Key/Position/Scales Resources?

Sorry if this has already been asked but does anyone know of a “one stop” resource for the different keys with their associated scales and positions? Like a decent book or “cheat sheet” or something? I’m finishing up the Beginner to Boss course and thinking about signing up for the blues course, but in the meantime I’d like to buy some new harps in different keys and would like to have something to help me get familiar with them. My thought (hope) being that it will help as I learn more theory…

4 Likes

No but I’ll certainly be following this conversation :disguised_face:

3 Likes

Hi @hwy61xroads

I suggest combing through our forum and bookmarking any of the many good & instructive posts that already exist here. You can make your own “cheat sheet” based on these posts. :point_left:

Another great resource is learning how to use the circle of 5ths – and there are both apps (for smart phones) and YouTube videos to get you going with this very excellent resource.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I love the forum here and have a pretty good Circle of Fifths app (TONALY on iOS if anyone’s interested) but I was hoping for something a little more “analog” so I don’t need to pull out my phone or computer to reference it. I’ve found some books/encyclopedias online but reviews are mixed. Just wondered if anyone here has ever come across something worth recommending.

3 Likes

Hi @hwy61xroads

I used some posterboard (thick paper) and constructed my own, rotating/sliding “analog” circle of 5ths in maybe 20 minutes or so. It is easy to make. When I get back home (next week) I will look for the YouTube video that shows how to do it.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

2 Likes

I think this one from the Lee Oskar site pretty much covers it?

In my lesson:

If go to the section on the circle of 5ths I have a chart there that includes 6th, 7th, and 12th position as well.

Hope that helps! :sunglasses:

4 Likes

Yes, very helpful. Thanks, @Luke! Is there a good collection of scales anywhere? Finishing up the course, we’re encouraged to run the blues scale while improvising (as you know of course :joy:). So C-major and blues I’ve got now, but what other scales can I learn and practice in other keys (e.g. A or G harmonicas) as I try to expand my knowledge?

2 Likes

Hi @hwy61xroads

First thing to learn is that the major scale that has the same name as the key of a blues harp (e.g. C major on a C harp, or Bb major on a Bb harp, etc) is played in exactly the same way on each harp!!
+1 -1 +2 -2" -2 -3" -3 +4
-4 +5 -5 +6 -6 -7 +7
-8 +8 -9 +9 -10 +10’ +10
Is the major scale for each blues harp.

Perhaps the next best thing to know is that the blues scale (for example, on a C harp played in 2nd position that is the G minor blues scale) is exactly the same for any other harp (see Luke’s @Luke diagram given above for 2nd position for any harp). So let’s say you have an Ab harp: 2nd position is for playing in the key of Eb and you would play the Eb minor blues scale exactly the same as the G minor blues scale on a C harp.

This concept applies to each key of blues harp, for each position given in Luke’s diagram (and its corresponding scale key).

So first learn how to play the four positions for the C harp (I personally suggest finding & learning also 5th position) and then you can use exactly these patterns of drawing & blowing for the 4 or 5 positions & scales for any blues harp.

If you do not yet know how the pattern is for your C harp for any position, the answer has already been posted on this forum by Luke or myself or some else – you just need to look around for it. Or find someone with enough free time who will post it again for you – but that would be a bit inconsiderate, IMO.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

5 Likes

That clears up a LOT. Thanks, @Slim! Yeah the positions are easy enough to find but I honestly had no idea the scales translated identically from harp to harp :exploding_head: Now I can really get to work. Thanks again!

3 Likes

The major pentatonic scales are a lot of fun:

Here’s more blues scale / arpeggio info than you ever wanted:

4 Likes

Thanks @Luke!

4 Likes