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Author Topic: The 12 positions  (Read 1765 times)

RevJTBlues

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The 12 positions
« on: February 28, 2014, 09:48:35 PM »
Like I said before I came back to Ricks fine site so I wouldn't lose harmonica. I just wasn't play them anymore, but coming back has done something more that I didn't expect it made that fire grow. I want to stretch myself out again and then go further then I had in the past. So instead of just trying to regain I kinda' want to relearn. Like many people here probably did as well, I taught myself, so I picked up MANY bad habits, some of which actually enabled me to do things other players I knew couldn't, but they also stopped me from doing other things as easily. I want to broaden my harmonica perspective. I put my chromatic back together (after five years) and just posted something. That is what got me to do what I just did at home.......

The song I posted was in 4th position, normally I stick to the basics my 123s LOL.  I decided to try the others and just ran through all 12 of them on a C. I managed OK in 1-6, and 12 but 7-11 I was helplessly Floundering.


So I guess I have a few questions.....

1. Has anyone else tried running through all 12
(For any not into the theory portion of harmonica they are the circle of fifths starting on 1 blow. C,G,D,A,E,B,F#,C#,Ab,Eb,Bb,F as an example of a C harp.)


2. Do you have one outside of 1,2, and 3 you use semi regularly or just one you find useful.

3. And have any of you conquered any of 7-11

Figured I'd throw it out

mindthegap

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Re: The 12 positions
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 02:54:43 AM »
Rev - great question! 

My teacher's aim is to play seamlessly in all keys on a C diatonic, and I have seen (over the web) some people do it.  Quite a feat, you need overblows, a very well set up harp and an incredible technique!  Myself, the only OB I use without fear and trembling is 6OB.

But as a lesser aim, have a look at this...Andrew Zajac, a customiser, has charts of Pentatonic scales that show you can use just three breath patterns (familiar 1st, 2nd, 3rd) to access six positions...

http://harp.andrewzajac.ca/node/77

http://harp.andrewzajac.ca/node/31

The pentatonic scale is useful in itself of course, but you can use it as a 'backbone' to add to with other notes that are available.  The pentatonic is a safe place, so you can get comfy in position.

For myself, I do like 5th position for a very minor kind of feel, as it gives you easy access to flattened 3rd and 5th notes for that diminished feel.  The root of the 5th position is the 2 blow.

I must add that I love the theory, and my actual playing lags a long way behind!  I'd prefer it the other way round, but we are what we are eh?

Guy
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 02:56:18 AM by mindthegap »

RevJTBlues

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Re: The 12 positions
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 12:20:47 PM »
I checked out those links fascinating I'll have to really try and go in depth with those. I have a video of Howard levy soloing through all 12. He is amazing. Who is your teacher?

mindthegap

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Re: The 12 positions
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 01:15:09 PM »
Howard Levy - yes of course!  The teacher I've been seeing is Ben Hewlett - he's chairman of the National Harmonica League in the UK, and the author of lots of instructional books in the UK.  A very good teacher IMO, and I love his playing - he plays in all sorts of interesting styles although I'm just focussing on blues really.

He lives a fair way from me, so although initially I went over for a morning, we've been doing lessons over Skype.  I find that a bit strange, but getting a bit more used to it now.  Basically if we didn't Skype I could only have a lesson once in a blue moon.

panamaharp

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Re: The 12 positions
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 04:16:22 PM »
I'm currently working on 5th position.  Same notes as 2nd, just a different tonal center.  I will post something in 5th soon.   

Here is a great lesson on 12th Position:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwXPOCYQNt8

Beelzebob

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Re: The 12 positions
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2014, 04:21:33 PM »
Tinus Koorn used to be a regular here and still pops in occasionally.  He plays jazz in every key on a single C harmonica.  He has some videos on youtube but I think the best stuff he's done was right here on HB!  I have about 20 STs of his and they're all incredible. 

There's a French guy, Frederick Yonnet, who is an overblow freak and does a lot of smooth jazz (check him out Ray)  but the really interesting thing about him I think is that he plays OOB Seydel 1847s.

 

anything