Ricci on Glissando

Ricci on Glissando

The Shortcut to Violin Technique
Ruggiero Ricci, edited by Gregory H. Zayia
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/07/2007
Format: Paperback 12 b&w illus., 117 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-21933-6
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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.

Author Bio

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.


“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

“There is no doubt that this book by one of the greatest and noblest of interpreters, the unique virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci, is a sensational and important resource for violinists of every level. In it, he shares his insights into Paganini's 'secrets' and gives priceless advice to his young colleagues on achieving the highest level of violin technique with the least amount of time and effort. Once, after a triumphal concert of Ricci in Vienna, my father David Oistrakh said: 'All of us violinists must learn from the magic art of Ruggiero Ricci.' I can't add anything to that!”
 — Igor Oistrakh

“Maestro Ruggiero Ricci addresses the common problems of finger shifting, by advocating the study of the glissando left-handed technique. ”

“Given that the legendary Ricci 'has played more concerts and made more recordings than any [other] violinist, past or present,' anything he has to say concerning violin playing should be of interest to every string player. May 2010”
 — American String Teacher

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Table of Contents


1. The Old and New Systems of Violin Playing
2. One-finger, or Glissando, Technique
Glissando Scales
Guidelines for Practicing Glissando Scales
3. Exercises, Études, and Cadenzas
Glissando Scales
Flexibility Studies
Ear-training Studies
Coordination Studies
Crawling Studies
Étude in Thirds
Étude in Sixths
Étude in Octaves
Cantabile and Waltz
Cadenza to Brahms Concerto
Cadenza to Paganini Concerto No. 4
Cadenza to Paganini Concerto No. 6
4. Miscellaneous Aspects of Technique
Fingering Guidelines
Tone Production
Articulation and Evenness in Slurred Passages
Ear Training
Instrument Setup
Hand Development
Holding the Violin
Hand Position
Shoulder Rests


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