Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4873 Shannonvale
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most important influences on the growth of popular music throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is virtually worldwide in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal kind. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is generally one of depression or melancholy, commonly due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques including melisma (sustaining a single syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques such as syncopation, and instrumental techniques for example “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 dedicated to the last measure, singing and a half composed of an instrumental “break” that recurs, responses, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4873 Shannonvale.
African influences are evident 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, 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 citizenry. 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 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 then many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photos]The rural blues developed in Georgia, three main 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. Impacted by ragtime and white 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 characterized by high, clean singing followed by supple guitar lines that consist generally of single -string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. Blind Lemon Jefferson was the most powerful Texas bluesman. Mississippi Delta blues has been the most powerful and is the most extreme of the three styles. Vocally, it truly is the most speech-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a slide or bottleneck is frequently used. The Mississippi style is symbolized by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4873 Shannonvale 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 mostly stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues.
The World Wars and the Great Depression 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 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 bass and drums. 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, nevertheless, that played the greatest part in the growth of urban blues. After World War II they were supplanted by a brand new generation of bluesmen that contained Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
Many other musical styles have been affected by the blues. Jazz and blues are closely associated; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton within their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also show shapes and apparent blues tonalities. The blues have had their greatest influence on rock music.
Blues material was often used by rock singers such as Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, especially the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, 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 4873 Shannonvale Queensland