Finger Independence Exercises for the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #304

by | Apr 17, 2019 | Play in Tune | 8 comments

Train your left hand, finger flexibility, play in tune and play fast runs easily with these finger independence exercises:

To get a strong, flexible left hand, I recommend the Dounis exercises

‘Easy’ finger frame:

Place your first finger on the A flat on the G string, your second finger on the F on the D string, your third finger on the D on the A string and your fourth finger on the B on the E string. It’s important to put down all fingers and check if they are all in tune. This can be quite a stretch. Watch the video to see how this looks like.

Start with:

Lift one finger while leaving the others firmly on the string and put this finger down again without pinching. Do this a couple of times with all the fingers. If your fingers start to hurt, stop here and build it up another time. Your left hand needs to stay relaxed and your fingers have to be placed with confidence.

A bit more difficult:

Lift your fingers in this sequence: one two (four times), two three(four times), three four (four times).

Still here? Let’s try:

One three (four times), two four (four times)


Lift your first and third finger at the same time and put them down (four times). Do the same with your second and fourth finger.

Does this work for you? Do this without putting all your fingers down. Lift the first and third right and while you put them down lift the second and fourth finger.

Now do the same for the combination of your first and fourth and second and third finger.


Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist, teacher and bowing technique nerd helping you play the music you love passionately

Difficult finger frame:

Put your first finger on the F on the E string, your second finger on the C on the A string, your third finger on the G on the D string and your fourth finger on the D on the G string. Your fingers are all a tone apart.

Do all the above exercises in this new finger frame. You’ll notice that it’ll stretch your hand more and that it’s more difficult to move your fingers independently.

Some tips while doing these exercises:

  • Don’t do them too long. You might get cramp in your left hand and you don’t want to practice playing with tension. Do these exercises one time a day. By doing them daily, they are way more effective.
  • Make sure you place your fingers confidently, but in general your left hand is relaxed and flexible.
  • Stop when it hurts.
  • Perform the exercises in a good way. Quality is more important than quantity. If you can just do the first variations, stick to them and only move on when you’re really able to do them well.

Do these exercises and let me know your results in the comments below:


  1. Fernando

    Hello Zlata,

    I’m currently using the exercise book from Sevcik, (with the assistance of a tuning device), to get the intonation and finger placements correct.
    Is there any difference or additional benefit to using the exercises from Dounis? As far as I can tell, Sevcik already promotes the motoric memory of finger usage in any order of note usage.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Hi Fernando, I think Sevcik didn’t describe this specific exercise without bow, so you might want to try it out for a while to see if it benefits your playing. You can use it in addition to the exercises you already do.

      • Fernando

        Thank you for your reply Zlata.

        Have a nice day

    • Sophia

      Which Sevcik exercice in particular do you practice without the bow, for finger independence?

  2. Sherylin

    Thanks for the video and the book Zlata. You are very generous 🙂


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