[Harp-L] All this Positions and Modes stuff
Sat Oct 27 12:04:13 EDT 2018
You know this word from F. Zappa : "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny".
I feel the same about positions.
Historically they may have had a certain interest and may have simplified
things for some players.
They also have limited the possibilities on the instrument, but as far as
the instrument was limited itself, it was not really a problem.
But harmonica usage has drastically changed in very few decades, all over
the world !
Nowadays, the music played with this instrument is not anymore exclusively
the one already played 70 years ago.
Positions are not needed, and they have became very limited.
I think it's time to move on.
Just my opinion.
Le sam. 27 oct. 2018 à 13:28, Michael Rubin <michaelrubinharmonica at xxxxx>
a écrit :
> Michael Snowden,
> I whole heartedly disagree that modes and diatonic harmonica positions are
> synonymous and feel the paradigm that they are is one of the main things
> holding harmonica players back from joining the world of the basic music
> A piano player has all of the notes we use in the Western scale. He is
> therefore able to play all seven modes in all 12 keys.
> A diatonic harmonica player has all of the notes in the Western Scale for a
> 39 note range. (This is counting 10 overdraw and 10 overdraw raised one
> half step.)
> Therefore a diatonic harmonica can play all seven modes in all 12 keys (and
> consequently all 12 positions).
> Why then, are so many harmonica players convinced that the Ionian mode is
> synonymous with 1st position, Mixolydian with 2nd position, Dorian with
> 3rd, Aeolian with 4th, Phrygian with 5th, Locrian with 6th position and
> Lydian with 12th?
> Because that approach is SUPER EASY.
> Let's look at C Ionian. C Ionian is the same as the C major scale.
> C D E F G A B C.
> That is all white notes. There are no white notes on a piano not included
> in that scale.
> Until you bend and overblow every note on a C diatonic is a white note.
> That means all of the blow and draw notes are white notes. So as long as
> you are just blowing and drawing without bends and overblows every note is
> in the C Ionian mode.
> There are three bent notes that are white notes. 2 double is F, 3 double
> is A and 10 single is B. But you do not have to utilize every note in a
> scale to utilize that scale.
> Since C Ionian is super easy on a C harp and playing in the key of C on a C
> harp is called first position, playing Ionian is SUPER EASY in first
> Since G Mixolydian is a mode of C major, playing G Mixolydian is super easy
> on a C harp. Since playing in the key of G on a C harp is called second
> position, playing Mixolydian is super easy in second position.
> However, I can play G mixolydian on ANY harp, since G Mixolydian is the
> notes G A B C D E F G and those notes can be found on any harp.
> Also, when a player plays in second position on a C harp and says "I'm in
> Mixolydian" but then plays a black note from the keyboard, say in 4 draw
> bend, Db, he is now NOT USING the Mixolydian mode.
> However, thinking about Modes and positions are a great way to begin
> exploring both modes and positions.
> As to Laurent and David, as much as you would like to stop using positions,
> the best you will be able to do is to stop thinking about positions. But
> you will NEVER get away from using positions unless you are playing a song
> with no tonal center. This is because positions are defined as the tonal
> center of a song in relation to the name of the harmonica as measured by
> the amount of clockwise movements on the Circle of Fifths plus one. For
> example, if the song has a tonal center of G and the player was holding a
> harmonica named C, G is one times clockwise from C on the Circle of Fifths.
> Plus one makes two. G is second position on a C harp and there is no
> escaping that or wishing that away.
> Michael Rubin
> On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 11:25 AM Michael Rubin <
> michaelrubinharmonica at xxxxx> wrote:
> > 1. Yes and people do. If you restrict yourself to a C chromatic. there
> > is no need to do it, but if you own chromatics in multiple keys positions
> > are the way to think.
> > F can definitely be referred to as 1 flat.
> > 2. Modes go much deeper than the white notes on a keyboard.
> > Many people begin to think about modes by using the C major scale as a
> > starting point. The C major scale is all of the white notes on a
> > from C to C.
> > C D E F G A B C
> > If you played it as is that would be the 1st mode of the C major scale.
> > This is also known as the C major scale.
> > If you played the same notes but began on D that would be the 2nd mode of
> > the C major scale.
> > D E F G A B C D
> > This no longer sounds like Do re mi fa so la ti do. It has its own
> > feeling. To get that feeling, the band has to be in the key of D. (or
> > over a D chord)
> > There is more than one kind of music. In general, songs can be
> > categorized into three types of music, major, minor and bluesy. Notice I
> > did not say blues. Led Zeppelin is not as bluesy as Muddy Waters, but
> > are a heck of a lot bluesier than John Denver. Bluesy music can be
> > subcategorized into two different types, major blues (think Let the Good
> > Times Roll) and Minor Blues (Think The Thrill is Gone). To get the
> > of the 2nd mode of the C major scale, the band NOT ONLY has to play in
> > key of D, but has to be playing the appropriate style of music. For
> > example, if you played D E F G A B C D as you scale during a song in D
> > major, it would not sound good. BUT if you played in D minor (for
> > it would sound good.
> > Since there are seven distinct white notes, there are seven modes of the
> > major scale.
> > Now let's look at the G major scale.
> > G A B C D E F# G
> > If you played it as is that would be the 1st mode of the G major scale.
> > This is also known as the G major scale.
> > The feeling you get from the 1st of mode of the C major scale when the
> > song is is in C major is the SAME feeling you get from the 1st mode of
> > G major scale when the song is in G major.
> > If you played the notes of the G major scale but began on A that would be
> > the 2nd mode of the G major scale.
> > A B C D E F# G A
> > Notice this is a mode that has a black key in it.
> > The feeling you get from the 2nd mode of the C major scale when the song
> > is in D minor (the style of music is an example) is the same feeling you
> > get from the 2nd mode of the G major scale when the song is in A minor.
> > So there are seven modes of EVERY major scale. The feeling you get from
> > the 1st mode of all 12 major scales is the same no matter the key. The
> > feeling you get from each mode of all 12 major scales is the same no
> > the key.
> > Here are the names of the seven modes of major scales and an explanation
> > of the generally agreed upon feelings they create when in the key that
> > shares their root. Remember different people hear music differently and
> > a discussion of everyone's take on the feelings would be welcome:
> > 1. Ionian aka the major scale. Happy music.
> > 2. Dorian works in minor music but it is important to know there is more
> > than one type of minor song. For certain types, Dorian sounds great, for
> > others, not so much. However, most listeners are very forgiving with
> > harmony so don't worry too much. Generally, if the IV chord is major,
> > Dorian is a great choice.
> > Dorian works in major blues. That is not major songs and blues songs.
> > That is blues songs that are major in quality.
> > Dorian works in minor blues. (although like I mentioned above, not ALL
> > minor blues).
> > 3. Phrygian works in some chords during jazz songs.
> > Phrygian works in middle eastern music, often.
> > Phrygian works in flamenco music, often.
> > 4. Lydian works in some chords during jazz songs.
> > Lydian works in creepy music in scary movies.
> > There is a school of music where lydian is the main scale that all other
> > musical ideas are built from, in the same way that most westerners base
> > their ideas off of the major scale.
> > 5. Mixoyldian sounds good in major blues.
> > 6. Aeolian aka the natural minor scale, aka the relative minor scale.
> > This is the main way Americans play minor music. It does not work in all
> > minor songs.
> > 7. Locrian works in some chords during jazz songs.
> > Locrian works in creepy music in scary movies.
> > It is good to realize we have only been considering the modes of major
> > scales.
> > Let's look at the C jazz melodic minor scale.
> > C D Eb F G A B C.
> > There is only one black key. Eb.
> > Of all the major scales, only two contain only one black key:
> > G A B C D E F# G
> > and
> > F G A Bb C D E F
> > Neither of these major scales contain an Eb. The G has an F#, otherwise
> > known as Gb. Gb is not Eb. The F major scale has a Bb. Bb is not Eb.
> > Therefore the C jazz melodic minor scale is not a mode of any of the 12
> > major scales. It is unique and separate from the major scales.
> > If I played the C jazz melodic minor scale starting on C
> > C D Eb F G A B C
> > I get the 1st mode of the C jazz melodic minor scale.
> > If I played the C jazz melodic starting on D:
> > D Eb F G A B C D
> > I get the 2nd mode of the C jazz melodic minor scale. To get its proper
> > feeling, I would need to play in the key of D (or over a D chord) and
> > during a song with the type of feeling that works with the second mode of
> > the C jazz melodic minor.
> > Therefore there are 7 modes of the C jazz melodic minor scale.
> > So here is the important takeaway:
> > There are as many modes as there are notes in all of the scales in the
> > world.
> > Sometimes when you are hearing someone play unusual music they have
> > a scale that is not a major scale and become very adept at one or more of
> > its modes and have found places where it sounds good.
> > For most people, we playing simpler music, blues, rock, pop, country,
> > gospel, folk, punk, reggae. We benefit most from Ionian, Dorian,
> > Mixoyldian and Aeolian. Becoming adept at these modes will enable you to
> > participate in almost every song in these genres.
> > Michael Rubin
> > michaelrubinharmonica.com
> > On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 9:27 AM Aongus Mac Cana <amaccana at xxxxx>
> > wrote:
> >> I have to admit that I know as much about music theory as "a dog knows
> >> about
> >> a wireless". However I am trying to pick it up on a "need to know"
> >> Question #1: Can you use the terms 1st 2nd and 3d positions for a
> >> Chromatic harmonica?
> >> In other words on a C Chromatic is G 2nd D 3d. and A 4th. (and on a G
> >> Chromatic would D be 2nd and A 3d.)
> >> Some Irish Trad players use the terms: 1 sharp 2 sharps and 3 sharps to
> >> describe the keys of G,D. And A. With this system I guess F would be
> >> called
> >> 1 flat?
> >> Question #2: As regards modes are these simply defined by where you
> >> start your scale on the piano keyboard while confining yourself to the
> >> white
> >> keys?
> >> Hoping that someone may indulge an ignoramus,
> >> Beannachtai
> >> Aongus Mac Cana
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