too much time on my hands

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

too much time on my hands

Postby eline » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:29 am

I’m not sure of how many of you actually pay attention to the layout of the harp during the chord changes. But one of the things that I’ve noticed (in theory) is that while in the one chord, you could play in cross harp position; no problem. When in the four chord, if one were to switch to straight harp position, the layout of the straight harp compliments the four chord. And for the five chord, utilizing the fourth position (double cross or dorian) compliments the five chord. What I want to know is, does anybody else think like this, or have I completely lost it?
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Postby bluemoose » Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:49 pm

Hi All:

Eline, not only have you NOT lost it, you have hit on an invaluable way of
thinking on the harp. It will open worlds for you. As you've noted it explains
why your V chord options are limited in 2nd pos if you are playing as if in
4th position, I chord.

But the big leap comes when you apply the same thinking to 3rd position
for minor tunes.

I chord is playing in 3rd position, IV chord is like playing in 2nd position
and V chord is like playing in 1st position. Open house, top to bottom!
(Just watch the 3 hole!)

But (I've been told) it doesn't stop there though I haven't worked out the
position/chord equivalents but jazzy stuff is easier if you start up in 5th or
6th because the IV and V chord equivalents bring you back into more
familiar/achievable 12th-4th position playing (or something like that. If
someone could comment authoratively on this it would be much

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Postby jeffl » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:04 pm

eline,failing to recognize what you've discovered there is why alotta beginning harpers use the one chord riffs to play on the IV chord,and wind up sounding very repetitive. Playing the one chord riffs on the IV is sometimes the right thing to do, but not at the cost of corraling yourself.
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Postby steel1953 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:13 am

Wow!............Thanks so much guys. When I play, I already can hear those things, even if I don't think about them while playing. But now I have an easy way to show/tell students.

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Postby barbequebob » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:40 pm

Eline, that's a good eye, and that just put you miles ahead of the average harp player because the stereotype that too many harp players fulfill is that when it comes to the most basic of music theory, harp players are thought of by musicians who play other instruments as the dumbest musician on the bandstand, and too often, this is the cold, hard, brutal truth here.
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