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Harmonica Lessons: "Hey Joe"

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[MUSIC].
Hey Joe where you going
with that gun in your hand.
This is one of those classic rock tunes,
and
it has a very distinctive
chord progression.
It goes around the circle of fifths.
[SOUND] C [SOUND] G [SOUND]
D [SOUND] A [SOUND] E.
So it's kind of deceptive because it
starts on the flatted sixth of E.
[MUSIC]
And it's actually in E, so
this makes it a very unusual rock song,
or pop song,
this is more of the kind of
stuff that you find in jazz
with tunes like giant steps,
that start on the flat 6.
[MUSIC]
Stuff like that, but this is Hey Joe.
Which is,
which was made famous by Jimi Hendrix.
[MUSIC]
Hey Joe, where you going
with that gun in your hand.
And that was Hendricks sounded
totally new and original and
fresh in 1966 when he was playing this.
So one of the members here,
I think is Raphael Ortega,
and he asked, What's a good key
harmonica to play Hey Joe on?
This is a really great question because
it's and unusual chord progression.
It's not like a blues progression.
But if you listen to Hendrix's soloing
over the chords he's just playing blues
licks.
I'm just going to start with the solo part
[MUSIC].
I'm gonna play the chord on an E harp.
Just playing E's, E Blues licks.
[MUSIC]
So he's going.
[MUSIC]
And there's no
real chords underneath him.
When he played it live, it was just
a trio with guitar, bass and drums.
So I'm not even going to fill
in any thirds or anything.
You'll hear.
[MUSIC]
See, blues licks fit
over all those chords.
Now, if I were to play
the chords more fully,
I'd have to try to follow
the chord progression.
[MUSIC]
So that C chord on an A harmonica would
be like an E flat chord
on a C harp [SOUND] 4th
hole over blow, that's the key of C.
[MUSIC]
And then G, which would be like 11th
position, the third hole
draw bent on a half step.
[MUSIC]
And then D [SOUND] which a 12th position
[SOUND] which is the fifth
whole draw key and
now we're getting closer
the next one is A,
A on the A harp first position [SOUND] and
then E which is cross over [SOUND] So
it depends on which way you approach it.
If you want to approach it like
the blues musician would approach it.
Just playing blues licks
as long as somebody's not
playing really full bodied
chords you can get away with it.
Now the question of the actual
melody of the song which goes.
[MUSIC]
Now, the very first
note of that melody.
[MUSIC]
is the fourth hole over blow.
The rest of it's okay.
[MUSIC].
Or you can harmonize it
like later on in the tune
[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
That' s like the higher
harmony part starting on six blow
[MUSIC]
just the notes of the scale
[MUSIC]
it's a very simple tune because it's just
the same exact chords over and
over and over again.
Very unusual.
For a song to have just five
chords over and over again, but
there's something about it.
It's a storytelling thing, too, and
the story unfolds and
it's kind of like a narration.
And then when Hendrix plays it, he
obviously gets a little more extraverted
than the original version, which
didn't have wild guitar playing in it.
So then the famous lick.
[MUSIC]
Which ties together
all the chords.
[MUSIC]
Its one of the great licks in the history
of rock and roll now playing
it on an a harp it requires
a knowledge of how to play overblows and
overdraws and
really the a harp is the best
harp to play it on so
unless some of you if
any of you want to find
other harps that all these things fit on,
I'll just give you a clue.
The D harp.
[LAUGH] But then, you gotta harp
that's really low or really high.
It's not quite the same thing.
I really think it sounds
great on the a harp.
So, I'll play this tune for
you for a little while here.
[MUSIC]
Excuse me.
[MUSIC]
Here's
the
lick.
[MUSIC]
I missed it, but
I'll play it the second time.
[MUSIC].
Whatever.
I tried to play a lick an octave
higher for you that last time.
Good luck trying this.
[MUSIC]