Jerry Portnoy

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Syncopation is important to add life and a groove to your playing. In this lesson and accompanying practice tracks I’m going to cover the basics of creating syncopated lines, rhythms and solos.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Below are a set of practice videos, slowed down and then at tempo that build in complexity.  

Practice 1 . Slow


Practice 1 . At Tempo


Practice 2. Slow


Practice 2 . At Tempo


Practice 3 . At Tempo



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Gagi Oct 21, 2019


Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 23, 2019

Very nice job. Sounds great!

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Jun 04, 2018

Hi Gagi,

The saxophonists I list in the Masterclass booklet are Earl Bostic, Joe Houston, Red Prysock, Gene Ammons, Willis Jackson, Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan, and Cleanhead Vinson.

Gagi Jun 04, 2018

thanks a lot


Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 15, 2015

 Thanks for the nice comment. Have fun with it!

Hey Jerry,

Your method of teaching is amazing!

I'm a guitar player and because of an injury on my little finger I can't play guitar for several month. I decided to start playing bluesharp and found out about you on Sonic Junction via Duke Robillard. Thanks a lot!!!

Greetings from The Netherlands...

mehrdad May 10, 2014

jerry you are so generous. you teach all you know.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Apr 23, 2013

Hi Aria,

You've got the basic move - just keep doing it. The ease and crispness of your attack will come over time as it becomes more ingrained in your muscle memory.

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Sep 23, 2012

I might be able to help if I heard you try to do it. Can you post a video?

Doug Lohnes
Doug Lohnes Sep 23, 2012

Hi Jerry, I've been playing for years. I knew every masterclass lesson, but I can't get my head(or my mouth) around syncopation. I've tried to learn it on my own for a very long time with little results, and now I've taken your lesson and tried for hours. This is something that I very much want to learn, but it leaves me feeling very dicouraged. It's something I'd love to have in my arsenal, but it seems that it ain't gonna happen! any suggestions

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