Minor keys

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to play now for around 8 months and beginning to get somewhere (not sure where, but somewhere!)

I have noticed that a lot of rock backing tracks are in minor keys. My question is this. Going on the major keys, if a track is in G for example, I would use my C harp, in F, B and so on. Is the relationship the same in minor chords?

For example, if I wanted to accompany a backing track in e minor, would I use an a minor harp?

You might tell from this question that I am no musical genius!!

I have a few minor key harps. They are marked 1st position and 2nd position, but they are meant to be played in 2nd position, starting with the draw on the 2nd hole as the root.

C Eb G C Eb G C Eb G C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
D G Bb D F A Bb D F A


If you look at where the notes fall you can play C Dorian in 1st position and G natural minor in 2nd position.

If you are playing along with a jam track then this harp would go with a G minor backing track. (It also contains the notes of a Bb major scale)

For a bluesy minor track you can use the Major harp of the 4th (same as cross harp for major blues)

So sticking with G minor you would be using a C (Maj)

For example, The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues can be played with an A harp.
The main Verse Riff suggests E minor, with the notes
E E E E E E A Bb B
E E E E E E A Bb B
E E E E E E A Bb B G E E

(Then it goes to A7 and B7 for the chorus giving it an E (major) Blues feel)

Hope that helps and please correct me if I am wrong, I basically wrote it out since I thought it might help my own understanding to try to put down a clear concise explanation.

Converting to minor keys is similar to converting to 2nd position in that you use a circular chart but you count in musical fifths.

Gm= Bb

If you google circle of 5ths you will get charts with the # and b scales too.
You can usually get away with using major diatonic harps to play minor keys however, if you play chords on your harmonica you will probably find the harps tuned to a minor key to be very helpful