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Harmonica Lessons: 12th Position Intermediate: Finding the Right Harp

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All right, well, this is twelfth position,
the key of F on a C harp, and
I pointed it out to you before,
and I explained that a lot of
the reason why people didn't
play in this key was that
the just intonation harmonicas,
the tuning of them is such that
the F is extremely flat, so
that the fifth hole draw,
which is F, being your tonic,
if it's too flat,
no one's gonna wanna play in that key.
So, with an equal tempered harmonica,
hopefully the fifth hole draw isn't so
flat, and we can also, of course,
get F now on the bottom of the harmonica.
[SOUND] The natural mode of
this position is Lydian Mode.
And so, if you're looking for
twelfth position on a harmonica, it's the
fourth note up from the key of the harp.
So, on a C harmonica you go C, D,
E, F, that's how you get to F.
And conversely, if you say, I wanna
play in fourth position in the key of G,
in other words, I wanna find a harmonica
to play in G in fourth position,
not in second position,
not in cross harp, not in third position,
but in fourth position.
So, G is the fourth note of what scale?
Well, you have to go back down.
So you can go, G, F, E, D, and,
lo and behold, it's the D harmonica,
even though technically it's F sharp
as the third note of the scale of D.
But it doesn't really matter.
In the white key harmonicas,
it doesn't really matter.
It's only when you get into the black
key harmonicas, like A flat,
B flat, F sharp harmonica,
E flat harmonica, and D flat harmonica.
That's when you start having to
learn more about music theory.
So, just a little digression, just to
figure out which key harmonica to use,
because I am actually going to use the D
harmonica to play blues in G later on.
So here we are, back in F Lydian.
Second hole draw bend.
You bend down all the way.
.And, you know, the Lydian
mode has a sort of spacey feeling,
like it makes you kind of
raise your eyebrows and
go, let's keep an open
mind about this new possibility.
And the Simpson's theme.
It's because they're slightly goofy and
slightly wacky and slightly weird, and so,
they have an unsettling mode in the theme
of that song, and it's the Lydian mode.
Again, I'm using those little ornaments,
sort of sounding like
Indian music a little bit.
It's the same bend that goes,
but now it's,
bending up to the 2nd, and
you find as you go around the world and
play for people in different cultures,
the notes that really grab them might not
be the same notes that
grab you in the blues.
Although, people love
the blues all over the world,
they also love a lot of
other kinds of music, and
if you play the kinds of music that
are the native music to these countries,
if you can get the right expression
on them, it's very much appreciated.
So, people really will be blow away
if you're in India and you go
And in America,
they wouldn't mind it either.