# Newcomer here hoping to get some help. I read a another post about using the pinky finger but I am still a little puzzled as to when to use an open string verses fingering the note on the 7th fret. I realize that just about all the notes will have to be fingered as you go farther up the neck but what about playing in the lower keys or I guess what some folks call the first position, not sure. I have been playing mandolin for a few years now but have decided to start playing correctly by utilizing my little finger. Its like having to learn how to play all over again and my little finger is short too, but I am working at it. Is there a set rule for when or when not to use the little finger when playing on the lower fret positions? I know it can make a differnce in tone. I have watched many mondolin players on TV and some seem to get through much of a song without using the little finger much while others got that little finger popping all over the place. Seems almost impossible to have to never hit an open string. Is that what I should strive for? Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions. I play by ear and can't read music nor do I know a lot of tecnical music talk so keep it simple for me please. Mr. B.