Jerry Portnoy

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Off the Wall

First Chorus Breakdown

This week we're starting to analyze and deconstruct Little Walter's great instrumental Off the Wall. This is a tune that exemplifies Walter's genius in both the sophistication of its construction and the virtuosic technique in its execution. We'll take it apart chorus by chorus. Be sure to have each chorus firmly fixed in your mind before starting each week's lesson.

Good luck!





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Jerry Portnoy
C Harp
Little Walter
Key of G
Off the Wall

Print Print Chords & Tab

C Harp in the Key of G

Loop 0:00 Jerry and Rick Playing the First Verse of Off the Wall

Loop 0:30 Introduction to Off The Wall

Loop 1:39 Breakdown of First Riff on the I Chord (Bars 1 - 4)

Loop 3:30 Practice Loop of Bars 1 - 8

Note: Bars 5 and 6 are 2 draw, 3 draw (2nd bend), 3 draw (1st bend), 2 draw, 3 draw (2nd bend), 2 draw

Loop 3:49 Breakdown of V Chord and IV Chord

Loop 5:57 Turnaround 

Loop 6:08 First Chorus Practice Loop






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Robert Fox
Robert Fox Apr 21, 2015

Hi Jerry - Are you doing any tongue blocking on the turnaround (5:55)? I'm hearing

some of the tongue-blocking things (ghost chords, percussive effect)

Dennis Gruenling was teaching in the "Horton Shuffle." Thanks!

joe markey
joe markey Apr 20, 2015

Okay, on the Chess 50th Anniversary version of the song, listen at roughly 1.58  Anyone hear another harp, very faintly, in the background? 

joe markey
joe markey Apr 20, 2015

Sorry - listen at 1.28

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Apr 20, 2015

Yes it is. Walter's artistry at its highest!

joe markey
joe markey Apr 19, 2015

Jerry,  Thank you for selecting Off the Wall for this lesson.  I'm really looking forward to it.  It's such a classic!


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