A piece I've been playing has a notation to use the thumb in 2nd position on cello (with thumb on the D-string F# specifically, where first finger would go in normal 2nd position). I tried it out but my arm ended up at a really high angle and I just wonder if it's a safe position to be using or if there's a limit to how far back one can go with thumb position. My teacher doesn't think it's a big deal but cello also isn't her main instrument so I just want to make sure.

  • No cello experience, but I do it on guitar all the time for convenience. Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:14
  • How you do is often more important than what you do. If you don't completely trust your teacher, why not look for someone else?
    – Stef
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


Absolutely fine. Just lift your elbow naturally to place the thumb securely and comfortably. Thumb position can be very convenient and can be used as needed pretty much anywhere on the fingerboard.

  • 1
    at least, to the extent that the OP's hand is big enough to place fingers properly in lower thumb-position. But I agree (and I play cello) that it can be done. I open the Cassado solo suite with thumb on IV-D and finger III-D . Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:57

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