Harmonica Hole

What is the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position on the harmonica?

I dont understand what it means. All these sites use those terms and say that certain songs are played in certain positions, yet I dont know what it means by this.

Hmmm..can anyone help?

1st Position- When you play mostly blow notes (usually in the middle portion of the harmonica) on a key of "C" harmonica you will be in the key of "C". This style of playing is called 1st position or "Straight Harp". This is commonly used for simple melodies like "Oh Sussanah" and widely used in a folk context, a la Bob Dylan. Most beginners will start with songs played in the 1st position.

2nd Position (cross harp)- When you play mostly draw notes at the low end of the harmonica (holes 1 through 5 draw), you are no longer in the key of the harmonica, but actually in a key which is a perfect 5th (or seven half-steps) up from the key of the harmonica. If you play in 2nd position on a key of "C" harmonica you will now be in the key of "G". This is the way most blues, rock, and country players will use the diatonic harmonica.

3rd Position- When you play mostly draw notes in the middle part of the harmonica (holes 4 through 6 draw), you are no longer in the key of the harmonica, but actually in a key which is a major 2nd (or two half-steps) up from the key of the harmonica. If you play in 3rd position on a key of "C" harmonica you will now be in the key of "D" (actually it would be more accurately called "D minor").

3rd position is great for songs in minor keys and can be used in certain blues situations. Your basic starting or ending place (point of resolution) would be the 4 draw hole. The primary emphasis in playing would be the holes 4 through 6 draw.

Hope this helped.

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