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<From Harp-L Tue Jan 31 12:50:13 0800 1995 remote from WKUVX1.WKU.EDU
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From:!wd6ehr (Mike Curtis)
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Message-ID: <199501312050.MAA25056@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: 3rd Position
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 12:50:13 -0800 (PST)
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> Hello all.
> I wonder could anyone give me a quick run down on 3rd position?
> I get by using 1st and 2nd on my compositions. What has 3rd got to offer?

Third position (D minor on a C harp) is a nice minor scale with minor third
and natural 6th.  Chordally, it resolves well with Dm/G7 chords, although in
the blues idiom, minor leads are typically superimposed over major chords in a
raised ninth format.  Third position works out very nicely for D13 based tunes,

One lick I like in third position is bending the draw-2 and draw-3 to give a
nice, big glissando between F-G and A-B notes.

While third position has a lot of nice low register notes, one can really
"whoop it up" on the high notes.  The note layout is really nice for some
blazingly fast riffing.  On draw, you have first, third, fifth, and sixth, so
it's really easy to double or triple up draws and punctuate the run with
staccato blow hits.  (Of course, it's easy to get sloppy with this, too :-)
(The trick is to make sure you "hit" each note as a separate note, and not
just move the harp back and forth while drawing.  If you pucker, use your
t-t-t-tongue :-)

Third position is quite popular with blues players who use a chromatic, or
"chromatic tuned" straight harp (4 holes per octave.)  A lot of Little Walters
tunes are done thusly.  Bill Clarke also does some nifty chromatic third

One of my favorite third position tunes is Paul DeLays "Other One", title cut
on the album.  He plays the C chro in Eb (e.g. third position with the slide
depressed.)  Really tasty, and will likely inspire a lot of chromatic sales.

 --  mike curtis

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