Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4655 Urraween Queensland
From its origin in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s one of the most important influences on the development of popular music throughout the United States.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost worldwide in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal form. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; feelings are being expressed by blues singers rather than telling stories. The emotion expressed is generally one of depression or melancholy, often due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques for example melisma (keeping up one syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques including syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “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 form. Generally 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 responses, repeats, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Urraween 4655 Queensland.
African influences are apparent 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 documented. It was influenced by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white population. 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 very popular, and afterward many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Pictures]The rural blues grown in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas, three principal regions, 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.
The Texas blues is defined by high, clean singing accompanied by supple guitar lines that consist generally 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 intense of the three styles and has been the most influential. Vocally, it is the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is percussive and rhythmic; 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 4655 Urraween Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Pictures]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women such as 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.
As millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North the World Wars and the Great Depression caused the geographical 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 electric guitar and the harmonica that was amplified created a driving sound of emotional and rhythmic intensity that was great.
Hooker, John Lee [Credit:
It was Chicago, nonetheless, that played the greatest part in the development of urban blues. After World War II they were supplanted by a brand new generation of bluesmen that included Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
Many other musical styles have been influenced by the blues. Blues and jazz are closely related; such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton employed blues elements in their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues additionally reveal forms and clear blues tonalities. The blues have had their greatest influence on rock music.
Rock singers such as Elvis Presley often used blues material. British rock musicians in the 1960s, notably the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, were strongly affected by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Urraween 4655 Queensland