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

Thank you, Brendan.  Educational, as always.  Until I read the material at
that link, I was unaware of that method.  However, I realized as I was
reading it that I use some of the same symbology and somewhat similiar
ideas for my personal harmonica tab (devised decades ago).  I guess my
ideas weren't all that off if it works for them, too.  The purpose built
into my tab was to be able to type the tab out on an early, rudimentary
keyboard -- without the special symbols usually found in harmonica tab --
while providing some form or concept of timing of the notes (not generally
found in tab for any instrument at the time).

Jerome:  If you understand, great.   I apologize if I seemed too cutting.
It didn't sound to me as if you did "get it".  Your remarks made it sound
to me like you consider the physical layout of the harmonica, and the notes
on it, to be an opinion.  While no one way of approaching artistic
endeavors ever really works completely for everyone, a term like "position"
is still a reference to a fact.  It is not an opinion.  It is a foundation
term that we can share amongst each of us on the same instrument because it
has a solid base and doesn't really rely on artistic interpretation.
Believe me, if we had no such terms with which to work, there are a lot of
people who would never understand what l have to say about playing
bluegrass on the harmonica.  Bluegrass musicians don't communicate in a way
that is particularly helpful to most harmonica players, though those of us
who play bluegrass also have no difficulty understanding what is meant.
The terminology, and the concepts that work with it, helps players from
different musical worlds bridge the communication gap.  I try, as much as
possible, to learn the terms and concepts that allow me to communicate with
others, even if it is not crucial to how I would play or approach my
instrument or music.


On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 3:48 AM, Brendan Power <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Jerome wrote:
> " To my opinion, if positions only refer to root notes, they are useless,
> and the note name is a much better and precise information.
> Especially when you communicate with other people from the band, who are
> usually not harmonica players.
> I'm surprised that harmonica players so much feel the need to use a
> separate
> vocabulary, enabling them to better communicate with other harmonica
> players, and complicates their communication with other musicians. Whereas,
> to my opinion, playing music should mainly be the encounter of different
> instruments."
> That's true: the concept of Positions on a harmonica is only of use to harp
> players (for the player himself and also to describe what you are doing to
> other harmonica players). It means nothing to other musicians and would
> only
> confuse things, as Jerome says.
> As he only plays a C harp, it is better for Jerome to ignore the idea of
> Positions and just talk of the root note and the scale ("I'm in D major"
> not
> "I'm playing 3rd position major on a C harp".
> However, for the majority of us who use many different key harps, Positions
> are a good way to maintain your bearings no matter which key harp you use.
> It's like the clever Chinese 'Jianpu' numeric notation system used widely
> in
> Asia:
> Notes are given numbers relating to the key and scale they're in, which
> means you can switch keys easily without having to change the notation. The
> Nashville Number System does the same for chord charts. This is the way I
> think when playing all the time - I never consider a note's name (E, F, F#
> etc), just its number in the key/scale I'm in.
> Harp Positions are similar: they work irrespective of the key of the
> harmonica, so are very useful for us. However, Position and harp key alone
> are not enough: it's essential to name the scale and root note too,
> especially when playing with other musicians (that's ALL they will want to
> know).
> Brendan Power

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.