Jerry Portnoy

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My Babe


Jerry Portnoy Lesson >

My Babe > Lesson

This week I break down some of the techniques I employ in playing My Babe - where I switch between single note lip pursing and tongue blocking, use of the "ta-doo" syllable, octaves, chords, and slaps.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Little Walter
My Babe

Print Print Chords & Tab

Bb Harp in the Key of F.


loop @ 0:55 setup lick breakdown

loop @ 2:10 solo 1st chorus breakdown

loop @ 3:54 solo 2nd chorus breakdown

loop @ 7:03 thoughts on how to practice & approach learning solos




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Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Mar 28, 2014

Hi Stefania,

It's the first hole draw, then the bottom bend on the second hole draw.

Stefania Apr 07, 2014

Hi Jerry, 

I just saw your reply, thank you very much. I will post a video as soon as I feel a bit confident. 


Stefania Mar 28, 2014

Hello Jerry, what do you do at 3.12 -3.14? Is it first hole draw and...?

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Nov 28, 2012

Hi Thomas,

You're beginning to "sketch" the tune in. It doesn't flow yet but you'll get there with time. Just take small sections and try to perfect them and then you try to sew them together seamlessly so that they flow in time.

Thomas Nov 21, 2012

Didn't see my first video..but here is my 2nd attempt... Thanks again


Thomas Nov 21, 2012

Jerry...My first attempt at "My Babe".... There are a few places that I don't quite get yet but I really like the tune... On the intro to the solo>>> da da da dump, ending on the 4 draw>>>can you also fattin up the slap on the 4 draw by adding the octave?   Thanks Tommy Hutch



Rich G
Rich G Aug 05, 2012

Thanks Jerry for a great technical lesson.  I found this really helpful as you break this down so clearly.  Explaining how and why you use a technique at a particular place in the song, is very useful.  Also, your point about how when you are playing a song you aren't thinking about what to do when, but letting muscle memory take over.  Of course, like you said, I first need to master the technique.  

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