Learn Little Walter’s Top 3 Songs

By Alex Paclin

Written by Alex Paclin on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Harmonica Lessons, Harmonica Players

The Little Walter songs Key To The Highway, Juke and My Babe are arguably 3 of the best in his repertoire. Let’s explore and learn how to play them on harmonica.

This is a lot more fun when you have the
essential harmonica foundational techniques and the
essential blues harmonica techniques in your pocket before attempting to play these.

Key To The Highway (C harmonica, 2nd pos, key of G)

A song that was written by Big Bill Broonzy and Charlie Segar later was adapted by Little Walter as a Chicago blues with a full band. The song was a hit, spending fourteen weeks in the Billboard R&B chart where it reached number six in 1958.

Key To The Highway by Little Walter
C Harmonica, 2nd Position, Key of G

-4 -4’ -3’ -2 -2” -1
-4 -4 -4 -4’ -3’ -2 -2” -1 1
-2 -3’ -2 -2” -1 -3’ 1 -2 -1 -1

solo
-3’4 -4’\ -2 -3’ -2
-3’ 4 3 -2”
-2 -3’ 4 -3’ -4 -4  \-2 -2” -2
-3’4 4 -3’ -4 -4’ -3’ -2
\-2 -2” -1
-2” -3’ -2
-3’ 4 3 -3’ -2 -2” -2 4 3 -2 -2” -2” -1

Juke (A harmonica, 2nd pos, key of E)

Deep-toned harmonica instrumental that features long saxophone-like phrases. “Juke” was Little Walter’s first hit, and it was the most important of his career. Due to the influence of Little Walter on blues harmonica, “Juke” is now considered a blues harmonica standard.

Juke by Little Walter
A Harmonica, 2nd Position, Key of E

-2 -3″ -3 -4 5 36 36 (x8)
-2 -3” -3 -4 5 -5 -4 5 -4
5 6 -5 -4 5 6 -5 -4 4 -3’ -2
-2 2 -2 -1 -1

-1 2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2” -1 2 -2
-2 -2  -2 -2 -2” -1 2 -2
-2 -2 -2   -2 -2 2
-2 -2 -2   -2 -2
-3” -3 -4 5 -4 5 -5 5 -3’ -2 -2” -1 1 -1
-2 -2 2 -2

My Babe (Bb harmonica, 2nd pos, key of F)

My Babe is a Chicago blues song written by Willie Dixon for Little Walter. Released on Checker Records, the song was the only Dixon composition ever to become a number one R&B single and it was one of the biggest hits of either of their careers.

My Babe by Little Walter
Bb Harmonica, 2nd Position, Key of F

3 -3’4 -2 -2
4 4 -3’4 -2
3 -3’4 -2 -2
4 4 -3’4 -2

-1 -2 -3 -4
-3’4 -2 -1 2 -2     -1 -2”
3 -3’4trill  -5 6 5 -5 -3’ -2 -2 1 -1
-3’4 -2 -2
-34 -34 -3’4 -34
-34 1 -2
-34 -2 -2” -1 -1

-1 -2 -3 -4 -4’5/ -4’ -3’ -2
-4’ -4 -4’ -3’ -2
-4’ -4 -4’ -4 -4’ -4 -5 -2 -2
-3’ -3’    -3’ -2 -1 -1 -2” -2
-3’ -3 -4 -5 6 -5 5 -4 4 -3’ -3” -2 -2″ -1
-3’4trill -2 -2” -1 -1 1 -2 -2
-3’4trill -1 1 -2 -2” -1 -1

Please let me know if the comment section below if this lesson was useful to you?

Comments (1)

  • Avatar

    Lenny Ramp

    |

    Listing to all those blues legends is why I play Blues Harp.

    Reply

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