Jimmy Mack chords by Martha and The Vandellas


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Jimmy Mack | Chords + Lyrics

Intro (0:00)

| Ebm | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb |
Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
| Ebm7 | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb Ab |
Jimmy Mack, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.

Verse 1 (0:17)

| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Gb Ab |
My arms are missing you, my lips feel the same way too.
| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
I tried so hard to be true, like I promised I’d do.
| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
But this guy keeps comin’ around, he’s tryin’ to wear my resistance down.

Chorus 1 (0:39)

| Ebm | Emb7 | Db | Gb |
Hey, Jimmy, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
| Ebm7 | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb Ab |
Jimmy, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, you better hurry back.

Verse 2 (0:54)

| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Gb Ab |
He calls me on the phone, about three times a day.
| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
Now my heart doesn’t listen to, what he has to say.
| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
But this loneliness I have within is reaching out to be his friend.

Chorus 2 (1:16)

| Ebm | Emb7 | Db | Gb |
Hey, Jimmy, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
| Ebm7 | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb Ab |
Jimmy, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, you better hurry back.

Chorus tag 1 (1:31)

| Db Gb | Db Gb |
Need your loving (Jimmy Mack, won’t hurry back).
| Db Gb | Gb Ab |
Need your loving (Jimmy Mack, you better hurry back).

Solo (1:38)

| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
| Ebm | Emb7 Ab | Db Gb | Gb Ab |

Verse 3 (1:53)

| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
I wanna say, I’m not getting any stronger, I can’t hold out very much longer.
| Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb | Db Gb |
Trying hard, to be true. But Jimmy he talks just as sweet as you.

Chorus 3 (2:08)

| Ebm | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb |
Hey, Jimmy, Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you comin’ back.
| Ebm7 | Gbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 | Gb Ab |
Jimmy, can’t you hear me Jimmy. Oh, Jimmy Mack, you better hurry back.

Chorus tag 2 (2:23)

| Db Gb | Db Gb | Ebm | Ebm7 |
Need your loving (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack). Need your loving (Hurry, hurry).

Outro (2:30)

||: Db Gb :||
Hey Jimmy Mack, you better hurry back (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack).
Hey Jimmy Mack, when are you coming back (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack).
Oh, I’m not getting any stronger (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack, oh).
I can’t hold out very much longer (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack, oh).
Jimmy Mack when are you coming back (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack, oh).
Need your loving. Oh Jimmy Mack (Hurry back, Jimmy Mack, oh).


You can learn how to play Jimmy Mack!

Jimmy Mack is a 1967 single by Martha and the Vandellas. Written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, it would become the group’s 2nd most successful song, after Dancing In The Street.

Jimmy Mack has been included in the intermediate electric guitar course because it’s a great example of a song that can do with having its chords extended, or even better – substituted!

Below, you find a guitar lesson from the course, discussing chord substitution for the intro of Jimmy Mack.

The path to success with playing rhythm parts is to know your CAGED shapes so well that you can move around the fretboard in an improvised way.

In Jimmy Mack, we’re in the key of Db, because this is a difficult key for guitar players, taking the lesson below will be a great test to see how well you actually know your chord shapes, especially when you start substituting, enjoy!


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Jimmy Mack guitar lesson | Intro chords, substitution, progression, and TAB

Let’s start working on the intro for Jimmy Mack. First, we must work out the key and the roman numerals.

In the key of C, the chords would be: Cmaj7 (I) Dm7 (II) Em7 (III) Fmaj7 (IV) G7 (V) Am7 (VI) Bm7b5 (VII)

In the key of Db (one fret up), we get: Dbmaj7 (I) Ebm7 (II) Fm7 (III) Gbmaj7 (IV) Ab7 (V) Bbm7 (VI) Cm7b5 (VII)

The chorus and intro of Jimmy Mack use the chords II – IIm7 – I – IV (V).

The substitutions used are:

  • Gb – instead of Ebm7
  • Gbmaj7 – Instead of Ebm9
  • Fm – instead of Dbmaj7

Instead of trying to fully understand how to do this theoretically, it’s a better idea to just get to work and do it. Below there are six examples implementing chord substitution using Jimmy Mack’s intro, all over the neck.

Practice these and then start moving around in an improvised way.


In example 1, we play them like this.

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 1.

To turn these chords into a guitar part, we can just pick three strings to play them on and strum in a triplet rhythm, up until beat 4. Look out for the ties and slides and make sure you can play like the TAB says before you start finding variations.

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 2.

Here’s example 3, now we are in a new area of the neck.

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 3.

Here’s what these shapes look like in TAB when turned into a simple guitar part. Notice the difference between sliding into the Dbmaj7 quickly (example 2), vs making it part of the rhythm (example 3).

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 4.

Finally, let’s look at the last area of the neck, starting with an Em shape, this won’t sound good until you turn it into a three-string part. Looks like this.

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 5.

Here is the chord shapes as a part.

Jimmy Mack chords, intro example 6.

Spend enough time playing all examples one by one. When they all feel natural, start moving around the neck, without looking at the TAB.

In the course, we next learn the chorus, verse, and solo before we play the complete song. For the complete experience, sign up here.


Jimmy Mack | Related pages


Jimmy Mack – 8 guitar lessons

Jimmy Mack, 8 guitar lessons in the course.

Jimmy Mack is your introduction to chord substitutions, this is something we’ll do a lot more of in the future.

Seemingly simple to do, once you get it you’ll see that we’ve opened a can of worms here. You can easily spend the rest of your life chord substituting.

Go to Jimmy Mack – 8 guitar lessons.


Intermediate Electric Songs

When you can play Jimmy Mack's chords, discover more intermediate electric songs.

Learn all these Motown/Soul songs and you will have gained yourself a repertoire so you can jam or even join a working band.

Study these songs in-depth and you will map out the fretboard, master the CAGED system and learn how to design a rhythm guitar part that works in a band.

Go to Intermediate Electric Songs.


Jimmy Mack – 5 similar tunes

When you can play Jimmy Mack's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Martha and the Vandellas

Martha met her Vandellas as she was a secretary at Motown’s hit factory where her soon-to-be backing singers sang for Marvin Gaye.

Together they had seven years of hits including Jimmy Mack, Nowhere To Run, and perhaps Motown’s biggest hit of them all in Dancing In The Street.

Go to Martha and the Vandellas.


Martha and The Vandellas on the web

Listen to Martha and The Vandellas on Spotify.