Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4514 Stanmore
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 America.
Although instrumental accompaniment is nearly universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a a form that is vocal. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings instead of 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 such as melisma (prolonging one syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques such as 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.
Usually the first two and a half measures of each line are dedicated to singing, the last measure and a half comprising an instrumental “break” that repeats, answers, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Stanmore 4514 Queensland.
African influences are evident in the blues tonality, the call and response pattern of the repeated refrain arrangement of the blues stanza, the falsetto break in the vocal style, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, especially the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are poorly recorded. It was influenced by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white inhabitants. Blues derived from and was largely played by Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers.
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 published. It became quite popular, and afterwards many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Pictures]The rural blues developed in three principal areas, Georgia and the Carolinas, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Affected by ragtime and white folk music, it’s more melodic than the Texas and Mississippi styles.
High, clear 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 the most influential Texas bluesman. Mississippi Delta blues has been the most powerful 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 symbolized by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4514 Stanmore Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photographs]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Mamie Smith. These performers were mainly stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues.
As millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North the World Wars and the Great Depression caused the geographic dispersal of the blues. The blues became adapted to the more complex urban surroundings. 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 drums and bass. The amplified harmonica 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.
It was Chicago, however, that played the greatest part in the growth of urban blues.
Many other musical styles have been influenced by the blues. Jazz and blues are closely related; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong in their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also reveal clear blues tonalities and forms. The blues have had their largest effect on rock music.
Early rock singers like Elvis Presley frequently used blues content. British rock musicians in the 1960s, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and notably the Rolling Stones, were powerfully influenced by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4514 Stanmore Queensland