View Full Version : Mandolin "Positions"

Jun-17-2004, 8:52am
I just posted this question on the "General" board but I figured I'd post it here as well b/c, quite frankly, you guys know your stuff!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Anyway, here it is...

Often, I hear the term "positions" used when referring to playing up the neck and while (at a very elementary level) I understand that different positions exist...I'm not really sure what/where these positions are. I mean, I understand that 1st position is when you're playing with open strings but what/where are the 2nd, 3rd etc. positions? Any help w/ this would be much appreciated...thanks!!


Jun-17-2004, 9:01am
Hello, Chris.

When speaking of "positions", we are simply referring to those of the violin, which are, of course, immediately transferable to the mandolin— same string-length (roughly), same tuning.

So, just pick up any old violin method from your neighborhood music store and... TADA!... you got it! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif No mystery there, none at all.



Tom C
Jun-17-2004, 9:12am
in first position you play the frets 1 and 2 with first finger, 3 and 4 with second finger, 5 and 6 with 3rd finger and 7 with 4th finger (generally).

2nd position would be where you move and play 3rd fret with 1st finger 5th with 2nd etc.. Sometime one has to move down below 1st position when the tune has notes on the first 2 frets and one must use 1st finger on 1st fret and 2nd finger on 2nd fret.

Jun-17-2004, 7:33pm
I like this simple graphic.

Ellis, H.J. 1892. Thorough School for the Mandoline. J.A. Turner, Ltd., London.