[Harp-L] 12th Position by accident

fssharp@xxxxx fssharp@xxxxx
Thu Sep 20 15:57:53 EDT 2018

Last night at the open mic a Santana song was played.  When I asked the key,
I was told Am, then maybe C or F(?).  There appeared to be some disagreement
in the pick-up band about the exact nature of the key.  So for Am I will
first try a G harp in 3rd, and the opening chord is Am so here we go.  As I
listen to the progression, there are a lot of major chords in it, but for
some reason the G harp is working.  Getting close to the solo, I decide
maybe it really is in C and pick up a low F, which seems ok but when I
played the blues scale on the G it seemed fine.  So I went with the G on the
solo and everything was copacetic.  Hmm, why does 3rd Position work so well
on this song with so many major chords ( that 3b should clash).  Listened to
the recording today and it for sure was in C but not a I-IV-V, had some vi,
ii, etc. in there.  So I was actually playing in 12th position but using the
3rd position blues scale, so how did this work?  DUH!  The 3rd position
blues scale (or to be precise minor pentatonic) is essentially the same as
the 12th position major pentatonic scale.  So I was playing major pentatonic
in 12th and it was great.  All I had to do was remember the 3rd Pos blues
scale pattern to make it work.  Today I played over the changes with a low F
for 2nd position major pentatonic, and it worked, but I think I liked the
accidental 12th position I used last night better.  I forgot about that 12th
Maj Pent = 3rd Min Pent equivalency I once knew.  Maybe I will remember that
in the future !!

Fred S
(cross-posted to MBH Facebook Forum)

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