Re: [Harp-L] positions you can use on diatonic

I also think in positions. Since we play so many different key harmonicas,
that way of thinking makes sense to keep ones bearings when switching
between harps.

However within each position there are MANY possible scales: the basic 7
note major and minor scales we use a lot in the West, pentatonic scales, and
a myriad of others: eg. diminished, augmented, the hundreds of maqams or
ragas used by Arabic, Indian and other musicians, including microtonal ones.
It's a huge and complex field once you start studying it!

To answer the question posed in the thread title, I find a good way to get
myself familiar with what positions/scales are USABLE on the harp (ie.
musically flowing and technically comfortable) is to concentrate on
pentatonic scales in different positions first. In some positions both major
and minor pentatonics are easy, in others I'd only pick one or the other. 

Here are improvising examples of 11 usable major and minor scales on the
PowerBender (most will work well on standard Richter too, though overblows
will sometimes be required). If you ignore the sales angle and just listen
to the music, it will give a good idea of the wide range of relatively easy
scales possible with just one A harp:

The scales/positions featured are (not in order):

1st Position Major - 2nd Position Major & Minor - 3rd Position Major & Minor
- 4th Position Major and Minor - 5th Position Minor - 6th position Minor -
11th Position Major - 12th Position Major

Some surprised me! Before doing the video I'd never used 6th Position
before, but it turns out to be a really expressive minor mode on the
PowerBender. Another good minor pentatonic not featured on the video is 7th
position Minor (D#m on an A harp).

Brendan Power

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