How to Read Violin Sheet Music with Tabs

The first step for reading the beginner sheet music tab system, is making sure that you put 3 stickers on your violin. These are the places where you will put down your fingers later.
If you are a beginner, you can learn how to put markers on your violin in this video.

If you’re already familiar with music theory: put the stickers on the B, the C sharp and the D on the A string.
After putting stickers on your violin, the neck of the violin will look like the picture below.

read violin sheet music tabs

Below, you can see an example of one of the pieces of violin sheet music I wrote down for you.

read violin sheet music tabs

As you see, below the notes, you can see a letter. This letter can be E, A, D and G. Some of you might already know, that these are the strings of the violin. These letters represent the string you will be playing on.

Above the notes, you will see numbers. These numbers represent which finger you have to put on the string. If the number is zero, it means that you will have to play an open string.

For the other fingers, you can check the picture below, which finger represents which number. The thumb does not have a number, because we use the thumb to hold the violin.

The first sticker will be for the first finger, the second for the second finger and the third for the third finger.

read violin sheet music tabs

Let’s go back to our example one more time. We see that the song starts with on an A string (A) with no fingers on it (0). This means, you will have to play the open A string. For the second note, there is no new string written down and the number is still 0. This means we will stay on the A string. The second note is an open A string again. The third note, is 0 fingers on the E string, so an open E string.

TIP: in musical notation there is a general rule that an accidental sign (a sharp, a flat or a natural sign) is given only once per bar with the first note to which it belongs. The same goes with the fingerings. So, for example, if you see three C notes (low second finger on the A string), only the first one will have “L2” and the others “2” in tabs, but it means all three notes should be played with low 2nd finger.

The following chart will guide you through all the easy tabs in the first position:

1st Position - Fingering Chart - HS article