Jerry Portnoy

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Sonny Boy I


Lesson 2

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Sonny Boy I > Lesson 2

This week we’re continuing our exploration of Sonny Boy I. Today we’re going to look at an octave lick that John Lee liked to put together with the riff we learned last week. He plays variations through-out Sugar Mama and other songs.  I am playing a C harp in the key of G. 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Blues
Jerry Portnoy
Sonny Boy I
C Harp
John Lee Williamson
Key of G

Print Print Chords & Tab

C Harp in the Key of G.

A great example of the riff is on Sugar Mama is at 0:58 to 1:00.

You can also hear John Lee play the new lick on Million Year Blues at

- 0:53 .. 0:57
- 1:30 .. 1:31
- 2:38 .. 2:39

The sequence of the riff is

- 2 5  draw
- 2 5  draw
- 1 4  draw
- 2 5  draw
- 2 5  draw

OK, hope you enjoyed the post and looking forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

Comments

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Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 14, 2016

Hi Diego,

It's difficult to tell. Either way works fine and sounds good. Try to master both.

diego
diego Oct 14, 2016

Did he play the 34 and 45 holes tongue blocked?

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 20, 2015

Logged out and back in and everything works now.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Apr 30, 2015

Yeah, they're a great documentation of of the many original blues men who are no longer living. I knew and played with many of them. I miss them!

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 08, 2013

 The Masterclass CDs are the best out there for technique. They are audio CDs but very thorough and understandable. It's a good investment. I don't do Skype.

Guy P
Guy P Jun 08, 2013

That would have been so cool growing up there and hanging out with those guys. Damn Jerry I bet you got some great stories from those days. Wish I had started playing when I was young. My brother lives in Chicago it still has a great blues scene but not like it was back then I bet. Do you give skype lessons by any chance? I would love to sit down with you and really learn some things sometime.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 08, 2013

When I started there weren't any teachers in the modern sense and little in the way of instructional materials or technology like slow down devices. The one great advantage I had was growing up in Chicago and being able to not only hear, but hang out with the all-time greats of Chicago Blues. 

Guy P
Guy P Jun 08, 2013

Thanks for passing on your knowledge Jerry. I have been playing over a year now and thanks also to M. Rubin and R Shellist my current teachers. I have been listening to all the greats I try to spend at least an hour a day just listening to them play. And I also spend 2 to 3 hours every day just practicing. But you are so right you cant play what you cant hear. It must have been hard back in the day learning harp without the internet and from what I have heard none of the players really wanted to help either because they didnt want newbies to take thier gigs. 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 07, 2013

That's a good one.

Guy P
Guy P Jun 07, 2013

blue bird blues is a great sonny boy cd to start with.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Nov 28, 2012

Hey Thomas,

The timing needs to be more "in the pocket" but your technique is showing promise. The tongue slapping at the start is very good and your single note tone is pretty good as well. You've got that repeated "pull off" bend on the 4 draw perfect and the full bend on the 2 draw is spot on too. In the lick where you play 3 draw - 2 draw - 3 draw, you need to bend that second 3 draw a bit lower. Keep polishing it as you try to sound closer to the source material.

Thomas
Thomas Nov 21, 2012

Ist attempt at Sonny Boy..../

 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Sep 23, 2012

Don't know what CD you're referring to but any Sonny Boy I CD is good to have.

Doug Lohnes
Doug Lohnes Sep 22, 2012

The only Sonny Boy1 CD I could find is Volume 4, and the only song on it that was mentioned is Million year blues. Are there any other songs on this CD that I should be giving close attention to?

 
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