If the band is playing something in Am I would try using a G harp and play it in 3rd position. You could also try an F harp and play it in 5th position. This same method applies to other minor key music (e.g. song in Dm: play a C harp in 3rd position or play a Bb harp in 5th position; etc).
@Slim I know it would be good to figure this out on my own, but I’d appreciate your input. So are the bends really a hindrance playing crossharp for minor if Blues scale offers enough tonal variety or is it the lack of chords.? What are the big downers for playing blues /rock in Gm with a C harp?
Unless you are solid and always sure to hit your -3’ and can play -2" without trouble then using the C harp to play in Gm songs is fine. Of course the -7 is a no-go (just like the -3). So it is cool to be able to do the +6o (six overblow, which is like the -3’ just an ocave higher), but not everyone can do that well enough to play it on stage. Also, the -4’ in the next higher octave is missing – unless you can overdraw on hole 7 (again something that few people can play well – or at all – unless they are really good and have the harp set up to do that).
So, I hope, you are starting to see the “troubles” that playing a C harp in 2nd position over a song in Gm can present. Compare all of this with playing a F harp in 3rd position and you should be able to see that your biggest challenge will probably only be the -3" and -3’". And they are easier to get reasonably good than those overblow/overdraw things that occur with the C harp in 2nd position.
As far as chords go: there is no problem if you don’t wish to play chords – I am more of a melody player so someone else might be better to give you tips there.
@josher33 welcome to the forum Jesse! So happy to have you here. Sorry I missed this.
3rd position in the middle octave is not difficult to play. You do have to re-learn the order of the notes, where is home-base etc. But you can play the minor scale (Dorian minor specifically) without having to do any bends.
Playing minor in 2nd position requires VERY GOOD BENDING TECHNIQUE. It’s not easy for beginners or even most intermediate players to play minor in 2nd position. (But pro’s do it all the time.)
The natural minor harmonicas are awesome because you can just play everything that you would normally play in second position, except it sounds minor.
I encourage you to Post specifically what songs you’re wanting to play harmonica on. Because there are some songs that work better in various positions for various reasons.