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Learn how  to play Little Walter Key to the highway on your harmonica

Hi and welcome to this harmonica school intermediate level lesson, today I’m going to teach you a cool Little Walter harp solo, performed by the great harmonica master in the song known as Key to the highway. This tune has been issued in 1958 By checker, US

In case you need, here you can find a good harmonica.

Also In this online lesson we’ll perform some very common tongue blocking features that provide a great rhythm, taking advantage of this technique nuance, where chords and melodic elements work together.

You’ll practice with me the licks that form the blues chorus sections and play them on the provided play-along video.

Intermediate level harmonica players are welcome to enjoy learning this blues harp solo by one of the most rewarded harmonica players, improving the way they play in second position, aka the cross harp.

In order to perform this tune we’ll use a C harmonica like in the original Little Walter song, and we’ll play it in 2nd position. For this lesson I’m using a Hohner special 20 as usual, wheraes the song key is G. In the provided video below on this page, you’ll find the tablature on which the harmonica holes are notated. Follow my indications and play after having listened to me! No talking in these harmonica lesson series, just playing, learning and having fun.

Song analysis:

Playing difficulty level: Intermediate harmonica level.

Note bending skills: Draw bending on holes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Lesson focus: Playing the blues scale, integrating blues riffs and melodic blues licks on the low end harmonica notes; Tongue blocking technique features like slaps and pulls, rhythmic harmonica playing and glissando effect. We’ll apply a sustained bending on hole 4 and fast note passages.

How to read the video lesson tab:

How to read the video lesson tabs:

One plus symbol means to blow the harmonica hole.

An apostrophe means to bend the note of a half-tone.

A double apostrophe means to bend the note of a whole-tone.

A triple apostrophe means to bend the note of three steps.

A dot before the notes means to use tongue blocking articulations.

^ means playing the note with a ‘dip’ bending.

R before a note means reaching that note with a glissando effect.

Sh means ‘shake playing’ or ‘warlbe’.

Ft means ’Flutter tungue’ techinque.

P means ‘Pull technique’.

V means ‘Vibrato effect’

Tr means ‘Tremolo effect’.

Here is the tablature for this lesson:

3' 4+ 3' 2 3' 2

3' 4+ 2 2'' 

2 3' 4+ 3' 4' 4 4', 4

3' r2 2

3' 4+ 3' 4' 4 4' 3' 2

3' 2 2'' 1 1

2'' 3' 2

3' 4+ 3 2'' 1 1' 1 4+

2 2, 2'' 2'' 1

In today's lesson you learned how to play the Little Walter solo he performed in his version of the song named Key to the highway. If you enjoyed learning this tune with your harp, you might want to improve your harmonica skills: enroll for free in my online school harmonica courses here.

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