Learning the Basic Hand and Finger Positions in Playing the Violin

learn to play the violin

Playing the violin can be very beneficial in so many ways, and it is undeniable that its sound is so soothing and relaxing. If you are planning to learn a musical instrument, it will be better to consider learning how to play the violin. The process of learning how to play the violin may not be easy but it is definitely worth it. Before you can play the violin, there are some basic hand and finger positions that you need to learn in order to master the violin.

Importance of learning basic hand and finger position in playing the violin

There are many violin brands that produce violins for different skill sets, especially when it comes to beginners. However, no matter what you use, you will have to learn the basic hand and finger position in playing the violin. They are the most important factors that will absolutely help you play the violin effectively and competently like how musicians are doing it.

Basic hand and finger positions

First position

The first position is considered to be the fundamental left-hand position of playing the violin. When you are trying to learn how to play the violin, you will be taught the first position at the beginning and you will need to master it in order to move onto the next finger positions. In the first position, your first finger or index finger is placed over the first stop on the fingerboard where it can stop the open string. You will stop the string in one whole step up starting from the open string. Make sure that your first finger is placed over the fingerboard that will produce A, E, B, and F# notes.

Second position

This position is not as important as the third and fifth position. At some point, you can still play most of the pieces, even if you were not able to particularly master the second position.

In reality, most violin teachers are recommending learning the third position as soon as you are done with the first position. On the other hand, there are still some things that you need to bear in mind to play in the second position. You need to place your first finger on different locations such as G on the E string, F on the D string, C on the A string and B♭ (A♯) on the G string.

Third position

After learning the first position, most of the violin teachers will recommend starting violinists to learn the third position. There is actually a similarity to the third and second positions. It is your shift into the third position. Your hand will certainly shift and then, your first finger will be placed at the specific spot where your third finger was placed when it was in the first position. Basically, on the A string, your first finger will be hovering over the note with the pitch of D. For the other strings, it will be according to the C on the G string, G on the D string, D on the A string, and A on the E string.


Learning how to play a musical instrument was never an easy thing to do. You will have to undergo certain processes such as learning the violin parts and learning the basic hand and finger positions in order for you to have the ability to play the violin like how musicians are playing it. Although it may seem a little complicated in the beginning, you just need to be motivated and eager enough to learn, and eventually, you will surely and definitely be a great violin player.