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David's Tip of the Day: Transcribing Tip - What Position, Part 2

David Barrett Admin's picture

Before we leave this subject of figuring out the key...

If you're trying to figure out the key of a song, and there's no harp playing on the recording you're copying/referencing, upon guessing what the key is, make sure to grab the corresponding harp and play a song you're familiar with to the music. This will confirm that you have chosen the correct key and position of harp.

Let's take your Tongue Block Study 2 Song, "Temperature," for example. You've spent months working on, and in some cases memorizing, this 2nd Position song. You know how this song should sound relative to the band. If you think that a song is in the Key of C, then grab your F Harmonica to play in 2nd Position. Play "Temperature" to it... does it sound right? If it doesn't sound quite right, maybe you guessed incorrectly. Remember my previous tip that you may have found the 5th of the key? This would mean that C may be the 5th note of the key, so you go backwards and get to F. Now grab your Bb Harmonica to play in 2nd Position F. Again, try "Temperature" and it works!

Positions are a tricky thing, and this is a great way to give you some assurance that what you've figured out is correct.