Jerry Portnoy

Lesson >

Hoochie Coochie Man


Another classic: one of the most famous songs in Chicago Blues - Hoochie Coochie Man. Originally performed by Muddy Waters with Little Walter on harp. "A" harp in key of "A".

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Key of A
Muddy Waters
Jerry Portnoy
A Harp
Big Walter Horton
Rick Russell
Little Walter

Print Print Chords & Tab

A harp in key of A.  Background listening: Muddy Waters: Hoochie Coochie Man

loop @ 0:10 song

loop @ 2:01 entire solo

loop @ 2:10 first part of solo (high end of harp)

loop @ 2:32 second part of solo (low end of harp)





Log in to leave a comment

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Sep 06, 2013

Glad everyone liked this. It's an iconic song and though many people play it in "cross" position, the original was done, as I show it, in first position.

Bob Stannard
Bob Stannard Sep 02, 2013

Hey Jerry, just (re)joined Sonic Jct and glad I did.


Listening to Hoochie Coochie Man.  I've played that song for years....the wrong way.  I was stunned to hear how simply you play the harp riff.  Time to get back to retraining the old dog.  This'll be a nice project for my retirement; i.e. me being a works in progress.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 15, 2012

Nice live version. That's me on harp. It's in the key of "G" on a "G" harp.

Rich G
Rich G Oct 15, 2012

Thanks for the information Jerry  - I bought the I'm Ready album on Iturnes - lots of great tunes in addition to the version of Hootchie Cootchie Man.  I also got the original version from the Chess collection.  The version I was referring to is the one I dowloaded from Youtube form the European tour you were on.  Is this in G?  I think it sound right playing in G in 1st position or C in 2nd, but not A but maybe that's just my (not so great) ear.  Thanks.

Rich G
Rich G Oct 15, 2012

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 15, 2012

Hi Rich,

The album with me and Big Walter playing together on "Hoochie Coochie Man" is I'm Ready. Many classics like this have been recorded several times, even by the original artists. It's important that you know the original versions of these songs as your reference. The original recording was done by Muddy in 1954 on Chess. Muddy never played this in the key of C. I'll keep "Hard Hearted Woman" in mind for a future post.

Rich G
Rich G Oct 14, 2012


That was fun to listen to -  your harp, of course, but Rick's guitar and singing, too.

A couple of questions - first on which album is the version with you and Big Walter? That must sound really cool and I'd like to find it.  Second, I may be wrong, but it seems that the version that I have on the "Hootchie Man" album is played in first position on a C harp.  Could that be right? I think you said that album was from a European tour when you were in the band, and shouldn't have been sold. Third, not that you don't have too many song suggestions already, but I would love to learn Big Walter's "Hard Hearted Woman" which is also a first position key of A song.  

Paul W
Paul W Oct 13, 2012

That made my Friday!  I'm going to be humming Hoochie Coochie Man in my sleep. Can't wait toget working on it...

harvey kail
harvey kail Oct 12, 2012

Wow!  Played with conviction and precision!  I loved it.  I found it particularly instructive that Jerry plays this acoustically.  I  could watch his hands, his cheeks, his external embochure, as it were. Not to mention that the song rocks!  Thanks.



Login popup sm Login popup banner

Member Log In

Forgot your password? Click here

New To Sonic Junction?

See Sign Up Info >

Popup close
Login popup sm

New To Sonic Junction?

Try 2 Lessons Free

Popup close