Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4871 Southedge
From its origin in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most important influences on the development of popular music throughout the United States.
Although instrumental accompaniment is nearly universal in the blues, the blues is basically a a form that is vocal. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is usually one of depression or melancholy, often due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques including melisma (prolonging a single syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques for example syncopation, and instrumental techniques including “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. Typically the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to singing, the last measure and a half consisting of an instrumental “break” that complements the vocal line, replies, or recurs. In terms of practical (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 4871 Southedge.
African influences are noticeable in the blues tonality, the call and response pattern of the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, the falsetto break in the vocal style, and the repeated refrain construction of the blues stanza, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are poorly documented. It was determined by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white citizenry. Blues derived from and was mostly played by Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers.
The earliest references to blues date s back to the 1890s and early 1900. In 1912 black bandleader W.C. Handy’s composition “Memphis Blues” was published. It became very popular, and then many other Tin Pan Alley songs entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photographs]The rural blues developed in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas, three principal areas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Influenced by white and ragtime folk music, it is more melodic than the Texas and Mississippi styles.
The Texas blues is characterized by high, clear singing followed by supple guitar lines that consist typically 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 regularly used. The Mississippi style is symbolized by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Southedge 4871 Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photos]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 mainly 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 adjusted to the more complex 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 electric guitar and the amplified harmonica created a driving sound of great rhythmic and psychological 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.
It was Chicago, however, that played the greatest role in the growth 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 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 also reveal obvious blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their biggest influence on rock music.
Early rock singers such as Elvis Presley regularly used blues content. British rock musicians in the 1960s, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and notably the Rolling Stones, 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 Southedge 4871 Queensland