Jerry Portnoy

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Cold, Cold Feeling


Jerry Portnoy Lesson >

Cold, Cold Feeling > Performance

Rick and I play T-Bone Walker's Cold, Cold Feeling. Something new this week: I'm playing in third position, meaning I'm playing a harp tuned one whole step below the key of the song. The song is in B minor so I'm playing an A harp. Third position is well suited to play in those haunting minor keys. Start experimenting with this position. Remember that your B note (or root note in the one chord) on an A harp is in the one draw and the four draw.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
T-Bone Walker
Jerry Portnoy
A Harp
Rick Russell
Cold Cold Feeling
Key of Bmin

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harmonica in the Key of Bmin.  Background listening: T-Bone Walker - Cold, Cold Feeling

loop @ 0:35 intro & first verse

loop @ 3:16 solo

loop @ 6:16 ending

loop @ 0:35 whole song




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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner May 09, 2018

Hi Jerry,

I've been working on playing and singing I'm Ready, listening a lot to your work on the 1978 record with Muddy and Johnny Winter. Are you playing chromatic on the title tune? I've been using that tune to begin learning 3rd position on chromatic. Your solo knocks me out. There are low notes, especially on the turn arounds, that are below what you can get in second position on a G harp.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.


Gordi Brown
Gordi Brown Jun 26, 2013

love this! thanks so much Jerry & Rick

Craig Jun 16, 2013

Thanks Jerry, that helps alot.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 08, 2013

To all who have posted about this song: There have been many nice comments about "Cold, Cold Feeling". The thing about positions is that each one has it's own sound and, when you understand the difference and possibilities of the different positions, you can choose which one seems most appropriate to the song and the accompaniment you wish to add. Third position especially lends itself to minor keys and a somewhat "haunting" feeling.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 08, 2013

Thanks, Bashir. Glad you're enjoying the site!

Biscuit Mike
Biscuit Mike Jun 03, 2013

I feel Jerrys forcing us to use our ears "some" has helped a great deal. I think I was able to tab most of the intro accurately! But we'll see when he breaks down the song. It's great feedback to see how close you can get.

Thanks for the push Sir.

Rick Russell
Rick Russell Jun 03, 2013

Hi everybody!

Yes, Rich G, The T-Bone version is in Ab major. Glad everyone is enjoying this cut.

littlesonny Jun 01, 2013

Love in Jerry and Rick. Get down in the alley.  I'm used to 3rd position on chromatic but this made me aware that is it the relative position of the harp to the song key that is creating certain melodies. Jumped in on this straight away.

BTW, this is the best value for money learning tool ever.

Rich G
Rich G Jun 01, 2013

Wow!  As others have said, that is a great, powerful and soulful performance.  Very moving.  I really like how you use pauses and rhythym changes to create dramatic tension.  Seems like so many people you hear (not just harp players) play way too many notes.

B---K Jun 01, 2013

This was really, really nice.  This could be the most "soulful" piece that's been posted.  Is this sort of "feeling" because this is a minor key?  Is that what minor keys do in general?


Craig Jun 01, 2013

Great tune.  Please delve a little deeper into minor keys and 3rd position.  I had been under the impression that minor keys moved the harp to 5th with a loss of several notes on the harp (don't bend anything but the 3 and stay out of 5 and 8 draw altogether).  Our "group" (I hesitate to call us a band yet) is working through several songs in minor keys at the moment, the acoustic version of Layla (Dm chorus) being the one I am most involved in.  Any help is huge for this beginner.

Boyd R
Boyd R Jun 01, 2013

Very Nice

Rich G
Rich G May 31, 2013

Hi Jerry,

I have a question - are you saying that T-Bone Walker's version is in B minor, or just that you and Rick are doing it in that key?  The reason I ask is that I have the song off the "Essential Collection" of T-Bone Walker, and I believe it is  Ab major on that album.  My ear isn't good enough to identify a song in a key like that but I have an Ipad app called Key My Songs that will give you a song's key.  To check it out I played along on a Db harp in second position and it sounded right.  Did T-Bone do it in B minor on another album?  I do have a version by Albert Collins (from the album "Ice Pickin'") which seems to be in Eb minor, and a Db harp playing in third position sounds right.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy May 31, 2013

Thanks guys. Glad you're enjoying the site and postings. I no longer tour and now live on Cape Cod.

Robert May 31, 2013

Jerry, I'm having the time of my life on this site! About time we did a slow cry in your beer song! Do you ever play at Challahans music hall in the detroit area? Just a thrown stone from chicago?

Gary Doyle
Gary Doyle May 31, 2013

Nice job Jerry


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