Hello, I was wondering if anyone here knows of any recordings, Blues or otherwise, where the harmonica is being plated in 5th position?
There are obviously an abundance of 2nd position recordings and 1st and 3rd are common enough to find a few good recordings here and there, but I have not run across anything in 5th position. It seems like a pretty easy position to play since it is the relative minor of the 2nd position major. So why don't we hear it more?
And while we are on the topic, please list anything you know of that is in 4th position and 12th position. I think maybe 4th would be more common among folk players who primarily use first position? I am curious if there are any blues recordings where it is demonstrated. I like 12th position because I am most comfortable in 3rd and 12th is the relative major of the minor in 3rd so it comes more naturally to me, but I also don't know of any recordings of it.
Anyway I am really curious to hear what others have done with these less common positions.
Fifth position was recorded in the 1920s on "Central Tracks Blues" by William Lee McCoy:
Country harmonica superstar Charlie McCoy (no relation) has used 5th quite a bit as well. I first heard him use it on a Gordon Lightfoot record, "Crossroads" (not the Robert Johnson song) in about 1968 (can't find a Youtube video)
Here's Donnie Jacobs singing "Street Walkin' Woman", recorded in Louisiana in 1966. I first heard it in on a vinyl album called "When Girls Do It". The harmonica adds simple but effective accompaniment in 5th position-- what Tony Glover used to call 4th position, for the old people in this forum.
I play 5th position on many songs... including, from my new album, the songs "Going Somewhere," "All," and "I Don't Remember." Here's a link to the album. On each of these songs, I play a portion of the solo and/or fills in 5th but also play another position (I believe 3rd in all cases, if memory serves).
Last Edited by scojo on Jan 11, 2018 9:03 AM
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