Improvising using 12 Bar Blues Root Notes in 3rd Position on C harmonica

May 25, 2016 | Advanced Intermediate Harmonica Lessons

Hello, welcome to this week’s harmonica lesson where I am going to show you the root notes of a 12 bar blues in 3rd position.

This will help you get started improvising in 3rd position.

For this lesson you will need a harmonica in the key of C. This means we will playing over a backing track in the key of D.




12 bar blues theory

In a 12 bar blues there are 3 chords. The I chord, the IV chord and the V chord

In 2nd position, the root notes of these are the 2 draw, 4 blow and 4 draw

In 3rd position you just move these up 2 holes.

The I chord is the 4 draw

The IV Chord is the 6 blow


The V chord is the 6 draw

This means that we can improvise over the 12 bar blues using just these notes.

Exercise 1

Try improvising over this backing track using just the root notes above.

Lower Octave

Part of the fun of 3rd position is how easy it is to play over 2 octaves. This means we can also play the root notes down an octave

The I chord is the 1 draw

The IV chord is the 3 blow

The V chord is the 3 draw (whole step bend).

Really make sure that your 3 draw whole step bend is accurate and doesn’t sound out of tune over the V chord

Exercise 2

Now you can try improvising over the backing track using the lower octave root notes

Homework

I suggest you keep practicing improvising just using the root notes for now until it becomes second nature.

Then, next week I will be showing you how you can play and use the blues scale in 3rd position.

Thank you

Thank you so much for taking part in this lesson. I hope it was useful for you. If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with your friends.

See you again for the next harmonica video!

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