To assist beginning violinists, some violin
teachers use thin strips of colored tape
( e.g. book binding or scrapbook tape), to mark where to place their
fingers on the violin fingerboard. Once beginners know where to place
their fingers, the tape is removed.
Rather than use precise measurements to place fingering tapes, it's
best to place them by ear. This is due to the fact that variations in
the width and shape of each person's finger may affect where each tape
should be placed.
The tape is used to mark a regular 1st finger (such as the note B on
the A string), high 2nd finger ( e.g. C# on the A string), third finger
( e.g. the note D on the A string), and 4th finger ( e.g. the note E
on the A string -- sounds the same as open E).
A chart of the violin fingerboard is provided.
Fingering for notes played in the 1st position can be found to the right
of the fingerboard. Most violin music for beginners uses only the 1st
Fingering for notes played in the 3rd position can be found to the left
of the fingerboard. These notes require the violinist to “shift”
the position of their hand to a higher position on the keyboard in order
to play these notes. For an explanation of shifting, click here.
The fingerboard chart shows many instances of two musical letters being
placed on the same space. This indicates those two notes are enharmonic,
meaning, even though they are named or “spelled” differently,
they sound the same pitch. For example, in the first position on the
A string, D# and Eb have the same sound (and are enharmonic notes).
This note could be fingered using either a high 3rd finger, or a low
4th finger. The pitch would be the same.
All variations of notes and fingerings in higher positions were not
labeled and shown (the entire length of the fingerboard can be used
to finger and play notes).