RE: [Harp-L] amazin' grace on harp

Hello Rick - first, let me add my prayers and condolences.  Losing a friend is tough.

I've played Amazing Grace at many church functions, including funerals.  Playing it in 2nd position on an ordinary 10-hole harp will do the job, and the suggestions that have been given here (key changes, positions, etc) are all good.  The only thing I'd add is be sure you visit the upper octave - it's particularly effective on tunes of this kind.

There's one other option you may want to consider.  Amazing Grace can be played very soulfully, with a lot of bends, key changes and other techniques.  But the first time I was asked to play this song at a funeral, the deceased was a very conservative, well-loved old matriarch from our church.  For her, I thought a more old-fashioned "straighter" reading of the tune was called for.  Depending on what kind of feeling you want at your friend's funeral, you may want to think about playing Amazing Grace on a chromatic, or  - if you have access to one - on a Lee Oskar Melody Maker (which is what I use these days).  You can still play it in 2nd position, but you won't have to depend quite so much on bends to hit the right notes.


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