When learning where to place your fingers on the violin, common advice I hear (especially if you have a short pinky) is to first place the 4th finger down so you know you can reach it comfortably, and then let the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st fingers follow. This is because it is better for the 1st finger to reach back to hit the 1st note than to stretch your 4th finger to reach the 4th note.
But in doing this, how is one supposed to reach low 1? To play low 1, you must bring your 1st finger back, but if you are already doing this to reach, say, the E on the D string, how can you go even further back to reach E flat? The hand collapses.
Is the advice to place the 4th finger first misguided (particularly for people with short pinkies)? Or is there another way to play low 1?