I am new in playing a violin, and in the recent sheet music that I got, there was a number over the music. Normally these are figuring charts, but the numbers were negative, that is, there was a minus sign in front of the numbers, for example -2, -3 and so on. I am confused on what they mean.
My guess is that these aren’t negatives, but just dashes used to show that a shift is necessary to use the suggested fingering. For instance, maybe you are playing an F# on the E string and then need to play a C a tritone higher. I might give the fingering for the C as –2 to indicate that you should use the second finger, but that this will require a position shift. As always with such fingerings, it is optional, but it is generally worth considering.