#1
when you're fretting a note and play it, are you suppose to put ur fingers about quater of an inch apart from the string before you play that fret? That's what my guitar teachers told me but when I see other people play, their fingers are like an inch apart from the fretboard.
#2
Your fingers should hover as close to the fretboard as possible.
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#3
^^ Is true.

And I think you mean "away from the fret", apart doesn't sound right.
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#4
make sure that your wrist angle is natural and that your fingers are as perpendicular to the strings as possible...if they are slanted away or if you have too much tension, your pinky will probably fly off when you switch strings
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#5
Quote by grrrr
when you're fretting a note and play it, are you suppose to put ur fingers about quater of an inch apart from the string before you play that fret? That's what my guitar teachers told me but when I see other people play, their fingers are like an inch apart from the fretboard.
Corwinoid is correct. If your teacher is giving you a specific distance to keep your fingers away from the fretboard you should first ask him or her why that distance as opposed to keeping them as close as possible to the fingerboard. Then evaluate his or her reason but play with your fingers as close as possible to the strings.

And regarding those people who are keeping their fingers an inch away from the fingerboard, go find some different people to watch. All you can do is pick up bad habits from watching folks who play with such obviously poor technique.
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#6
corwinoid is right. keep them as close as possible and whats most comfortable 4 u without getting rsi