Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Toomulla 4816 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 music that is popular throughout the United States.
Although instrumental accompaniment is virtually worldwide in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal form. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings rather than telling stories. The emotion expressed is generally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques for example melisma (sustaining one syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques including 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 type. Commonly the first two and a half measures of each line are devoted to a half, the last measure and singing composed of an instrumental “break” that recurs, answers, or complements the vocal line. 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 4816 Toomulla Queensland.
African influences are clear in the blues tonality, the call-and-response pattern of the falsetto break in the vocal style, the repeated refrain arrangement of the blues stanza, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, particularly the guitar and harmonica.
The origins of the blues are poorly documented. It was affected by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white population. Blues derived from and was mostly played by Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers.
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 afterwards many other Tin Pan Alley songs entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photos]The rural blues developed in Georgia, three principal regions and the Carolinas, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of beat. Impacted by ragtime and white folk music, it is more melodic than the Mississippi and Texas styles.
The Texas blues is defined by high, clear singing followed 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 intense of the three styles and has been the most powerful. Vocally, it truly is the most speech-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a slide or bottleneck is frequently used. The Mississippi style is represented by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4816 Toomulla.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photographs]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Mamie Smith. These performers were mostly stage vocalists backed by jazz bands; their style is known as classic blues.
The World Wars and the Great Depression caused the geographical dispersal of the blues as millions of blacks left the South for the cities of the North. The blues became adapted to the more sophisticated 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 bass and drums. 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 role in the growth of urban blues. After World War II they were supplanted by a fresh 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 affected by the blues. Jazz and blues are closely linked; such seminal jazzmen as Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong employed blues elements in their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues also show clear blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their biggest effect on rock music.
Blues material was frequently used by rock singers for example Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, notably 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 Queensland 4816 Toomulla