Jerry Portnoy

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Blue Midnight

First Verse Breakdown

Here's the breakdown of the first chorus of Little Walter's "Blue Midnight." Bb harp in key of F. Timing, tone, accuracy of bends and a bit of tongue blocking on the turnaround are the essential elements. The riffs and movements are really quite simple. Have fun.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Jerry Portnoy
Little Walter
Bb Harp
Key of F
Blue Midnight

Print Print Chords & Tab

Bb Harp in the Key of F

loop @ 0:34 I Chord, First 4 Bars, Starts on 1st Hole Draw

loop @ 2:23 IV Chord, 2 Bars, Starts with 2nd Hole Draw Bend

loop @ 2:38 I Chord, 2 Bars, Starts with Warble

loop @ 3:05 V Chord, 1 Bar, Starts with 3rd Hole Draw Bend

loop @ 3:33 IV Chord, 1 Bar, Starts with 2nd Hold Draw

loop @ 4:03 Turnaround, 2 Bars, Figure out by Ear

loop @ 4:23 Closing Thoughts


Little Walter's Blue Midnight (Bb Harp in the Key of F)




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Buddy B.
Buddy B. Dec 30, 2013

Jerry, thanks so much for the note by note breakdown on this.  I find that very helpful for where I'm at and when starting a new tune.  The on-line tabs are not always accurate when starting to learn a new song.  Happy New Year to you and yours.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 28, 2013

Thanks Boyd and Preston. Glad you're liking what we're trying to do here at Sonic Junction.


Roz - You're right. The accompanying recording of Walter playing Blue Midnight is slightly flat. This is not uncommon when tranferring music from one format to another. I'm glad you caught it - it shows you've got a good ear for pitch which is a great asset in learning how to play music. 

Preston Dec 27, 2013

Dear Jerry, I was looking over all the lessons so far and I'm really thankfull for your no nonsense approach to teaching and also the songs you have selected are all the classic blues I think every harmonica player should know... Thanks once again for another great lesson and your great choice of songs...Greetings of the Season...I also wish you a wonderful year ahead in 2014 and looking forward to more of your great lessons...

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 27, 2013

Thanks for great tune

Ros Dec 27, 2013

Jerry, don't know if my ears are deceiving me, but the pitch on the Little Walter recording seems slightly flatter than what I'm playing on my B-flat harp. My pitch seems to match yours in the lesson. Just a reality check -- is there a difference? Thanks for your crystal clear teaching on this and all the other beautiful tunes you offer here.

Kirsty Mills
Kirsty Mills Sep 29, 2014

Yes, Little Walter's version is off by about 1/3 of a semitone (if I remember right - it's certainly not something you can fix in Slowdowner). A friend did me a on-key version using Adobe Soundbox... saved my sanity when I was trying to work it ou by myself!

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