Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4074 Sumner Queensland
From its origin in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most significant influences on the development of music that is popular throughout the United States.
Although instrumental accompaniment is nearly universal in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal type. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings instead of telling stories. The emotion expressed is normally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as melisma (keeping up one syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques such as syncopation, and instrumental techniques for example “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or applying a metal slide or bottleneck to the guitar strings to create a whining, voice-like sound.
Generally the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to a half, the last measure and singing comprising an instrumental “break” that recurs, answers, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Sumner 4074 Queensland.
African influences are apparent in the blues tonality, the call-and-response pattern of the falsetto break in the vocal style, the repeated refrain structure of the blues stanza, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, especially the guitar and harmonica.
The sources of the blues are badly documented. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers derived from and mainly played blues.
The earliest references to blues date back to the 1890s and early 1900s. In 1912 black bandleader W.C. Handy’s composition “Memphis Blues” was released. It became quite popular, and afterwards many other Tin Pan Alley songs entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photographs]The rural blues developed in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas, three main areas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of beat. Determined by ragtime and white folk music, it is more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles. Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller were representative of this style.
High, clear singing followed by supple guitar lines that consist generally of single characterizes the Texas blues -string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. Blind Lemon Jefferson was by far the most powerful Texas bluesman. Mississippi Delta blues is the most extreme of the three styles and has been the most influential. Vocally, it truly is the most speech-like, and the guitar accompaniment is percussive and rhythmic; a bottleneck or a slide is frequently used. The Mississippi style is represented by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4074 Sumner Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photos]The first blues recordings were made in the 1920s by black women like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Mamie Smith. These performers were primarily stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is called classic blues.
The World Wars and the Great Depression caused the geographic dispersal of the blues as millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North. The blues became adjusted to the more sophisticated urban surroundings. The electric guitar and the harmonica that was amplified created a driving sound of great rhythmic and emotional intensity.
Hooker, John Lee [Credit: Frank Driggs Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]Among the cities in which the blues initially took root were Atlanta, Memphis, and St. Louis.
It was Chicago, nevertheless, that played the greatest part in the growth of urban blues. In the 1920s and ’30s Memphis Minnie, Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, and John Lee (“Sonny Boy”) Williamson were popular Chicago performers. After World War II they were supplanted by a new generation of bluesmen that included Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
The blues have influenced many other musical styles. Jazz and blues are closely related; such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong employed blues elements within their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues additionally reveal obvious blues tonalities and forms. The blues have had their greatest effect on rock music.
Blues content was often used by rock singers such as Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, notably the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, were powerfully affected by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Sumner 4074 Queensland