Jerry Portnoy

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Lesson 2

Juke 2nd Chorus. A harp in key of E. Keep listening to Walter's original and then learn each chorus at the slow demonstration speed and as it becomes more automatic, bounce back and forth until you can play along with Walter's version at the original tempo.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
key of E
Jerry Portnoy
A Harp
Little Walter

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

loop @ 0:44 to practice the 2nd chorus played slowly

loop @ 1:56 to practice the lip pursing section

loop @ 2:45 to practice the lip pursing to tongue blocking transition


Little Walter Jacobs (1930 - 1968) changed the Chicago blues sound in 1952 with his instrumental "Juke", spending eight weeks in the #1 position on the Billboard magazine R&B charts.




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Boyd R
Boyd R Oct 05, 2019

kerry crowel
kerry crowel Jul 19, 2016

Does anyone have the tab for this section, I'm lost? 

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Nov 17, 2012

Sometimes variations are intentional - sometimes not. People that play together all the time develop an ability to respond intuitively and instantly to unintentional "mistakes" like a dropped beat. No difference between now and then.

Moto Coderman
Moto Coderman Nov 12, 2012

Thanks for the lessons on Juke! That song pulls together so many of the skills you covered, plus it swings hard and is so much fun, even at half speed. Having just started to work on the harp, I've been impressed by how the tongue slaps and ta-doos I never heard before are so important to a swinging feel.

I've been more and more aware of songs that catch your ear with variations in time and early or late chord changes. This song has it, but it doesn't seem like it was uncommon in the '50s R&B scene. Chuck Berry did it. When I was younger I thought, "Oh, he made a mistake" but now I can't believe Little Walter didn't know exactly where he was in the progression. Maybe he just felt like he should mix things up a little.

You mention that when you play Juke now, you play the progression straight. Do you feel like you need to stick to the progression and 4/4 all the time? When you were coming up did it seem like things were rythmically more free and the bands more able to go with the flow? 

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