Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4454 Westgrove 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 popular music throughout America.
Although instrumental accompaniment is almost worldwide in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal form. Blues tunes are lyrical rather than narrative; feelings are being expressed by blues singers as opposed to telling stories. The emotion expressed is usually one of melancholy or depression, commonly due to problems in love.
To express this musically, blues performers use vocal techniques including melisma (keeping up a single syllable across several pitches), rhythmic techniques including syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “choking” or bending guitar strings on the neck or implementing 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 devoted to the last measure, singing and a half comprising an instrumental “break” that repeats, answers, or complements the vocal line. In terms of functional (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):
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4454 Westgrove.
African influences are clear 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 structure of the blues stanza, 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). Southern black men, most of whom came from the milieu of agricultural workers derived from and largely 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 afterward many other Tin Pan Alley songs entitled blues began to appear.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon [Credit: Archive Photographs]The rural blues developed 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 beat. Affected 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 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 influential. Vocally, it’s the most language-like, and the guitar accompaniment is rhythmic and percussive; a slide or bottleneck is regularly used. The Mississippi style is signified by Charley Patton, Eddie (“Son”) House, and Robert Johnson, among others.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher 4454 Westgrove Queensland.
Rainey, Ma [Credit: Archive Photos]The first blues recordings were made in the 1920s by black women including Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, and Bessie Smith. These performers were mainly stage singers backed by jazz bands; their style is called classic blues.
The World Wars and the Great Depression 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 surroundings. The harmonica that was amplified and the electric guitar created a driving sound of rhythmic and emotional intensity that was great.
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, nevertheless, 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 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. Jazz and blues are closely associated; 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 obvious blues tonalities and forms. The blues have had their greatest impact on rock music.
Blues content was frequently used by rock singers for example Elvis Presley. British rock musicians in the 1960s, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and notably the Rolling Stones, were strongly influenced by the blues, as were such American rock musicians as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Teacher Queensland 4454 Westgrove