You’ll need an A harmonica for Big Boss Man and Bright Lights Big City. I also cover a bit of a 3rd song “You Don’t Have to Go” which uses a Bb harmonica.
Special guest, Nic Clark, performed 2 Jimmy Reed songs for the class (the day before class). That performance was recorded and is also included in the notes via a hyperlink up top. You’ll also find the class recording there as well.
In this class, I will be discussing one of the most important pioneers of blues harmonica, Mr. Jimmy Reed. We are going to examine two songs: Big Boss Man, in the key of E on an A harp (2nd position) and Bright Lights, Big City, key of A on an A harmonica (1st position). These are two of his well known hits and by studying these two songs, you get a great feel for Jimmy Reed’s approach and style in both 1st and 2nd position. I also included the introduction and a few lines from the solo of “You Don’t Have to Go” in F on a Bb harp.
What I love above Jimmy Reed is that he always plays the pocket and finds interesting riffs that seem to be tailor made for his songs. There’s nothing flashy or complex but his nuanced attack can be tricky to get just right.
These songs are more than appropriate for a beginner intermediate and beyond! Walk away with some cool Jimmy Reed riffs in 2nd and 1st position. Jimmy Reed influenced so many artists out there.