Jerry Portnoy

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Help Me

Lesson 1

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Help Me > Lesson 1

Help Me. A classic standard from Sonny Boy Williamson. We're using the "barking chords" I showed a few weeks ago. I break down some slap tonguing that occurs in the first solo. Bb harp in the key of "F."

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Jerry Portnoy
Bb Harp
Key of F
Sonny Boy Williamson

Print Print Chords & Tab

Bb harp in the key of "F."

loop @ 1:01 entire song

loop @ 2:22 1st solo

loop @ 3:18 2nd solo

loop @ 5:10 1st solo loose tongueblock

loop @ 5:32 Sonny Boy Williamson riffs



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Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Apr 30, 2015

Hey Rev,

Welcome to Sonic Junction. Glad to have you with us!  There is a wealth of information and instruction here so take your time, pick what you want, and I hope you have fun  while improving your playing skills. 

Rev Cholula
Rev Cholula May 01, 2015

Will do. Love the site. Thanks.

Rev Cholula
Rev Cholula Apr 29, 2015

Hey Jerry. Just joined today. Looks like the last comment was a couple years ago. Wondering if you still post lessons and comment? I really love them so far. Mostly because I appreciate the way you describe things. I get it. Looking forward to learning from one of my favorite harp players. Thanks.

Brian Cade
Brian Cade Feb 25, 2013

Wondering whether or not the guitar part of this really is in key of F minor?  At several jams I've attended, a harp player I know will often ask to play Help Me in E minor (but still is using A harp in 2nd position).  I've always thought the original Sonny Boy version was just F, although because it uses a variant of the Green Onions riffs I can see why someone might have concluded that it was F minor rather than F.



Andrey Mikhaylin
Andrey Mikhaylin Sep 25, 2012

This video my friend Sergey Vladimirov. Thanks, Jerry, from Russia!

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jul 30, 2012

Glad you guys like it and that the demonstration and explanation are helpful.

B---K Jul 13, 2012

Very, very nice.  (How about an MP3 of that?)

Here's a version by the Peter Green Splinter Group.

(Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and was the founder of Fleetwood Mac.)

Boyd R
Boyd R Jul 09, 2012



Diego Jul 07, 2012


daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) Jul 07, 2012

nice nice nice....

Rich G
Rich G Jul 06, 2012

Thanks Jerry, I've been waiting for this one.  Great explanation and demonstration of the first solo.  As you said, that's the part I've had trouble with. You've given me some good clues.  Rich

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