Making Music with Marshall
Posted: 30 June 2020
No genre has influenced more playing styles and given birth to new music more than the blues. We take a look at where the blues began and what elements of blues are most prominent today.
Read time - 3 mins
Influenced by work songs, church music and folk, Blues developed in the Southern United States. The earliest references of blues date back to 1890’s and was primarily played by the Southern black community. Blues developed in Georgia, Texas and Mississippi, where slight variations of style developed such as Mississippi Delta blues. Players such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson paved the way for the genre where over time cities such as Atlanta, Memphis and Chicago began to adopt the sound.
After World War II electric guitar became paramount in blues music, with musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and many more championing the genre. The blues heavily influenced Elvis Presley and later British rock icons such as The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and Eric Clapton.
Phrasing and keeping lead lines simple but rhythmic are important factors of classic blues playing, but some of the most notable blues guitar techniques are the use of bends and using a minor pentatonic/pentatonic blues scale. Try bending a half tone or whole tone up when playing a lick. Hammer-ons and pull-offs are also commonly used in more blues rock playing.