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Q: What are the other “positions”?

Harmonica positions (at least diatonic ones; nobody seems to have
established a common practice for chromatic) are numbered according to the
cycle of fifths.

First position is, of course, C on a C harp, as that is the blow
chord and the major scale to which the harp is tuned.

Second position is based on the draw chord, G, which is the next
obvious position. G is the fifth degree of the C major scale.

Third position is based on the D minor draw chord found a little
further up the harp. Again, D is the fifth degree when you count
up from G.

Pretty much everyone agrees on these numberings, but after that,
until recently, everybody made up their own designations
depending on which positions they considered useful.

In the last ten years, players have taken to extending the
practice of going up a fifth for the next position number. We can
go all the way around the chromatic scale this way, naming twelve
positions:

1st
C
12th 2nd
F G

11th 3rd
Bb D

10th 4th
Eb . A

8th 5th
Ab E

8th 6th
Db B
7th
Gb
(F#)

This is for a C harp. For a G harp. you’d have to rotate the
pitch band counterclockwise one position until it was under
“1st.”

Most of the time, you’ll be likely to choose the positions
immediately to the right or left of first as being the most
comfortable — 02 & 04 Jul 94 WY

Or try acronyms 😉 e.g.. Funky Cats Get Down And Enjoy Bad Food During
Another Evening’s Booking !?

Positionally, where 1 = straight harp, 2 = cross, 3= 3rd,etc:

  F  C  G  D  A  E  B F# Db Ab Eb Bb
                Gb C# G# D# A#
 12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12
  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  1
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  1  2
  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  1  2  3
  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  1  2  3  4
  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  1  2  3  4  5
  7  8  9 10 11 12  1  2  3  4  5  6
  8  9 10 11 12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  9 10 11 12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
 10 11 12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 11 12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10

— 4 Nov 94 HA

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