Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4559 Woombye
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most significant influences on the development of popular music throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a a form that is vocal. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues vocalists are expressing feelings rather than telling stories. The emotion expressed is normally one of melancholy or depression, commonly due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as melisma (prolonging a single syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques for example syncopation, and instrumental techniques for example “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or using 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. Commonly the first two and a half measures of each line are dedicated to singing, the last measure and a half consisting of an instrumental “break” that replies, recurs, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4559 Woombye.
African influences are obvious 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, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are poorly documented. 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. Blues derived from and was mostly 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 released. It became quite popular, and afterward many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Pictures]The rural blues developed in three principal regions, Georgia and the Carolinas, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of Georgia and the Carolinas is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of beat. Affected by white and ragtime folk music, it is more melodic than the Texas and Mississippi styles. Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller were representative of this style.
The Texas blues is defined by high, clear 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 is the most extreme of the three styles and has been the most influential. Vocally, it truly is the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a slide or bottleneck is often used. The Mississippi style is signified by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4559 Woombye Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Pictures]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women for example Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Mamie Smith. These performers were primarily stage vocalists backed by jazz bands; their style is called classic blues.
The Great Depression and the World Wars 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 advanced urban surroundings. The harmonica that was amplified and the electric guitar created a driving sound of great emotional and rhythmic intensity.
Hooker, John Lee [Credit:
It was Chicago, however, 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 fresh 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 affected many other musical styles. Blues and jazz are closely connected; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong in their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues also reveal forms and apparent blues tonalities. The blues have had their greatest impact on rock music.
Blues content was frequently used by early rock singers for example Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, notably the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, were strongly influenced by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4559 Woombye Queensland