Going From Low Second to Third Finger

FiddleHed Sue recently asked “It’s challenging to go from low second to third finger on the G string. What can I do?

That stretch is challenging for a lot of violin students.

First off, practice low second to third finger on the E string. It’s easier there.


Then practice it on progressively harder strings.




Elbow room

Bring the elbow in as you finger lower strings. This makes it a lot easier for the left-hand fingers to reach the string.

Lift first and second fingers

Normally, when we walk up the scale, it’s a good practice to keep the fingers down.

But if you’re really struggling to reach the third finger, then lift the first and second fingers.


One pitfall with this finger transition is that the low second finger gets dragged sharp. Or the third finger gets dragged flat.

I recommend the Drone-tuning method to keep each note in tune.

First use a B flat drone to tune up the low second on G string.

Then use a C drone to tune up the low second.

Later, when you have more flexibility, you can practice keeping them down.

Guitar position

Practice in guitar position. simply hold the violin like a guitar or mandolin and pluck with the thumb.

This is a great way to work out technical problems. The particular problem of GL2-3 will be easier. Practicing in guitar position might help you unlock a solution.

Also see this as an opportunity to play. Mess around with these two notes, playing different rhythms.

May the Fourth Be With You

If it’s still difficult or painful, then try using the 4th finger.


instead of


All the conventional music teachers out there are shaking their fists at me right now. That’s because this is not the standard way to do it.

Using the third finger is really the best way to play C on the G string. That’s why it’s become a standard.

However, if you have arthritis or some other condition that makes this difficult and painful, then using the fourth finger is a great hack. Ultimately, it allows you to keep playing music, which is really the most important thing.

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Further learning

Low Second Finger

Should I hold down the left-hand fingers when I play?

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