Violin Positions

Clayton Haslop

The violin is an instrument that is played by hand positions. There are two violin positions which are most popular which are the 1st and the 3rd position. These two violin positions will allow you to cover the most popular notes and key which are played on the violin. The 1st and 3rd position will allow you to play a wide range of songs and tunes.

Many people find that when you learn the 1st and 3rd violin positions, learning the others positions then becomes more straightforward. All that would be involved in learning the other positions after you have learned 1st and 3rd position would be to just look at a position chart of some sort.

When you are playing the violin and are reading the music from a standard music sheet, the violin positions will not be shown on the music sheet. If you want to play a note on the music sheet, you must know yourself what position is required for playing that note. If you like, you can modify a music sheet by putting the positions needed to play a note on the sheet.

To give you an idea of the various violin positions, we will use the A being played on the D string as an example.

If you were playing A on the open D string with your…
1st finger that would mean you are playing in 4th position.
2nd finger that would mean you are playing in 3rd position.
3rd finger then you would be playing in 2nd position.
4th finger then you would be playing in 1st position.

The open string is when you play a string without stopping the strings with your finger. These open strings consist of the notes G, D, A, and E. When you are looking at a music sheet, you will notice that the where the fingering is indicated, it will show the open string to be played with O.

On the violin you will notice that the higher you are on the violin fingerboard, the closer the distance is between the notes.

When playing the guitar for example, the guitar is marked by frets on the guitar fretboard. The violin however, it is not marked by frets. This means that in order to find the positions on the violin, you must move your left hand thereby changing into the various different violin positions. This is helped tremendously by having experience.

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