Re: [Harp-L] Chromatic: Advantages of each position

On Mar 13, 2012, at 4:20 PM, Winslow Yerxa wrote:

> Chromatic players divide into two schools of thought on the concept of positions.
> If you only ever play a C chromatic, and especially if you don't play diatonic, then the concept of positions is pointless. You could talk about that big minor draw chord when you play in D. But you just call it D (or maybe D minor); there's nothing to be gained by calling it anything else.
> However, if you play chromatics that are tuned to different keys, then it's useful to know that the key of D played on a C chromatic plays identically to B on an A chromatic or G on an F chromatic. At that point, calling them all by a common term (such as third position) is helpful.
> Winslow
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The wizard Winslow is usual. Sunday night I was going to do DYKWIMTM New Orleans and the tune is in C. Because of my background in trumpet & clarinet, most of my music is in Bb configuration. In other words it is adjusted or transposed. Soooo, and because I play by rote, I use a Bb chromatic in D. To play in C I had to play in D  because 2 sharps cancel out the 2 flats of the chromatic and leave you with...neutral C.  So 2 notes into the tune I realize that I had picked up an F chromatic by mistake. No problem. I merely switched to playing in the key of G. The 1 sharp of G cancelled out the 1 flat of the F chromatic. Leaving me with neutral C. 

Oh, and of note: Playing on a draw key sometimes sounds better. More draw notes at the ends of the phrases = more chances to bend the reeds. 


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