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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: What is First position?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/45664

haggis - Posted - 01/06/2017:  18:25:35


Am I correct in saying that the pinkie is used in all first position scales and that if not ( playing open strings instead) then it is some other hybrid scale type?. Self taught, this is the only way I can make sense of any talk of "position" playing.

JASfiddle - Posted - 01/06/2017:  18:39:14


1st position is, to my understanding, is say on the E string, first finger on the F, 2nd position, 1st finger on the G, 3rd position, first finger on the A.



 



 

JASfiddle - Posted - 01/06/2017:  18:43:04


As far as fourth finger goes, I was always taught to only use the fourth finger if there was a single open note you had to rock to. So if I played, A B C D E and then came back down the scale, E D C B A, I would use My fourth finger instead of rocking to the open E string, for a smoother scale.



Not sure if I'm making any sense, but hope that helps answer your question.



Oh, and if your using another finger other than your fourth, say your 3rd finger to play an E on the A string, then you would be in 2nd position. So if you learn where the positions are, than you will know what positions you are playing. 


Edited by - JASfiddle on 01/06/2017 18:50:16

bsed - Posted - 01/06/2017:  19:06:08


 First position is simply all the notes in the scale (any scale) you can play with your FOUR fingers or with your three fingers and an open string. 



Sometimes it's useful in a piece of music to SHIFT the first finger up to where the second finger would have normally played the note. That is SECOND position. But you ought to shift the whole hand up the neck if you're going to play a longer phrase, unless you're just reaching for one note.



And sometimes it's necessary to shift your first finger up to a note that your third finger would normally play. That's third position. Again you shift your whole hand up the neck.



A position other than first position involves a shift of the left hand up the neck.


Edited by - bsed on 01/06/2017 19:12:32

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 01/06/2017:  20:18:25


Using your fourth finger is a choice you can make or not out of first position. Once you move to second position and above an open string may be available but likely will not. Using your pinkie in first position scales is good in that it gets a player used to using that fourth finger. The rule I use in first position is if there are more tones needed on the next string than the open tone switch to the next string. If the only tone needed is the open string tone then I pick it up with my pinkie. I often play the noted string against the open string to check my intonation and give that tone more volume. R/

pete_fiddle - Posted - 01/06/2017:  23:35:22


i don't use positions either (only to explain myself to folk who do), i use octaves between 1st finger and 4th finger on adjacent strings, (or open string and 3rd finger on adjacent strings), the name/shape of the mode i am playing in that octave, and then shift that octave around as required, or stay still and alter the mode for a key change for instance,



but i think position playing would be useful for sight reading? rather than improvising or arranging stuff to fit the fiddle??

tpquinn - Posted - 01/07/2017:  05:30:24


My instructor has me use open strings for going up the scales, but the pinkie when coming back down. And this seems to agree with a lot of the recommendations I've read, however not to be doing some hybrid-type of scale, but rather to use the fourth finger. Just to mix it up, I try to use it going up the scales at times also. And it's helping me train my ear to hit the right spot with the little guy.

fujers - Posted - 01/07/2017:  09:31:50


Since you are a new player and very unlikely to be playing position work. Where you are playing right now..is first position. I think it is good that you play a scale with open strings going up a scale and useing your pinky coming down. It is a lot easier to use your pinky coming down rather than up. This teaches you how to us your pinky.Jerry

haggis - Posted - 01/07/2017:  11:47:49


What I am asking , out of curiosity is, what is a first position scale irrespective of individual preferences. For example ,one can play major scales which employ all or some of the open string notes G,D,A and E . As known e.g. G major can be played using all of the open strings yet nowhere can I find this 3 fingers per string type scale being named Ist. position.

haggis - Posted - 01/07/2017:  12:00:40


quote:

Originally posted by JASfiddle

 

1st position is, to my understanding, is say on the E string, first finger on the F, 2nd position, 1st finger on the G, 3rd position, first finger on the A.




 







Thanks for the input but still confused as the F major scale, as described, can be descended using all the open strings and without use of pinkie.Is this called Ist position?.If not, what is it?

fujers - Posted - 01/07/2017:  12:02:11


Not all open strings. Hit your open G..play this till C...hit your open D play this to G...play your open A play this to D...then play your open E to G...three notes..This is fist position. Any scale that you don't have to move your hand up out of this position is fist. Now, I.m pretty sure that your teacher is teaching this stuff if you are new to the fiddle we all start in first position Jerry

JASfiddle - Posted - 01/07/2017:  12:19:19


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 

What I am asking , out of curiosity is, what is a first position scale irrespective of individual preferences. For example ,one can play major scales which employ all or some of the open string notes G,D,A and E . As known e.g. G major can be played using all of the open strings yet nowhere can I find this 3 fingers per string type scale being named Ist. position.







whether you use your fourth finger or not, does not change the position you are playing in.



I've attached notation of a G scale. You can use your forth finger to substitute any open note, or vice versa, and it would still be a G scale. If you use your first finger on the A note, on the G string, and 2nd finger on the B note, on the G string, and 3rd finger on the C, you would be in first postition, if you use you fourth finger to play the D, you would still be in first position, if you play an open D, you are still in first position.



So three finger scale would be, Open G, First finger (A), 2nd finger (B), 3rd finger (C), then rock to open D, first finger (E), 2nd finger (F), 3rd finger (G), and that would be a G scale only using three fingers.



It's hard to make this make sense typing. Ha ha! I bet you can find some good youtube videos that explain scales and positions better than I can.



 

JASfiddle - Posted - 01/07/2017:  12:24:19


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 
quote:


Originally posted by JASfiddle

 


1st position is, to my understanding, is say on the E string, first finger on the F, 2nd position, 1st finger on the G, 3rd position, first finger on the A.




 








Thanks for the input but still confused as the F major scale, as described, can be descended using all the open strings and without use of pinkie.Is this called Ist position?.If not, what is it?







Fujers explained it pretty simply, instead of repeating what he said, I'll let you read his reply. :) Hope that helps. This stuff really can be hard to understand without actually seeing what is being done.

fujers - Posted - 01/07/2017:  13:02:08


Now F is a pretty good key...but there are other keys you might want to consider bnefore F. You see how your fiddle is tuned..I know they are tuned in 5th's. But look at your 4 strings. G,D,A,E. These notes are already built into your fiddle. So if you start with these notes and play scales you always have a open note to help you along the way. Things to ponder. Jerry 

DougD - Posted - 01/08/2017:  08:12:28


Haggis - No, I don't think you are correct in your initial post. "First position" is not a scale. It is a hand position. It is the basic hand position for playing the violin, where the hand is as far against the heel of the neck as it can go, and the first finger plays the first note above the open string. I suppose it could also be said to include all the notes that can be played in that position without shifting - from the open string to seven semitones above, which in three cases is the next open string.



I don't believe it implies any particular way of playing a scale regarding the open string or the fourth finger - only that its played with the notes available in that hand position. Whether you use an open or stopped string depends on the situation. You would say that you are laying a G scale "in first position," not that its a "first position G scale" exactly. Scales are made up of notes, and you might be able to play that same scale in some other position too. I don't see why this would make it difficult to understand "position playing." You just change positions when you move your hand - that's what it refers to.

FiddleBas - Posted - 01/08/2017:  08:43:50


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

 

Haggis - No, I don't think you are correct in your initial post. "First position" is not a scale. It is a hand position. It is the basic hand position for playing the violin, where the hand is as far against the heel of the neck as it can go, and the first finger plays the first note above the open string. I suppose it could also be said to include all the notes that can be played in that position without shifting - from the open string to seven semitones above, which in three cases is the next open string.




I don't believe it implies any particular way of playing a scale regarding the open string or the fourth finger - only that its played with the notes available in that hand position. Whether you use an open or stopped string depends on the situation. You would say that you are laying a G scale "in first position," not that its a "first position G scale" exactly. Scales are made up of notes, and you might be able to play that same scale in some other position too. I don't see why this would make it difficult to understand "position playing." You just change positions when you move your hand - that's what it refers to.







^^^



This

amwildman - Posted - 01/08/2017:  10:18:36


Position only refers to where your hand is, nothing more. Anything you can play without moving your hand up or down the neck is fair game. When I was taking classical lessons, I'd even stretch up and grab the high c occasionally.

First position is more versatile because you have the option to play open strings instead of fingering every note.

Joel Glassman - Posted - 01/08/2017:  17:09:26


If you play the note a whole step above any open string with your first finger, you are in

first position. You can play the open strings GDAE, or play those notes with your 4th finger.

It doesn't matter which you do. You are still in first position.

Here is a lesson on positions:

youtube.com/watch?v=Ztf_J30UL-s


Edited by - Joel Glassman on 01/08/2017 17:10:21

haggis - Posted - 01/08/2017:  18:11:31


quote:

Originally posted by Joel Glassman

 

If you play the note a whole step above any open string with your first finger, you are in

first position. You can play the open strings GDAE, or play those notes with your 4th finger.

It doesn't matter which you do. You are still in first position.

Here is a lesson on positions:

youtube.com/watch?v=Ztf_J30UL-s







O.K. I think I have it, 

Mojohand40 - Posted - 01/09/2017:  07:42:20


First position is missionary.



joke.



Anyway, I JUST recently started messing around with positions.  Mainly because I've been playing a lot of mandolin lately and was getting frustrated with not being able to occasionally play "up the neck" on fiddle like I normally might on a mandolin.  In my attempts at this I find that third position is for some reason the easier to grasp then second (I haven't tried fourth).  It seems easier to find both tactile wise and aural wise. 



Here is a good quick tutorial I found on line: fiddlerman.com/tutorials/advan...e-violin/



 

amwildman - Posted - 01/09/2017:  08:34:51


Third position is easier. The harmonics/overtones from first finger anchor gives the best reference point. Plus your mind/ear recognizes the anchor notes better - g and d, mainly.

sandragrunwald - Posted - 09/11/2017:  12:57:50


hm zees..i agree quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 
quote:


Originally posted by Joel Glassman

 


If you play the note a whole step above any open string with your first finger, you are in

first position. You can play the open strings GDAE, or play those notes with your 4th finger.

It doesn't matter which you do. You are still in first position.

Here is a lesson on positions:

youtube.com/watch?v=Ztf_J30UL-s








O.K. I think I have it, 







 

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