Jerry Portnoy

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Barking Chords


Barking Chords

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Barking Chords > Barking Chords

Barking Chords. A Harp in the key of E.  These simple chords are a great example of the precept of making a good sound and knowing where to place it. These percussive, punchy accents help accentuate and drive the the beat forward in a way that is similar to the rhythmic stabbing of horn section parts in big bands like Count Basie and others.

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Technique

Print Print Chords & Tab

loop @ 4:15 to practice the first barking riff

 

loop @ 5:18 to practice the drop jaw "cha" barking riff

 

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Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 27, 2013

Hi Aria,

Just try to think in short 2-4 note phrases. It seems to me that you're not really improvising in a coherent way but just letting raw energy dictate where you're going and not really sure what's going to come out. When you internalize a lot of riffs, licks, and phrases you will, even unconsciously, play felicitous note groupings as you improvise. 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 26, 2013

Hi Aria,

Your timing on those rhythmic stabs is pretty good. It would be helpful to work on what you're playing between those barking chords so there is more of a melodic sense.

bruno
bruno Mar 25, 2013

@aria - love it! Nice job.

daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) May 19, 2012

nicely explained.....watching these lessons has me back playing a bit after a long break. It is just tricky to stay with it when I have so much more freedom of expression on my guitars. 

 

 

peter marwood
peter marwood Apr 28, 2012

Dear Jerry,

The day I was born, Tom Waits was recording Nighthawks at the Diner. When I found out about 20 years later, I was happy knowing something cool was going on as I arrived. My first child, a boy, was born on 3/3/12 in Cambridge. When he gets older, I'm going to tell him that the day he was born, James Cotton was playing at Scullers and Jerry Portnoy was listening to Hound Dog to help out a younger player. 

You (and James) are inspiring men. Thank you. 

Rich G
Rich G Mar 14, 2012

Thanks Jerry (re: an Ab being useful).  Rich

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 14, 2012

An Ab would be very useful especially if you play with horn players. This will allow you to play in second position in the key of Eb (a common key for horns). I use this on "Doodlin'" and "Stormy Weather" which appear on my CD "Down in the Mood Room."

 

Rich G
Rich G Mar 04, 2012

Oops - my bad!  F is not 5th position for C#, A is and that sounds a lot better (for See Me In the Evening).

Rich G
Rich G Mar 03, 2012

One last question (hope you don't mind all of this being off topic but I'm learning a lot) - I have the main blues keys -  A, Bb, C, D, E, Eb, F, and G.  If I were to get a few more harps, which keys would you buy?  Are the keys you mentioned - F#, B - used very often, or would an Ab (or something else) come up more often. Thanks, Rich

Rich G
Rich G Mar 03, 2012

Thanks Jerry and Mike.  Not having an F# or a B, I tried it on an F (fifth position) and it sounded okay - actually kind of cool.  I read a description of fifth position which said the basic starting point is the two blow which seems to work.  I think I noticed that bending the two draw doesn't sound right while doing this, but bending the third and fourth draw holes at times does fit.  Does this make sense?

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 03, 2012

The song is in the key of C#. I would play this in 2nd position on an F# harp or in third position on a B harp.

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Mar 03, 2012

Hi Rich .. Great tune! I'm going to be jamming with that one.  It sounds like it is C# / Db to my ears.  That guitar lick at 1:46 is awesome!

Rich G
Rich G Mar 03, 2012

Jerry - here is the song.  Hope you like it.  Rich

Rich G
Rich G Mar 03, 2012

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 03, 2012

Rich,

I'm not familiar with the Hound Dog Taylor song you're referencing so I really can't answer your question. If you post the song, then I can hear it and answer your question.

Rich G
Rich G Mar 03, 2012

Very useful lesson.  I think I had picked up some of this by playing along with Sonny Boy II on songs like "Help Me," but I wasn't really sure exactly what he was doing.  I went to a jam the other night and found myself doing a little of this to play along and fill in on some songs I didn't really know.

Jerry, if you don't mind me asking a question about a different song, I was wondering if you could tell me if you thought that playing an A harp at the high end on Hound Dog Taylor's "See Me In the Evening" might work?  I love this song which (I think) is in the key of E, but it doesn't sound very good when I play cross harp in A down low (probably just me).  Anyway, I tried playing it on the high notes and to me it sounded better on an A harp then in first position on an E harp.  Does that make sense, and, if so, why?

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Mar 02, 2012

Hi Jerry and Rick .. great lesson!  After I heard that second groove, I had to pull out my guitar and play along with you guys.  I have to admit is was a lot of fun.  Great guitar riff Rick!  I still need to work in getting on the back side of the beat.

 
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