Detailed Violin Tabs Guide for Beginners

A tab -originally tablature- is a form of note transcription, which is aimed at making reading music easier. It is generally used for string and fretted instruments such as violin and guitar. They are great tools for beginners as well since they guide you on when and where you need to place your instruments. It is important to practice violin tabs as often as you can as a beginner. The following guide will provide you a better understanding on these tabs and contribute to your practice sessions.

What Are Differences Between Violin Tabs and Notation?

If you have never played an instrument before, it will be worth defining the limitations of these two concepts in your mind. As we mentioned before, violin tabs guide players to when and where to place their fingers on the instrument. However, unlike notation, they do not include pitches, duration, or rhythm.

You can think of violin tabs as the first step for playing the violin. It will assist you to learn the notes and positions quickly when compared to other methods. Once you master it, learning how to read musical notation will be much easier for you.

Brief History of Violin Tabs

Violin tabs were inspired by lute tablatures. Although there were three varieties as German, Italian, and French varieties, French variety is the variation that is used for violin tabs today. You may also want to know that these tabs were created during the Renaissance period.

Understanding How the Violin Tabs Work

As we informed before, unlike notation, there are no pitches, duration, or rhythm available on violin tabs. They just focus on when and where to position your fingers on the strings. Due to the nature of violin tabs, the player cannot know where to stop a specific sound. This should not confuse you and you need to be aware that note duration will be totally up to your preference.

Since they do not include any notes, they show the four strings available on your instrument. The numbers available on these violin tabs represent the fingers on your left hand, which should be on the strings. In this way, it provides great convenience for beginners who are not familiar with standard musical notations yet.

Tips for Read Violin Tabs Easily

As a beginner, we highly recommend you sticking four pieces of tape on your violin. In this way, you can practice quickly and efficiently. These tapes will be used in the areas you are going to place your fingers while playing your instrument.

Here is an image that shows where you need to stick these tapes:

finger stripes frets

You are going to find numbers on violin tabs. These numbers represent your left-hand fingers. Below, you can find an image, which shows which finger corresponds to which figure:

finger numbers violin

Here is a sample violin tab that you may want to check out:

violin nots

As you can see there is also number 0 on this tab, however, none of your fingers corresponds to the number 0. It means that you need to play an open string, which means you should not place your finger on the string.

Why Are Read Violin Tabs Important?

There is no must that you need to learn or use violin tabs. However, we assure you that you can experience a quicker and efficient progression as a learner when you benefit from violin tabs. This does not mean that you do not have to learn how to read and play musical notations. Eventually, you will have to master reading notations as well.

As in all our guides, we recommend our visitors to progress step by step and do not take your skills to next level unless you are comfortable with the previous step. In this sense, violin tabs can be a great tool for any beginner who is planning to learn how to play this instrument.


Playing a violin can be quite fun and if you want to master your skills and get the maximum joy, then starting to practice with violin tabs can be a great option for you. These tabs will help you to develop your muscle memory in the long run and also teach you the locations of notes.

If you practice regularly with violin tabs, you are going to start playing your violin much sooner than you expect. Thus, you should not neglect this guide that will be your best assistant while you are learning to play this amazing instrument.