[Harp-L] Position = Location of a starting note

Richard Sleigh rrsleigh@xxxxx
Mon Oct 29 18:08:07 EDT 2018

Position (dictionary definition):

a place where someone or something is located or has been put.

a particular way in which someone or something is placed or arranged.

I think of harmonica positions as indicating the location of your root
notes for the key you are playing in. I also relate this to the note layout
of the richter tuned diatonic harmonica.

I have a system that has served me well - the diatonic harmonica is a
transposing instrument, so just visualize the note layout of the key of C
harp and use that as the archetypal harmonica.

Combine that with the circle of fifths with the key of C at the top. The C
at the top is first position, G is second, D is third, follow the logic all
the way around. 12 positions.

Each position refers to what note is your root note for whatever key you
are playing in.  The root notes end up in different places as you go from
one position to another.

In the positions 12 - 6th, you have root notes that are also built in notes
in the tuning layout. Positions 7 - 11 (the dark side of the moon) have
root notes that are bent notes, over-blows or over-draws.

This is all easy to see on the circle of fifths.

What you do after you leave that root note or starting note location is up
to you - it could be a mode, a major or a minor or pentatonic or blues or
be-bop scale.

The position does not determine or limit what scale you are using it just
indicates the location (position) of the starting note or root note of
whatever construction you want to think or play in.

Once you get this mental model down, you can adapt it to whatever key harp
you are playing.

Works for me...
Richard Sleigh
rrsleigh at xxxxx

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