Jerry Portnoy

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Lip Pursing "Ta Doo"

Lip Pursing ‘Ta-Doo’ is a variation on Lip Pursing that add syncopation to the note.  The technique is based on lip blocking .. where you end a note by changing the shape of your mouth while playing.

While I demonstrate this on the 2 draw, you can use this technique anywhere, although I use it pretty much exclusively on the second and third holes.  Further up, I’ll usually tongue block.  And as I said earlier, sometimes for contrast or a bit heavier percussion, I will tongue block 2 and 3 instead of lip blocking.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Practice 1 . Slowed Down


Practice 1 . At Tempo


Practice 2. Slowed Down


Practice 2 . At Tempo


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Carlos Avila
Carlos Avila Oct 16, 2023

Hi Jerry. When you play the last lick of the video, you use the 12 bar blues Rule ?


I have tried to understand , but I can't.

Thanks in advanced.

Glad to be your student.

Grant Page
Grant Page Oct 30, 2017

Hi again Jerry, on the lick that starts at around 13 seconds in, after you hit the 2-5 draw, are you going to the 3-6 or 6-9 blow octave?

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 30, 2017

3/6 blow

Grant Page
Grant Page Oct 30, 2017

Thanks Jerry, that’s what  I thought 

Grant Page
Grant Page Oct 25, 2017

Hi Jerry, on these examples, when you are playing the chords, are they always the same through the changes? My ears and brain aren’t cooperating with me tonight LoL

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 25, 2017


Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Apr 20, 2012

Hi Ben,

Yes, you can use this technique above the third hole as well but, for the most part, i'll switch to tongue blocking at the fourth hole and above because that way I'll get a full three hole chord underneath the lead note. And yes, those variations on the "ta" can be used as you describe except for hitting just the 2/3 on the "ta". You definitely want to have the 1 hole in the chord to give it a deep sound - so on the "ta" syllable 1/2, 1/2/3,and 1/2/3/4 are all ok. Use whatever sounds good and feels comfortable.

I can, and sometimes do, bend draw notes as you describe - out of the right side of my mouth with my tongue on the holes below. However, I use lip pursing exclusively to bend the blow notes in the upper register.

daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) Apr 19, 2012

cool, I already tongue block and "vocalize" but I had not know this move. ( I studied with Joe Filsiko in Chicago for a while)......really enjoying these and look forward to going through the rest of em.

bencohen99 Apr 18, 2012

Hi Jerry,

A few questions on the lip pursing “ta doo” masterclass.   In the above clips when you hit notes above hole 3 do you always switch from lip pursing to tongue blocking?   It seems as though if you wanted to you could continue to use lip pursing “ta doo” even as you go up to holes 4, 5, 6, etc.

Please comment on this observation:  it seems that with lip pursing “ta doo” you have a range of options on the “ta”.  For instance with the intention to hit 2 draw on the “doo” you could hit just 1 & 2 on the “ta” or 2 & 3 on the “ta” or 1, 2 & 3 on the “ta” or even 1 thru 4 on the “ta”.  I’m wondering if you use those variations in your own playing for style effects.

I’m also wondering how you get bends on holes 4 and higher if you are primarily using tongue blocking on those upper holes.   Are you able to bend those upper holes out of the right side of your mouth with your tongue on the holes below, or do you switch to lip pursing when you bend?  I’m trying to grock this as well as the syncopation masterclass before taking another stab at those boogie lessons.



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