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

The utility of positions is high even when they are not only modal.

Let's say you wanted to play a third position major scale in the key
of D on a C harp.  You would have to know your C harp layout and that
the notes in D major are D E F# G A B C# D.

If you wanted to play in B major on an A harp but did not think with
positions, you would have to know your A harp layout and that the
notes in B major are B C# D# E F# G# A# B.

If you did not have positions, you would have to know the layout of
all 12 harps and know the names of the notes in every scale you want
to play in all 12 keys.  Then you can also play in any key on any
harp!  Considering that even without jazz I play around 10 different
scales on a regular basis, that is a lot of memorization!

But if you can think in positions, learn it on a C harp and then use
the same blow draw, bend, overblow pattern on any harp!  You do not
need to know the layout or the names of the notes in the scale!  You
do need to know the name of the key but that's about it.
Michael Rubin

On Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 5:21 AM, Brendan Power <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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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