Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4122 Wishart
From its origin in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most significant influences on the growth of popular music throughout America.
Although instrumental accompaniment is virtually worldwide in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal kind. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues vocalists are expressing feelings rather than telling stories. The emotion expressed is typically one of sadness or melancholy, commonly due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques including melisma (sustaining a single syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques including syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or implementing a metal slide or bottleneck to the guitar strings to create a whining, voice-like sound.
As a musical style, the blues is characterized by expressive “microtonal” pitch inflections (blue notes), a three-line textual stanza of the form AAB, and a 12-measure type. Typically the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to singing, the last measure and a half comprising an instrumental “break” that recurs, replies, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4122 Wishart.
African influences are evident in the blues tonality, the call-and-response pattern of the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, the falsetto break in the vocal style, and the repeated refrain arrangement of the blues stanza, particularly the guitar and harmonica.
The sources of the blues are poorly recorded. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). It was affected by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white population. Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers derived from and mostly played blues.
The earliest references to blues date s back to the 1890s and early 1900. In 1912 black bandleader W.C. Handy’s composition “Memphis Blues” was published. It became very 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 Georgia, three principal areas and the Carolinas, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Influenced by white and ragtime folk music, it’s more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles.
The Texas blues is characterized by high, sharp singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist typically of single -string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. Blind Lemon Jefferson was by far the most influential Texas bluesman. Mississippi Delta blues has been the most influential and is the most intense of the three styles. Vocally, it’s the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a bottleneck or a slide is regularly used. The Mississippi style is represented by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Wishart 4122 Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Pictures]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women including Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Bessie Smith. These performers were mainly stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues.
The Great Depression and the World Wars caused the geographical dispersal of the blues as millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North. The blues became adjusted to the more complex urban environment. Lyrics took up urban themes, and the blues ensemble developed as the solo bluesman was joined by a pianist or harmonica player and then by a rhythm section consisting of bass and drums. The electric guitar and the amplified harmonica created a driving sound of rhythmic and emotional intensity that was great.
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. John Lee Hooker settled in Detroit, and on the West Coast Aaron (“T-Bone”) Walker developed a style later adopted by Riley (“B.B.”) King.
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.
Many other musical styles have been affected by the blues. Jazz and blues are closely related; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton in their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues also reveal apparent blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their greatest impact on rock music.
Rock singers like Elvis Presley regularly used blues material. British rock musicians in the 1960s, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and especially the Rolling Stones, were strongly affected by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Wishart 4122 Queensland