Exploring Uncommon Fingerings: The Major Scale on the E-String

Practicing scales is an essential component of violin technique, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fingering. In this article, we’re going to look at an unconventional fingering pattern for playing a scale on the E-string. Remember, it’s important for every violinist to experiment with different fingerings to discover what feels most natural. However, it’s also okay to find comfort in a specific pattern if it suits your anatomy or playing style. Let’s explore a fingering pattern that might be just what you need, especially if you prefer not to use your 4th finger high up on the E-string.

Why Experiment with Fingerings?

Every violinist has a unique anatomy, and certain fingerings may feel more comfortable than others. Experimenting with various fingerings not only broadens your technique but also helps you identify which patterns work best for you. While it’s crucial to explore all possibilities, there’s no shame in having personal preferences. These preferences are your body’s way of telling you what feels right.

An Alternative Fingering for the E-String Scale

In this scale, we avoid using the 4th finger high up on the E-string. This pattern can be especially useful for violinists whose little finger is a lot shorter in comparison to their 3rd and 2nd fingers. By skipping the use of the 4th finger in the higher positions, you don’t have to ‘come around’ the instrument as much, reducing the strain on your left elbow and shoulder.

Here’s the fingering pattern for an A major scale on the E-string:

The same pattern can be applied to other major scales on the E-string. Practice the same finger pattern starting on the other strings, as well. Play this same pattern, for example, on the G-string only, starting from the note C (1st finger third position).

Finding What Works for You

While this fingering pattern may not be the traditional choice, it has benefits for violinists who prefer to avoid the strain of stretching the 4th finger high up on the E-string. The reduced tension in your left arm allows for a more natural playing experience, which can improve both comfort and technique. Ultimately, the best fingering is the one that allows you to play with ease and expressiveness.

Embrace Your Preferences

Once you’ve explored various fingerings, don’t feel guilty about settling into a pattern that feels best for you. Violin technique is personal, and the journey to mastery is as unique as your fingerprints. Trust your instincts, and if this fingering pattern fits your style, embrace it.

So, go ahead and try this unconventional scale fingering. See how it feels, and remember that your comfort is key to making beautiful music.