New with specific question

Hi everyone.

I’m brand spankin’ new, and need your help. I want to learn to play Gillian Welch’s Six White Horses harmonica part. The song is in the key of Eb (playing in double C tuning with a capo at the 3rd fret and the 5th string tuned to Bb). So…using the circle/cycle of 5ths, I could either use a harmonica in the key of Eb (if playing straight), a Bd (if playing second position), or an F (if playing third position). Well…which position is being played in that song?
Gillian Welch - Six White Horses

Howdy Lorena, and welcome!
You need to go the other way on the circle of fifths
and select an Ab harmonica for second position.
Can you draw bend the bottom holes yet (bend all the way
as far as they will go)? If not, trying anything, even in second
position (probably the easiest position), will be frustrating beyond
belief. If you don’t have your technique down so you can bend
half step, whole step, and 1 1/2 steps where available, you won’t
be able to play in positions other than first. As you try more position
playing, you will have to learn more technique such as overblows,
overdraws, and there are more.
I responded to the “brand spanking new” statement which I assume
means you have just begun the learning process. If you are already
past the “bending point,” get the Ab for second position.


Hi Bugleboy. Thanks for the welcome! :slight_smile:

I was going by this website to figure out the harmonica key:
Am I misinterpreting what they are saying?

I’ve just started bending notes, and I have good ear. I usually pick up on things by ear alone. So I’m not past the bending point, I’m teetering there. I just moved and have only been able to find a D harmonica at home (they are my daughter’s “toys” hohner special 20s, I got them for her as a present a couple of years ago) - I can bend hole 1 quite easily, but the others are still challenging. I’ve ordered one in key of C to practice (too impatient to find the others…plus, they’ve never received any kind of maintenance and I’m sure my daughter has drooled lots in there).

Would you recommend a good youtube learning series? I know it’s very subjective, but I’d be happy to know what you would find helpful for a newbie. :slight_smile: I’m very eager to get started!

Adam Gussow has a whole training series on yucktube.