Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4614 Upper Yarraman
From its origin in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s one of the most significant influences on the growth of music that is popular throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a a form that is vocal. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; feelings are being expressed by blues singers as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is usually one of melancholy or sadness, often due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as 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 employing 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 the last measure, singing and a half composed of an instrumental “break” that repeats, answers, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4614 Upper Yarraman.
African influences are obvious in the blues tonality, the call and response pattern of the falsetto break in the vocal style, the repeated refrain arrangement of the blues stanza, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are badly recorded. Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers derived from and mainly played blues.
The first 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 thereafter many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Pictures]The rural blues grown in Mississippi, Georgia and the Carolinas, Texas, and three principal areas. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Impacted by white and ragtime folk music, it’s more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles. Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller were representative of this style.
High, sharp singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist generally of single characterizes the Texas blues -string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. Blind Lemon Jefferson was 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 slide or bottleneck is regularly used. The Mississippi style is signified by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4614 Upper Yarraman Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photos]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 chiefly stage vocalists backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues.
The World Wars and the Great Depression 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 sophisticated 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 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. 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 development of urban blues. After World War II they were supplanted by a new 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 associated; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong within their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also reveal apparent blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their greatest influence on rock music.
Blues material was often used by rock singers like Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, especially the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, were strongly influenced by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4614 Upper Yarraman Queensland