Blues rock

Article

October 17, 2021

Blues rock is a hybrid musical genre, a kind of rock music that combines elements of the blues and rock styles. The basis of blues-rock sound is electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, and the sound of the electric guitar is subjected to "overdrive" distortion, usually with the help of a tube guitar amplifier. Blues rock began in the mid-1960s in England and the United States as what music historian Piero Scaruffi called "rhythm and blues performed by white European musicians." English bands such as The Who, Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Animals, Cream, and the Rolling Stones experimented with the music of early American bluesmen Howlin Wolfe, Robert Johnson, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and others. Early blues rock bands “tried to play long and complex improvisations typical of jazz recordings,” but by the mid-1970s blues rock had become heavier and more riff-based. In the wake of the popularity of rock music, "in the early 70s, the border between blues rock and hard rock was barely visible." Later in the 1980s and 1990s, blues rock performers returned to their blues roots, and some, like the Fabulous Thunderbirds or Stevie Rae Vaughn, "flirted with rock star status."

Description

Blues rock is characterized by the presence of blues improvisation, with the active use of pentatonic, the use of 12-bar blues harmony, the rhythmic pattern of "boogie", accentuation of the electric guitar sound and technical features, as well as often riff-based sounding, heavier than in traditional Chicago blues. Blues rock is often played at a faster tempo, which also distinguishes this genre from blues. The main instruments in blues rock are electric guitar, bass guitar, and drum kit. Vocals also play a key role, although not always: there are many instrumental blues-rock compositions out there. Occasionally, keyboard instruments such as synthesizer, piano, or organ are used. Guitar sound is distorted, unlike traditional blues, which uses an acoustic guitar. It is not uncommon to use two guitars, one for the accompaniment and the other for the melodic part.

History

Despite the fact that rock and blues have historically always been closely related, making blues rock a separate

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