15 - Spacing Differences Between Positions

As you move up the fingerboard (or as the notes get higher), the spacing between each note gets progressively smaller. The difference between a whole step in first position and a whole step in thumb position is vastly different - the whole step in thumb position is almost half the size as the one in first position.

This is something you have to practice to get a feel for under your hands, so that’s what we’ll be doing in this lesson. As you’ll find out, the spacing between 1st and 4th position isn’t too different, but it’s enough that you will play out of tune if you don’t adjust.

As you practice these exercises, I would suggest you play along with a tuner in front of you or with the recording I’ve included so you can monitor your intonation and adjust as needed.

Quick points:

  • When moving to a higher position, the 4th finger is generally too high, which usually means it’s too far out from the 2nd and 3rd finger.
  • The 2nd finger is usually too low, regardless of any change in position. The cause of this is usually that the fingers are equally spaced. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers should be fairly close to each other and far enough away from the 1st finger so that 2nd finger is directly in between 1st and 4th.

S2 L15 - 1st and 4th Spacing.pdf