Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4872 Wairuna
From its source in the South, the blues’ simple but expressive forms had become by the 1960s among the most important influences on the development of music that is popular throughout the USA.
Although instrumental accompaniment is nearly worldwide in the blues, the blues is basically a vocal kind. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; feelings are being expressed by blues vocalists instead of telling stories. The emotion expressed is typically one of depression or melancholy, commonly due to difficulties in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques such as 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 using a metal slide or bottleneck to the guitar strings to create a whining, voice-like sound.
Commonly the first two and a half measures of each line are committed to singing, the last measure and a half comprising an instrumental “break” that complements the vocal line, responses, or repeats. In terms of practical (i.e., conventional European) harmony, the most straightforward 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):
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African influences are apparent in the blues tonality, the call and response pattern of the repeated refrain construction of the blues stanza, the falsetto break in the vocal style, and the imitation of vocal idioms by instruments, notably the guitar and harmonica.
The sources of the blues are poorly documented. Blues developed in the southern United States after the American Civil War (1861–65). It was affected by work songs and field hollers, minstrel show music, ragtime, church music, and the folk and popular music of the white people. 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 quite popular, and thereafter many other Tin Pan Alley songs entitled blues started to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photos]The rural blues grown in three principal areas, Georgia and the Carolinas, Texas, and Mississippi. The blues of the Carolinas and Georgia is noted for its clarity of enunciation and regularity of rhythm. Affected by white and ragtime folk music, it is more melodic than the Texas and Mississippi styles. Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller were representative of this style.
High, clean singing followed by supple guitar lines that consist typically of single characterizes the Texas blues -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 truly is the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is percussive and rhythmic; a bottleneck or a slide is often used. The Mississippi style is symbolized by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
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Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photos]The first blues records were made in the 1920s by black women for example Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Mamie Smith. These performers were mainly stage vocalists backed by jazz bands; their style is referred to 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 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 great rhythmic and emotional 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, nonetheless, that played the greatest part 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 fresh generation of bluesmen that included Muddy Waters, Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), Elmore James, Little Walter Jacobs, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
The blues have affected many other musical styles. Blues and jazz are closely linked; blues elements were employed by such seminal jazzmen as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton in their music. Soul music and rhythm and blues additionally reveal clear blues tonalities and shapes. The blues have had their greatest impact on rock music.
Blues material was regularly used by early rock singers for example 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 4872 Wairuna Queensland