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Cross harp key conundrum

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  • Cross harp key conundrum

    We're having a debate at the BWTB page over which is the correct key of harp need to play crossharp. As I understand it you take the key of a song, say A, and the 4th note up the major scale is your crossharp key, which would be D in this case.

    Look at this chart:  http://harmonicajoe.com/cross-harp-chart/

    Others are saying it's the 5th. I'm not a big time harp player but the rule of the 4th works for me if I want to play blues style harp. Is this where the confusion is happening..blues versus other styles?

    A real deal harp player needs to chime in and educate us here.


  • #2

    Not a real harp player, but the cross harp gives you a flat 7. So it must be at the 4th.

    For example, a blues in C wants a B-flat (CDEFGABbC), which means an F scale, so you use an F harp.

    Hi Mom!

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    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment

      confound them...it is a 4th above...or a 5th below...


  • #3

    I think a "real" harp player could probably get by with an "E" harp because you've got the flat five of the A chord and the flat five D chord, and you would only have to flatten the third of the E scale to get the seventh.  A real harp player might even be able to use a C harp because C major pentatonic is the A minor pentatonic scale.

    BUT having said all of the above, IME cross harp is a fourth up. So D major gives you the A mixolydian mode - which is what you want.

     I recall a time when I was a kid, maybe 12 or 13, and thought I would play harp.  I went out and bought my first one in E because E was the key of the blues.  Unfortunately I found out that I had to play in the key of B, and the only song I could play along to was Junior Well's Messing With The Kid. Boy that was a long time ago.

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    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment

      no, you needed an A harp, not a B...


  • #4

    Shart wrote:

    We're having a debate at the BWTB page over which is the correct key of harp need to play crossharp. As I understand it you take the key of a song, say A, and the 4th note up the major scale is your crossharp key, which would be D in this case.

    Look at this chart:  http://harmonicajoe.com/cross-harp-chart/

    Others are saying it's the 5th. I'm not a big time harp player but the rule of the 4th works for me if I want to play blues style harp. Is this where the confusion is happening..blues versus other styles?

    A real deal harp player needs to chime in and educate us here.


    Yes, the 'cross" of A is D, but you can also use a G for some songs in A. Try it some time.

    Comment


    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment

      that is third position...


  • #5

    Shart wrote:

    We're having a debate at the BWTB page over which is the correct key of harp need to play crossharp. As I understand it you take the key of a song, say A, and the 4th note up the major scale is your crossharp key, which would be D in this case.

    Look at this chart:  http://harmonicajoe.com/cross-harp-chart/

    Others are saying it's the 5th. I'm not a big time harp player but the rule of the 4th works for me if I want to play blues style harp. Is this where the confusion is happening..blues versus other styles?

    A real deal harp player needs to chime in and educate us here.


     

     

    That chart is very handy - thank you!

     

    I work with a guy who plays Sax and Blues Harp.

    And when we do a song and he asks what key I'm singing it in, we know how to work out what key he needs to play his Alto sax in but not the Blues Harp. This will be really helpful.

     

     

     

     

    www.smoothduo.co.uk

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    • #6

      Here's a nice little list of songs with harp keys:

      http://www.harpinanawhinin.com/lists/blues_song_keys.htm

       

      Hi Mom!

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