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Sul Ponticello is just Italian for “on the” (Sul) “bridge” (ponticello).
Ponticello is an effect that is most often used in orchestral music to show danger or mystery. It colors the sound in such a way that it conveys a sense of coldness or starkness. There are varying degrees of ponticello but all of them are played near the bridge and produce this mysterious or scary effect. The closer to the bridge you play, the more of the effect you get. It’s also used in jazzy types of music to make the sound “dirty”.
To effectively play ponticello, you have to make sure that you keep your bridge straight and play right extremely close to the bridge. Usually, ponticello is played with a “tremolo” bow technique, which involves repeating very short bow strokes very quickly at the tip of the bow. My video on tremolo can be found at this address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LQ8B...
In an orchestra, you will usually see “Sul Ponticello” on a certain passage to indicate the use of ponticello and usually a marking that says “normal” or something like that to indicate that the ponticello effect has ended.
Do you have any more questions? Feel free to message me in some way or ask in the comment section of YouTube and I’ll get right back to you!