Menu Image Map Jim Bruce Interview 36 Blues Guitar lesson Course Blues Articles Free Lessons Online Video Pages Original Blues Men Articles Image Map

Where Did Ragtime and Blues Guitar Originate ?

Every one knows the name Scott Joplin, Afro-American born in Texas, America in 1868. For many of us his name is synonymous with ragtime, as a musical genre, and ragtime piano in particular. If he were alive today, he'd be a wealthy indeed, now that his music is played extensively for film backing tracks and many other purposes ( how can we forget the melody of 'The Entertainer' throughout that great film 'The Sting' with Paul Newman and Robert Redford ?)

Before looking at ragtime blues guitar, we have to explore the origins of ragtime piano .

Scott Joplin - Brothel Musician And Genius

He trained to play piano when he was quite young and left home to earn his living as a musician. For a negro man , this usually meant he had to play in any places that would earn him some money. In the early years, he played in mostly houses of ill-repute and bars. However, due to his classical musical education, he longed to create his own music and eventually have his music recognized as serious work.

Combining his education in the European classical styles with his own instincts, and evident African ancestry, he developed a style of music that was intricate, but very rhythmic with a complicated beat. This new rhythm was named 'syncopation' and became ragtime, possibly after a popular dance amongst the negro community in those times, the 'rag'. Thus ragtime piano was born from two cultures.

Ragtime Blues Guitar  - The Original Dance Music

 At that time, groups of 'minstrel' musicians moved around to entertain in small towns, often performing on banjo and guitar. Although very diverse, the two opposites of blues music can be identified as the dark, emotionally intense blues guitar of the delta, and the happy guitar sound of the Piedmont style.

The Piedmont way of picking was ideal for dancing, had a generally faster rhythm, syncopated tempo and came from the style of playing piano called ragtime. Guitarists at that time attempted to reproduce the complicated piano sounds, which was tough, as the guitar had a only 6 strings! (Later on, in the early electric era, the guitar tried to copy the sound of the saxophone.)

Some early guitarists found that that the thumb might alternate between 2 of the bass strings, whilst the fingers pick out the melody - ragtime blues, often called the 'happy blues' was created .

Quite a few guitarists extended this style and were quite successful, notably Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Willie McTell and several more. Other guitarists included this style into their repertoire in order to vary their appeal. For the most part, none of these played to the same skill level as Blake, Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Willie Walker. Guitarists wanting to play blues guitar would be well advised to study these artists extensively learn blues from the great examples left by these masters.


Ragtime and Blues Guitar Course Order Button


Modern Ragtime Guitar

The video clip below features an up to date ragtime tune. To make it more interesting, the tab is displayed in the lower third of the screen and moves along as the tune changes. Guitarists may pause the video whenever they want, to read the tablature and get a feel of what's happening in the music. Note how the bass beats double up , jumping from one string to the next within the structure of the alternating picking technique.

                                  

loading videos
Loading Videos...


Blind Blake - The King Of Ragtime Blues Guitar

Blind Arthur Blake really did not hold this title for nothing. He's usually approved as the fastest and most precise jazz blues finger picker there ever was, except possibly for Willie Walker and also Reverend Gary Davis. Walker only reduced two sides in his career, however those two sides demonstrate awesome knowledge, with lightning quickly picking and also flawless timing. Davis picked up from Walker in his very early profession as well as undoubtedly grabbed some fantastic methods.

Blake cut more than 120 records during his life time, which was interrupted when he was about 39 years old. His personal life and sudden death are shrouded in secret. Perhaps tough alcohol consumption as well as neglected by all accounts, he arrived in Chicago from the Deep South and currently brought with him the rapid Geechee guitar playing design learned in his young people. Artists in the city need to have been extremely impressed with the style of his finger picking - it was blues, yet a delighted go fortunate range that made you want to dance.

Blind from birth, his fingers had an almost mythological connection with his guitar, though we could just envision just what his style looked like. Unlike numerous blues guitarists, no movie of Blake exists which is a wonderful pity. Luckily, some blues men did remember him as well as defined his strategy. The feeling of syncopation in his recordings is absolutely terrific. When I first heard West Coast Blues, his initial record, I thought it should be more than one guitar, yet it was only Blake!

He achieved his sound by exceptionally brilliant thumb job as well as quick finger strokes, creating a complicated mixture of notes that never clashed. He likewise sang, yet his voice was hardly appropriate for anything other than playful jazz and also comparable styles. It just didn't have the tone or character to sing delta blues for instance. His actual power as well as know-how remained in his finger design strategy, as well as specifically his thumb job.

When playing ragtime, the thumb alternates between two or 3 bass strings, however could likewise move over to the treble strings if had to make a rapid single string kept up thumb as well as fore finger. Blake would double up on much of his bass thumb strokes, to make sure that where most guitar players would certainly play one note, he would play 2! This was done by rolling the thumb from one string to the next, rather than using different strikes. It's a really difficult design to master, not least because the thumb roll injures the thumb as well as it's required to practice really frequently in order to establish a thick callous at the call point.

What Are The Different Types Of Blues Guitar Music?

Chroniclers think that the very first songs that can appropriately be called blues appeared in the Mississippi Delta in the Deep South of America in the late 1890s. African servants would sing or shout so-called 'field shrieks', which were often in the call as well as response format as well as these songs assisted the job circulation. This type of song was closely connected to spirituals sang in the Churches during that time and also were not often accompanied by any sort of tool.

The initial guitars and fiddles were house made and also not really premium quality. This truth, and the damp climate condition were major consider the creation of traffic jam blues, where the guitar was could be tuned down to open up G or D, for instance. This kind of song was often very basic, with just four lines of verse and also no carolers. Very often, the very first three lines of the knowledgeable equaled, and also the 4th brought in a small variation.

In typical guitar adjusting, a particular fingerpicking design established called 'monotonic bass' and prevailed throughout all areas. The fingers usually selected tune on the treble strings, while the thumb struck one or two bass notes to maintain the beat. The string was damped or muted greatly just after sounding, to ensure that it ended up being more of a 'thwack' than a music note. It was a lot like a drum beat and also this theory makes a great deal of sense, as drums were really disallowed for the black area in the early 1900s.

In the early part of the century piano songs became prominent but was clearly restricted as pianos are much more costly than guitars. A young brothel pianist called Scott Joplin created highly syncopated piano instrumentals as well as called it Ragtime, probably after the type of dancing prominent among the Negro area back then. A particular attribute of ragtime piano music is the bum-chick noise of the left hand bass patterns. Some guitar players recognized that this could be simulated utilizing the thumb alternating in between the bass strings of a guitar as well as ragtime blues or Piedmont design was birthed.

The very best guitar players took both of these styles and combined them, creating some extremely exciting music without a doubt. Such players would certainly rotate their thumb throughout the basses, but might switch over to monotonic bass when needed to produce the desired musical result. Several took the style even further and used the thumb to pick any kind of string in all. The thumb is really king when it concerns fingerpicking the blues, whatever design is played.

In 1910 a young brothel piano player called Scott Joplin invented a brand-new design of playing piano that was really different. Although classically educated, he was passionate concerning vibrant songs that individuals could dance to. He applied the timeless knowledge he had through his music training as well as put on honky-tonk barrel residence piano producing ragtime. The name itself sounds new, interesting as well as a little risque. It isn't actually understood how the name came abut but we could speculate recognizing the practices of party goers back then.

The brand-new blues songs being developed by the black community after the closing of enslavement in the deep south of America was slowly transforming to dance and also musicians often said you had to drag the pace a little, or 'dustcloth' it. There was also a slow shuffling, however syncopated dance preferred amont the Negro community called a 'cloth'. It's very probable that ragtime music came from these sources. The keynote was currently there, and Joplin just included a lot more quit time syncopation to his piano music. A typical piano rag had four parts which were often extremely different and also increasingly complicated.

It wasn't as well long before a young guitar player understood that the left hand part of a piano rag could be estimated on the guitar. The acquainted 'bum-chick' noise of the bass pattern could be made using the thumb to alternative in between 2 or 3 bass strings and also make a syncopated sound. Jazz blues was birthed and also became significantly intricate and interesting. It became fairly a race to create something better and extra syncopated than the following individual, and the competition needs to have been intense.

The king of the genre was a guy called Blind Blake, but there were many others who were really glossy players, such as Blind Boy Fuller, Reverend Gary Davis as well as the prominent Willie Walker. Throughout the folk blues resurgence in the 60s, young guitar player like Stefan Grossman chose the living blues gamers to learn from them, and also adjust their designs right into a modern-day form. A system of notation was developed called guitar tablature which permitted people to write down the specific locations of the fingers of each hand at any type of part of an opus.

Using guitar tablature considerably accelerated the discovering process and also it had not been too long prior to the best players were transcribing the original Scott Joplin piano songs for guitar as well as the circle was complete.


What Are The Different Types Of Blues Guitar Music?

Chroniclers think that the very first songs that can appropriately be called blues appeared in the Mississippi Delta in the Deep South of America in the late 1890s. African servants would sing or shout so-called 'field shrieks', which were often in the call as well as response format as well as these songs assisted the job circulation. This type of song was closely connected to spirituals sang in the Churches during that time and also were not often accompanied by any sort of tool.

The initial guitars and fiddles were house made and also not really premium quality. This truth, and the damp climate condition were major consider the creation of traffic jam blues, where the guitar was could be tuned down to open up G or D, for instance. This kind of song was often very basic, with just four lines of verse and also no carolers. Very often, the very first three lines of the knowledgeable equaled, and also the 4th brought in a small variation.

In typical guitar adjusting, a particular fingerpicking design established called 'monotonic bass' and prevailed throughout all areas. The fingers usually selected tune on the treble strings, while the thumb struck one or two bass notes to maintain the beat. The string was damped or muted greatly just after sounding, to ensure that it ended up being more of a 'thwack' than a music note. It was a lot like a drum beat and also this theory makes a great deal of sense, as drums were really disallowed for the black area in the early 1900s.

In the early part of the century piano songs became prominent but was clearly restricted as pianos are much more costly than guitars. A young brothel pianist called Scott Joplin created highly syncopated piano instrumentals as well as called it Ragtime, probably after the type of dancing prominent amongst the Negro area back then. A particular attribute of ragtime piano music is the bum-chick noise of the left hand bass patterns. Some guitar players recognized that this could be simulated utilizing the thumb alternating in between the bass strings of a guitar as well as ragtime blues or Piedmont design was birthed.

The very best guitar players took both of these styles and combined them, creating some extremely exciting music without a doubt. Such players would certainly rotate their thumb throughout the basses, but might switch over to monotonic bass when needed to produce the desired musical result. Several took the style even further and used the thumb to pick any kind of string in all. The thumb is really king when it concerns fingerpicking the blues, whatever design is played.

In 1910 a young brothel piano player called Scott Joplin invented a brand-new design of playing piano that was really different. Although classically educated, he was passionate concerning vibrant songs that individuals could dance to. He applied the timeless knowledge he had through his music training as well as put on honky-tonk barrel residence piano producing ragtime. The name itself sounds new, interesting as well as a little risque. It isn't actually understood how the name came abut but we could speculate recognizing the practices of party goers back then.

The brand-new blues songs being developed by the black community after the closing of enslavement in the deep south of America was slowly transforming to dance and also musicians often said you had to drag the pace a little, or 'dustcloth' it. There was also a slow shuffling, however syncopated dance preferred amont the Negro community called a 'cloth'. It's very probable that ragtime music came from these sources. The keynote was currently there, and Joplin just included a lot more quit time syncopation to his piano music. A typical piano rag had four parts which were often extremely different and also increasingly complicated.

It wasn't as well long before a young guitar player understood that the left hand part of a piano rag could be estimated on the guitar. The acquainted 'bum-chick' noise of the bass pattern could be made using the thumb to alternative in between 2 or 3 bass strings and also make a syncopated sound. Jazz blues was birthed and also became significantly intricate and interesting. It became fairly a race to create something better and extra syncopated than the following individual, and the competition needs to have been intense.

The king of the genre was a guy called Blind Blake, but there were many others who were really glossy players, such as Blind Boy Fuller, Reverend Gary Davis as well as the prominent Willie Walker. Throughout the folk blues resurgence in the 60s, young guitar player like Stefan Grossman chose the living blues players to learn from them, and also adjust their designs right into a modern-day form. A system of notation was developed called guitar tablature which permitted people to write down the specific locations of the fingers of each hand at any type of part of an opus.

Using guitar tablature considerably accelerated the discovering process and also it had not been too long prior to the best players were transcribing the original Scott Joplin piano songs for guitar as well as the circle was complete.

Learn How To Play The Blues - Jim Bruce Home Page


Copyright (c) Youtune Records
Jim Bruce Videos
Privacy Policy