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Blues Guitar's Influence On Popular Music

Jul 20, 2008
Here is an old line from one of the famous blues songs and it says, "the blues had a baby...and they called it rock n' roll."

Let me tell you, there is so much truth to that line! You can listen to all the first rock n' roll songs and learn the blues guitar riffs, chord progressions and scales being played, just in a less bluesy kinda way.

"Johnny B. Good" is a superb example of a blues guitar progression being played with a rock drum beat and a vocal melody that is new from how a typical blues melody would sound. It doesn't finish there though. The influence on modern music is still really prevalent. We hear it in hip-hop, rock, emo, indie, reggae, r & b, funk, etc

The ever so popular 1 - 4 - 5 chord progression (3 chords) that is used in blues is also used in almost All type of music that exists. Even Mozart uses this chord progression as well as many others from the classical period. Not only do blues guitar riffs and chord progressions get used in modern music, but nearly all guitar solos also have blues overtones in rock music as well as the other styles that I mentioned. It has been a KEY component in forming the shape sound of modern music no matter how you look at it.

Discovering how to play blues guitar should be a top priority on any guitar players 'to-do' list. Once you learn the ins and outs of this style, you can manipulate it to create your own classic songs, riffs and/or solos. Many guitar players that I know improvise on the blues scale to make their main riffs and super amazing leads as well as use the chord progressions to write new, more modern music.

Don't allow anybody convince you that the blues is dead!
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