Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4892 Yarraden Queensland
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s one of the most significant influences on the development of popular music throughout the United States.
Although instrumental accompaniment is nearly worldwide in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal type. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is normally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as melisma (keeping up an individual syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques including 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 defined 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 devoted to the last measure, singing and a half comprising an instrumental “break” that complements the vocal line, replies, or repeats. In terms of functional (i.e., traditional European) harmony, the simplest blues harmonic progression is described as follows (I, IV, and V refer respectively to the first or tonic, fourth or subdominant, and fifth or dominant notes of the scale):
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4892 Yarraden.
African influences are apparent in the blues tonality, the call-and-response pattern of the repeated refrain structure of the blues stanza, the falsetto break in the vocal style, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The sources of the blues are badly recorded. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). Blues derived from and was mainly 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 very popular, and afterwards many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photos]The rural blues developed in the Carolinas, Georgia and three principal areas, 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 Mississippi and Texas styles. Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller were representative of this style.
The Texas blues is characterized by high, clear singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist usually of single -string picked arpeggios rather than strummed chords. Blind Lemon Jefferson was by far the most powerful Texas bluesman. Mississippi Delta blues is the most extreme of the three styles and has been the most influential. Vocally, it’s the most speech-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a bottleneck or a slide is frequently used. The Mississippi style is signified by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4892 Yarraden Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Pictures]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women like Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Bessie Smith. These performers were primarily stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is known 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 sophisticated urban environment. The harmonica that was amplified and the electric guitar created a driving sound of great rhythmic and emotional intensity.
Hooker, John Lee [Credit: 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.
The blues have influenced many other musical styles. Blues and jazz are closely associated; such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton employed blues elements in their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also show clear blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their greatest effect on rock music.
Early rock singers for example Elvis Presley frequently used blues material. British rock musicians in the 1960s, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and especially the Rolling Stones, were powerfully affected by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Yarraden 4892 Queensland