Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher St Lawrence 4707 Queensland
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 growth of popular music throughout America.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost worldwide in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal kind. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues vocalists are expressing feelings instead of telling stories. The emotion expressed is usually one of melancholy or depression, often due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as 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 employing 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. Usually the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to the last measure, singing and a half consisting of an instrumental “break” that repeats, responses, or complements the vocal line.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4707 St Lawrence.
African influences are apparent in the blues tonality, the call-and-response pattern of the falsetto break in the vocal style, the repeated refrain construction of the blues stanza, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are badly documented. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). 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 largely played by Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers.
The first references to blues date s back to the 1890s and early 1900. In 1912 black bandleader W.C. Handy’s composition “Memphis Blues” was released. It became quite popular, and afterwards many other Tin Pan Alley tunes entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photographs]The rural blues grown in the Carolinas, Georgia and three principal regions, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of Georgia and the Carolinas is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Impacted by ragtime and white folk music, it is more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles.
The Texas blues is defined by high, sharp 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 has been the most powerful and is the most extreme of the three styles. Vocally, it is the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is percussive and rhythmic; a bottleneck or a slide is regularly used. The Mississippi style is symbolized by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher St Lawrence 4707 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 mainly stage vocalists backed by jazz bands; their style is called classic blues.
As millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North the World Wars and the Great Depression caused the geographic dispersal of the blues. The blues became adjusted to the more advanced 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 harmonica that was amplified and the electric guitar created a driving sound of rhythmic and psychological intensity that was great.
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. 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 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.
The blues have affected many other musical styles. Jazz and blues are closely associated; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton within their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues also reveal obvious blues tonalities and forms. The blues have had their greatest impact on rock music.
Blues content was often used by early rock singers like Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, especially the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Mayall, 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 4707 St Lawrence Queensland