Fingering Tapes for Beginners

Session 1 Index > Fingering Tapes

Why Fingering Tapes?

As the violin is a "fretless" instrument, it's very helpful to have fingering markers to help guide your fingers to the primary notes of the violin. These instructions are for working with an adult, full sized, violin.

What You'll Need

To get started on this project, you'll need these things available:

1. Your Violin :)
2. A Pencil
3. Scissors
4. Tape: masking, or electrical tape, preferably something not too thick (like gaffers) and do NOT use anything gummy (like duct) or meant to be permanent (like Gorilla.) Pick any color other than black—this will help you see your markers easily.
5. A Printout of the Template
6. Optional: A Towel (to place your violin while you work.)
7. Optional: A Ruler (you won't need this if you have the template printed.)

Print and Cut the Template

Cut exactly on the dotted lines of the printout. Do be careful to include the green line (do not cut it off.)

Mark the Finger Board

Place the template underneath the strings and move the green line towards the skinny end until it bumps up against the edge of the nut. Using a pencil, lightly mark your finger board at each red line.

Optionally, you may use a ruler underneath the strings to have the same spacings from the edge of the nut. Make a mark at each of these figures:

1 3/8" (35mm)
2 5/8" (66mm)
3 1/8" (80mm)
4 1/8" (106mm)

Measurements for (children's) smaller violins.

Cut the Tape

This doesn't need to be extremely accurate, so no fuss, but try your best to cut 4 tape strips that are approximately 1/8"-3/16" x 3.0" (2-4mm x 8cm.) Loosely place these on the edge of a table so you may remove them later.

Place the Tapes

Sliding the tapes underneath the strings (starting your slide where the finger board ends is easiest) place the tape over each mark on the finger board, try to make the tapes perpendicular to the line of the finger board. Wrap the excess tape around the neck of the violin and try to overlap the tape on the backside (this tends to help it hold better.)

You're Done!

For beginners, using fingering tape is a great way to become acquainted with the positions of the fingers on the violin. At some point in the future, you will not need them anymore, usually around the time they wear out.

Session 01 Index > Fingering Tapes