Usually, chords on the violin played using pizzicato are done using the index finger.

In this recording by Perlman of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, however, he is shown to play the three successive pizzicato chords at the start of the third movement with his index, middle, and little fingers, respectively.

The question follows: are there any benefits to using fingers other than one's index when playing pizzicato?


I wouldn't suggest using your other fingers much when playing pizzicato. You should only use them when needed (like your example). You should try to use your index finger for pizzicato as much as possible, as it has more control compared to your other fingers (Your little finger being an example).

The only benefit from adding the other fingers to your pizzicato playing is that you will be able to play fast notes efficiently, but other than that there aren't many other advantages.


Outside of standard violin technique, you could maybe write double stops on non-adjacent strings. Those would probably require two fingers at once. I mean, it's kind of the same reason why most electric guitarists use only one pick: usually, only one finger is needed, and in the case of the violin, you have the added disadvantage of having to hold the bow as well. That's probably why it doesn't show up often.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.