Chord number and position

Would someone explain the relationship of playing in different positions and a numbered chords composition…ie are the notes of say chord one the same playing position 1 or 2?


Hi @expat48

I assume you mean playing, for example, the chord C major as chord one (in a song in C major). The actual notes (CEG) are identical and independent of position.

If you mean: are the holes played in 1st & 2nd position the same: No, they are not. Let’s say you play a song in C major on a C harp in 1st position. Chord one is the chord C major and can be played in various ways, such as by using holes +1 +2 & +3 (CEG) or any other set of holes that produce CEG.

Now to play the same C major chord (as chord one) in 2nd position you would use an F harp. Now C major is played for example using holes -2 -3 & -4 or any combination of holes producing CEG.

– Slim :sunglasses:


Roger got it , thanks slim.


Great question


Yes @Slim explained it very well and seems like it made sense to you @expat48.

I’ll say something else now, looking at everything from one harmonica, a C harmonica.

Playing in 1st position is the KEY OF C.

Therefore, blowing 123 (or blowing anywhere) is a C chord, so it’s the I Chord.
Drawing -234 is a G chord. G is up 5 letter names from C, so it’s the V chord.

All of this is because of CONTEXT: the song we’re playing is in the key of C.

Alternatively, we can use a C harmonica to play in the key of G, which is called 2nd position.

Now -234 is still a G chord, but it’s the I chord
Now 123 (or blowing anywhere) is still a C chord, but it’s up 4 letter names form G, so it’s the IV chord

All of this is because of CONTEXT: the song we’re playing is in the key of G.

I know this might seem very confusing, but keep exposing yourself to it, and it WILL make more sense over time!


Thanks Luke…that makes a bit more sense. Slowly, slowly it’s coming together. So, if I relax, breath and let the music be as it will I can do this…


Thank you for this info. I have been so confused but this helps make it start to make sense. All I know is to try to play the holes I’m told to.