Left Hand Finger Placement

  1. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Surely there's something on this in the Forum, but I can't find a thread that addresses my specific question. My teacher (the violinist) tells me my fingers should be centered between the frets; however, I'm almost certain I've read they should be just at the edge of the frets. Which is correct?
  2. phb256
    On bass, I play practically on the frets, but not so that it deadens the note. I've always assumed it's the same for other fretted instruments. Mandolin frets are so close together that it seems like centered and just behind are the same thing, at least to me. I don't think it would hurt to play as your teacher says, but I don't think that's proper technique. I'm an unschooled noob though, so take it for what it's worth.
  3. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Mike Marshall says right up close to the frets; ("practically on them" sounds about right to me). It's about achieving good tone.
  4. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thanks, Paul and Sue! That's what another teacher (Gerald) said, but I can't tell Barbara that!
  5. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    All the teachers & pros I’ve heard seem to agree, play close to the fret. Sierra Hull says it’s important for tone, and I agree with her (and with Sue … and Mike, etc. lol)
  6. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    I think you can say something to Barbara in a kind and respectful way. Violins don't have frets, no? She could learn something useful here. You don't want to be using a different technique only when you're working with her. You could confuse the part of the brain that develops habits and slow yourself down. If you need to find videos from notable mando teachers to make your point, I don't think it would be difficult to find them
  7. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thanks, Sue. I can easily tell her my MC friends told me how it's done!
  8. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Sherry, I wonder if she thinks the goal is to press the string all the way down to the fingerboard. That's about the only reason I can think of to aim for centering your finger between frets. It takes a lot of pressure to get the string to the wood, and could be a major contributor to left-hand tension.
  9. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Louise, that makes sense.
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