Finger position problem with thirds in higher positions

September 3, 2016 at 11:06 AM · So I generally have a bit of trouble with thirds in positions around 5th+, sometimes a note will squeak or it'll be hard to place down 2 and 4 from 1 and 3 down. I've been looking in a mirror and noticed that in higher positions when doing thirds, my first and second fingers' first joint is bent the opposite way that it usually is when just playing notes. Here's an image showing what I'm talking about:

In lower positions my fingers are much more comfortable with thirds, making a nice arch over the fingerboard. I think it might have to do with my fingers being long? Is that just normal for higher position thirds? Anything I can do to make it a little more comfortable?

Replies (9)

September 3, 2016 at 11:26 AM · If you are just learning thirds in higher positions, I would say this is normal. What you need to do is make sure your first finger is rounded and not bent in; it should be in the same form as your third finger.

September 3, 2016 at 12:40 PM · I also have long fingers, so I somewhat straighten the upper finger while the lower keeps the same shape and acts as the anchor.

September 3, 2016 at 12:52 PM · I respectfully suggest that you trim your fingernails closer. I find this helps me with the same issue.

September 3, 2016 at 01:53 PM · practice scales on one string with 2 fingers: 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4

September 3, 2016 at 02:16 PM · Rocky... Can you clarify that? I also have difficulty with the 1-3 to 2-4...i can tell it is just a developmental issue that as someone else said is likely normal...but is your suggestion designed to develop those thirds in fifth position and higher? How?


September 3, 2016 at 03:37 PM · Hey Folks,

I think the issue is that a (b)minor third, is with the second finger, and not with the third. If you try this, then do it only in first position, but that's a jazz technique ;-)

September 3, 2016 at 05:02 PM · Jessy,

in order to play thirds on the same position, one needs to be comfortable playing just anything else on that spot.

The thirds could be also perceived as a combination of "scales" or other movement on each string.

In other words, as a stepping stone for a proper finger placement and movement, practice scales on one string (see Galamian scales, 2nd practice)

One can also practice thirds or other double stops by playing one string only, while still placing figners on the other string.

Use your imagination and invent your own practicing details.


September 4, 2016 at 04:26 PM · I've only just seen the photo.

In such cases, my index finger can often stay curved but pull the string slightly across the fingerboard rather than down onto it.

September 6, 2016 at 01:29 AM · Yehudi Menuhin also happen to have instructional videos on youtube, with finger exercises in the first left hand video :)

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