Fourth position is one of my favorite positions on the violin. Why, you may ask? Well, because I find that it is one of the most neglected positions. It is like rooting for the underdog.
Fourth position is usually a transit position from third position to fifth position.
It also feels a bit like a no man’s land since third and fifth feel so familiar for violinists.
However, the cool thing about first is that the first and fourth finger on the G, D and A strings resonate and can be checked with open strings.
10 REASONS NOT TO NEGLECT FOURTH POSITION
Easy to Find
First finger replaces fourth finger in first position which resonates with your open string except for the E string because as violinists we do not have an open B string. However, B has it’s own special ring.
EASY TO HEAR
First finger on the G, D and A strings and fourth finger are the same pitches as open strings therefore can be checked with open strings.
Fourth finger on EVERY string resonates with an open string.
Easy to check and know when it is out of tune! Great for Intonation.
Hand Frame is set on pitches that resonate with open strings.
Except for first finger B in the E string
Smaller distances between fingers than third
Intervals get smaller the higher you play on the instrument.
Excellent position to have in your toolbox for the keys of D, A and E Major/minor
Very helpful in orchestral fast passages
Just today in my practice of Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Itialliene, fourth position fingering came to my aid in a fast passage eliminating multiple shifts.
Does not read like a previous position in the typical position learning order.
Fourth Position reads like first position one string lower but an octave higher
Trivia fun: for example on the D string we have the first finger playing E and the fourth finger playing A in first position. On the A string in fourth position we have the first finger playing E and the fourth finger playing A but an octave higher. Doubt this tidbit of information will help you play better in fourth position but it is fun to know. Yes, I am officially a violin geek and most likely so are you if you are reading this blog post dedicated to fourth position on the violin.
Traditionally it can take 3 – 5 years to learn what is taught within Position Mastery immersion in only 8 weeks.
Program pre-requsitie: Playing knowledge of one position outside of first position.
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Heather is a classically trained concert violinist performing with the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria. She received her BM violin performance degree from CU -Boulder, studied with top teachers including Rachel Barton Pine. Ms. Broadbent has held leadership positions with multiple orchestras in the Greater Chicago-Milwaukee area. She has instructed thousands of violinists globally via youtube videos, online Academy, E-Courses, group coaching and one on one intensives. Heather’s students have won multiple awards, concerto competitions, held concertmaster positions in orchestras and even performed in Carnegie Hall. Heather is an advocate of a holistic violin lifestyle – putting one’s mind, body and spirit as a violin journey priority.