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How to play ricochet on the violin with James Ehnes

Robert Rowat

"The key is trying to gain control while letting the bow do most of the work," explains James Ehnes while demonstrating ricochet technique on the violin. Watch his how-to video below.

We've got to say, he makes it look easy.

Ricochet is a technique where the bow falls against the violin strings and then bounces back. It enables the violinist to play fast, repeated motifs. (Check out Paganini's Caprice No. 5 for a good example.)

"If you find the right spot on the bow," Ehnes continues, "where you're putting the right type of impulse with the beginning of each figure, and you have the angle correct, the bow starts to do the work for you."

Time to hit the practice studio.