[Harp-L] All this Positions and Modes stuff
Sat Oct 27 13:11:41 EDT 2018
I think it is possible to develop perfect pitch.
There is no doubt in my mind that keys and notes create different feelings.
When I said the second mode always creates the same feeling I wasn’t
allowing for the basic concept that every note affects feeling. I was
really saying that the dorian feelings in two separate keys is a much more
similar feeling to each other than the feeling of a major scale no matter
On Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 11:04 AM Jerome P. <jersimuse at xxxxx> wrote:
> You know this word from F. Zappa : "Jazz is not dead, it just smells
> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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 C
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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 so
>> > 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
>> > than one type of minor song. For certain types, Dorian sounds great,
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> >> 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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