Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4680 Sun Valley
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s one of the most important influences on the development of music that is popular throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is virtually universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal kind. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues vocalists are expressing feelings as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is typically one of depression or melancholy, commonly due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as melisma (prolonging an individual syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques for example syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or applying 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 kind. Normally the first two and a half measures of each line are given to a half, the last measure and singing consisting of an instrumental “break” that complements the vocal line, replies, or repeats.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4680 Sun Valley Queensland.
African influences are obvious 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, especially the guitar and harmonica.
The sources of the blues are badly documented. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers derived from and mostly 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 very popular, and afterward many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photos]The rural blues developed in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas, three main regions, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of beat. Influenced 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 has been the most influential and is the most extreme of the three styles. Vocally, it 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 Sun Valley 4680 Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photographs]The first blues recordings were made in the 1920s by black women such as 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 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 adapted to the more advanced urban environment. The amplified harmonica and the electric guitar created a driving sound of great rhythmic and psychological intensity.
Hooker, John Lee [Credit: Frank Driggs Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]Among the cities where the blues initially took root were Atlanta, Memphis, and St. Louis.
It was Chicago, nonetheless, that played the greatest part in the development 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 contained Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
The blues have influenced many other musical styles. Jazz and blues are closely associated; such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong employed blues elements within their music. Rhythm and soul music and blues also show forms and apparent blues tonalities. The blues have had their biggest effect on rock music.
Early rock singers such as Elvis Presley regularly used blues material. 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 Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4680 Sun Valley Queensland