and smoothness to it! Fingers reaching back and also reaching forward with the hand as a general rule, instead of occasionally, was a big help for having small hands. Mari Haig

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