Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4154 Wakerley Queensland
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s one of the most important influences on the growth of popular music throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost worldwide in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal type. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues vocalists are expressing feelings as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is usually one of melancholy or sadness, often due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques for example melisma (sustaining one syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques such as syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or employing 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 kind. Normally the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to singing, the last measure and a half composed of an instrumental “break” that repeats, replies, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4154 Wakerley Queensland.
African influences are noticeable 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 structure of the blues stanza, especially 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 largely played blues.
The first references to blues date s back to the 1890s and early 1900. In 1912 black bandleader W.C. Handy’s composition “Memphis Blues” was released. It became quite popular, and thereafter many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photographs]The rural blues grown 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 rhythm. Determined by ragtime and white folk music, it is more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles.
High, sharp singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist typically of single characterizes the Texas blues -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 powerful and is the most intense of the three styles. Vocally, it is the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is percussive and rhythmic; 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 Wakerley 4154 Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Pictures]The first blues recordings were made in the 1920s by black women including Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Bessie Smith. These performers were primarily stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is referred to 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 advanced urban environment. The harmonica that was amplified and the electric guitar created a driving sound of great emotional and rhythmic 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. 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, however, that played the greatest part in the development 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 fresh generation of bluesmen that contained Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
The blues have affected many other musical styles. Blues and jazz are closely linked; such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton employed blues elements within their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also reveal forms and obvious blues tonalities. The blues have had their biggest effect on rock music.
Early rock singers for example Elvis Presley regularly used blues material. British rock musicians in the 1960s, notably the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, were powerfully influenced by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4154 Wakerley