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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Chugging a V chord?
Chugging a V chord?
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97 posts
Jul 10, 2022
3:30 PM
If you are chugging along for harmony and rhythm, and you hit the V chord, what do you do, since a Richter harp has no V chord?
3060 posts
Jul 10, 2022
6:04 PM
I assume you are inhaling, that’s definitely a V chord.
If you need V of V, use a Country tuned.
773 posts
Jul 11, 2022
8:24 AM
If Im doing rhythm;

In cross harp;
I will split tongue the 1 n 4 draw [root of V chord] and sometimes bend n release that, several times to get b5 to 5 sound-
U have to be able to split tongue bend--it doesn't always sound good, depends on the feel of the song

then reverse split 1 n 4 blow for [root of IV chord]

or simply blow any holes for Iv chord
3681 posts
Jul 11, 2022
8:38 AM
If you want to do chord chugging on the V chord, get another harp that's in first position of the key that you're playing in, for example, if you're playing in the key of A, for the I and IV chords, you use a D in 2nd position and then you use an A played in 2nd position for the V chord. Really simple and also very basic music theory as well.
Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA
CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
Todd Parrott
1530 posts
Jul 11, 2022
5:17 PM
I use 1 and 2 draw. This is technically cheating, but it works. The 1 draw is the dominant sounding note that bleeds through, but the 2 draw is included mainly for a little reed noise. The 2 draw isn't part of the V chord, but this usually isn't noticable when chugging. If you're in a situation where a producer or an artist really wants the sound of a true V chord, then using a second harp as barbequebob describes is the way to go. Many of the Nashville players use the method I described (1 and 2 draw) as well, which is where I learned it (especially Terry McMillan and Buddy Greene). Hope this helps!

Last Edited by Todd Parrott on Jul 11, 2022 5:18 PM
98 posts
Jul 12, 2022
9:15 AM
Thanks, fellas.
3061 posts
Jul 13, 2022
8:04 AM
The two notes (let’s use a C) are D and G.
You could say this is a Vsus chord if you want to.
I can’t consider this to be a V chord, but I bet if I heard Todd do it, I would find it acceptable.
I REALLY like real triads, but the standard tuning of the 10 hole has only three—on that C harp, they are C, G7, and Dm6.
Harmonetta time!
99 posts
Apr 22, 2023
2:30 PM
The original post of this discussion, which I wrote nine months ago, has bothered me "like a splinter in [my] mind". I appreciate the insightful responses above, but have felt that I was still missing ... something.

As my understanding of musical modes has developed, I have become increasingly aware that MUCH (if not MOST) of early blues (read: pre- rock influence) is not a of a I-IV-V progression (which implies a Major Key or Ionian Mode), but rather of a I-IV-v progression in Mixolydian Mode.

This helps to explain why the "five chord" of a C harp in cross position -- v minor (DFA) rather than V major (DF#A) -- WORKS in a G Mixolydian context.

Taken further, a harp of alternate tuning should produce a CEGB seventh IV chord rather than a CEGBb seventh IV chord.

p.s. -- I know darned well that what I say here will not be definitively true. But I hope that there is enough truth in it to catalyze even better contributions, from which I will undoubtedly learn.

Last Edited by IaNerd on Apr 22, 2023 3:25 PM
3119 posts
Apr 23, 2023
9:39 AM
Well, you can draw bend hole 5 to the flat 7 with the “Country” tuned note.
I am afraid I am no Joe Filisko, blues is not really my thing.
But evidently, harmonica is (now) (stupid rabbit hole).
1793 posts
May 21, 2023
1:10 PM
Actually, a lot of early blues - and gospel, too - had no chord changes at all, but implied both the IV and V chords melodically. (Later artists heard the implications and turned them into actual chords.)

So there's nothing to clash with (except the melody itself, and the Draw 2 and 5 both work against the *implied* V chord.

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Last Edited by WinslowYerxa on May 22, 2023 10:40 AM
1794 posts
May 21, 2023
1:20 PM

Can you come with an example of a I IV v song in blues?

Conceiving your harmony modally based on the major scale is a false path. Singing or playing the minor blues scale against a monochord, or, only later, against I IV V changes, produces several of the tensions you're trying to resolve. But they're great tensions, and a signature part of the music.

Pre-rock? Listen to Muddy Waters. Full V7 chord, and the Draw 5 wailing against it. That Draw 5 is a blue note. It clashes technically both with the IV and V major chords, yet sounds great, and distinctivaly bluesy, against both.

You can rationalize this in European-cum-jazz harmonic terms by designating the V chord as V7#9 - in other words, Draw 5 is not the lowered third but the raised ninth added to a 7th chord. But this seem too highfalutin considering where blues came from. Rather, it's a superimposition of a melodic path on a harmonic progression (or, more historically, it's a harmonic progression inserted underneath a melodic path).
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