'Give Me A Guitar and I'll Make You Cry' - Muddy Waters, Mississippi Blues ManThere won't be too many folks who hear a blues man perform a tear jerking riff on the guitar and not want to do the same thing. There is something very cool attached to it that is more than the physical movements. The riff needn't be incredibly complex or showy - Lightnin' Hopkins would often play an easy bass pattern that could give you goose bumps. The first thing we have to do is choose what genre of blues guitar we'd want to play. This is crucial - there is a lot of practice time in front of you, so you should enthusiastic about your chosen style.
Fingerpicking Guitar, Just One Of the Many Great Blues styles
When you say blues guitar, various ideas will spring
to mind for a wide variety of people, according to on their generation
and character. For many, the blues guitar of Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray
Vaughan is the perfect blues music. Other people are looking for the truth of the
classic acoustic blues. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll gather
all the electric styles into one category and simply name it ' electric
' , because I'm really just interested in the foundation of all
electric music, acoustic blues guitar. What are the various styles of
classic acoustic and how could we differentiate between? We might do
this according to technique, sound or location. In truth, where the
guitarists where located appears to have had a big effect on the musical
style of that region, possibly due to the fact that guitar players
swapped ideas from each other. This is how regional musical styles
Blues Guitar From The Delta
It's imagined that
Delta is the region where the blues began, though it's more likely that
it originated in several areas at about the same time. It's well known
that quite a few talented blues men moved to the North to ply their
trade in cities like Chicago or Detroit when it dawned on them that they
could get paid playing blues guitar without laboring 16 hours every in
The first acoustic songs by Muddy Waters (Walkin' Blues) is a fine example of this raw mississippi technique By the way, Muddy insisted that he was singing his version of Walkin' before Robert Johnson.
Delta blues guitar might be described as quite simple, often basic and intensely emotional. The slide style of fingerpicking guitar was perfect for the area. The conditions were often hot with high humidity, which easily disturbed the tuning of a wooden guitar. Bottleneck guitar tunes performed in open G or D were easier to keep in tune, and additionally it was easy to adjust for tuning inaccuracy by moving the slide around.
Pieces from Mississippi delta blues performed in normal tuning were predominantly in the Keys of A and E, and used a monotonic bass pattern. The picking technique might be often basic but powerful. Blues men to listen to are Robert Johnson, Son House, Muddy Waters and Fred McDowell.
Texas Blues Guitar (Lightnin' and Mance)
The oil state
has always produced a continuous stream of blues men. In the days of the
classic blues, some notable players born in Texas formed a hallmark
musical style. A legendary figure, Lightnin' Hopkins, played most often,
using a monotonic bass pattern. However, his right hand thumb could move
quickly and he was more diverse than the players from the Mississippi.
Hopkins penned many slow temp blues pieces in the key of E, but could
quickly raise the beat for folks that liked to dance a while. In his
prime, he easily packed the local halls and made some records. However,
when he was ripped off by a studio, he forever after insisted that he
got his pay before any session. Listen to the music of Mance Lipscomb,
another legend from the area.
Carolina Ragtime Blues Guitar - A Special Case
strange how certain regions had a glut of remarkable guitarists, as was
the case in the state of South Carolina. A lot of the music appears to
be a link from Texas blues and complicated ragtime styles, but that
description is a bit too simple. Several such as Pink Anderson and Wille
Walker were confident in playing the real alternating bass line
normally associated with ragtime guitar, but some players, like Floyd
Council, might leave the pattern whenever he wanted to accent some
musical phrases in his music. It's clear that these musicians exchanged
ideas, as we can identify identical patterns in the work of Gary Davis,
Fuller and Council. All of these musicians moved in the same circles.
Scrapper Blackwell penned some great examples of amazing songs with
clever progressions and inspirational words.
Ragtime Guitar - The Happy Blues
the most complicated blues style of them all, the top performers were
real masters of this way of playing. Ragtime blues songs normally have
chord structures in the keys of G and C, and featuring six or seven
chords rather than the three or four associated with Mississippi or
Texas pieces in E or A. (Of course,there are the exceptions to the
rule!) Other characteristics are a distinctive bass pattern alternating
between 2 or 3 strings, a tune picked at the same time on the higher
strings and often lyrics accentuated by single string runs played with
thumb and finger. Probably the 2 grand legends of ragtime blues were
Arthur Blake and Reverend Gary Davis. Blind Blake's bass picking was
incredibly, sometimes doubling up on the tempo and rolling his thumb
between two strings, producing a very rhythmic effect. Reverend could
really play any style - blues, gospel and ragtime blues.
Other performers, like as Big Bill Broonzy, employed a monotonic bass picking pattern, but was much more diverse than the majority of the Mississippi blues men. He might perform type songs, ballads, and often move over into jazz and ragtime in his approach. Broonzy created a blues niche we could call Chicago swing.