Jerry Portnoy

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Masterclass


Chord Rhythm

Many harmonica instruction methods teach single note lip pursing as the very first item. To my mind, that is putting the cart before the horse. A harmonica is first of all a chordal instrument. Play any group of adjacent holes anywhere on the harp, either on the blow or draw, and you have a chord.

For further study, among the best players to list to is John Lee Williamson, or Sonny Boy I.  His whole style is worth some deep study, as it really is the foundation of modern playing.   I’ll be creating some blog posts on Sonny Boy I .. so keep a look out for them.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Technique

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:35 Breakdown of Chord Rhythm

Loop 4:18 Train Example

Loop 5:18 Blues March Breakdown

Loop 6:47 Blues March Example

Loop 7:26 12 Bar Blues Form

 

 

 

Comments

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Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jan 05, 2017

First and most basic: alternate two quick in breaths then two quick out breaths. Two in breaths on the first 3 holes, then two out breaths on the first 3 holes, then two in breaths on the first 2 holes, then two out breaths on the first 3 holes - then keep repeating this pattern. Over time, as the muscle memory becomes entrenched, you will be able do this faster and faster. This will give you a nice train rhythm and develop your ability to change breath direction quickly. It also will help develop a vibrato.

Grant Page
Grant Page Jan 05, 2017

Thanks

Grant Page
Grant Page Dec 30, 2016

Hi Jerry, could you reco some exercises for breath control? 

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

Thanks so much for your time I'll go cheep. the delux Is almost double.  both well  sound  close

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

Go cheap.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

I was getting ready to order and came across the marine band delux. or should Iget the other one  last question

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

One question i'm checking the marine band delux it has screws on the side but almost double the price. Is there much defference the tone of the harmonica.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

No

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

I always have backups.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

Thank you. Do you always have an extra with you when you play? I'm going to order someday

 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

There is a very slight difference in the tuning, and the wood in the comb of the Crossover is bamboo as opposed to pear wood in a standard Marine Band. The Crossover is more expensive.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

One question what is the difference in the marine band and the marine cross over?

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

So when buy I should A. C.  Bb. keys, It would better if I got 2 of each key. The Marine it what I had years ago.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

No, don't take it apart. Better than Lee Oskar I don't know - but I do know that most professional blues players use a Marine Band model.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

So it sounds like it's better than Lee Oskar

 

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

you don't take apart right?

 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

Harmonicas are like people - some live a long time, others die early. If dried saliva builds up around the holes, take a small penknife and scrape it off. Hope this helps.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

Does the marine band have a long life if you take care it.? And what is the best way to clean it? thanks for your time

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

I prefer the sound and feel of the Marine Band, though perhaps it's just that I've always played them. Don't think the reed plates are replaceable.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

Do you think it sounds better then Lee Oskar 

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2016

How hard is it to keep clean? And can you replace the reed plates

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Dec 19, 2016

I have always played Hohner Marine Bands.   Couldn't hurt to try one.

 
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