In a Zoom lesson this week, the student and I were looking at ways to use the bends on hole 3 and 2.
We eventually started playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” starting on the 2 draw, whole step bend (-2″). It’s ended up being a good way to introduce 12th position, which means playing in the key of F on a C harp. Check out the video above to see how it works.
Why would you play in the key of F on a C harp? Well, because it’s there! But also because it’s a position that focuses on draw notes, and in the low octave that makes it expressive and soulful, since those draw notes can be bent, shaded, played with vibrato.
Also, in the middle octave (holes 4-7) it’s super clean, taking advantage of the built-in blow and draw notes, and very MAJOR sounding, as opposed to cross harp (2nd position) which is major but not in the same sweet way.
12th position potentially gives a more “Stevie Wonder” kind of sound, as compared to the more “Little Walter” sound you get in 2nd position. Obviously both of these are great musical styles, and it’s exciting to have both flavors in your toolkit.
If these kinds of distinctions sound like your cup of tea, feel free to respond and we can schedule a time to talk it through in a lesson!