The harp playing on the cut sounds like it is on a C harmonica playing on a song in A, so it is 4th position rhythm playing. 4th on a C easily offers A natural minor, the Aeolian mode of C. You can play A major if you use bending and/or overblows to play major in 4th position. This harp is not really doing that. The blues is somewhat amenable to minor over major and it sort of works, but I would prefer a different harp on this song.
Learning positions can help you out in a pinch if you don't have the key of harp you might normally choose on hand for a song.
I would use a D harp in 2nd on this song if I had one available at the time, but I could get by on a C if I had to. ----------
Last Edited by dougharps on May 20, 2020 8:23 AM
Sounds like A harp 4/5 draw alternating with a 3 blow with a little bit of 4 sometimes, with 5 draw bending down and going into a 4 draw (maybe bent). I think I heard a little growl... sort of the draw version of a rolled r in a couple spots.
At the 2 minute mark he seems to be doing a 3 draw into a bend down to the 2. Is there a moment in particular that you are interested in?
Thank you all for the replies. I think that Fourth Position is right. When I play it, the Five Draw sounds a bit shrill, but it's probably all in the technique. Revealingly, the A side ('Kokomo Me') is also in A, meaning that the poor sod had to hover again around the three draw, two draw and two blow. But it leads to a different sound. I like the quirkiness of all of this and the way the harp floats in that space between major and minor.
Last Edited by Laurie McVay on May 20, 2020 9:26 AM
The singer sounds like he's singing in the key of A. The harp player is using a C harmonica, but playing it in fifth position, not fourth. Fifth position would normally be used for a minor-keyed song in E.
dougharps, you and I agree that the harp player is using a C harmonica. But here are the positions and resultant keys, as I understand them, using a C harp: C in first-C; C in second-G; C in third-D; C in fourth-A; C in Fifth-E. You can play a minor keyed E scale, in fifth position, by starting with a blow in hole 2. The second and fourth notes have to be hit bent.
Wolf, this strikes me as a very odd thing you’ve posted. Why would the harp be in E on a song in A? If the harp player is using a C harp to play in A, that’s 4th position. All I can conclude from your post is that you think the harp player is way off beam on their approach.
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