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Difference Between Rock and Blues

rock-bandRock vs Blues

Rock and blues music is related to one another. It is not just because they were developed almost at the same time but also because they use very similar instruments. Although one form of rock may sound too different from one of the many blues variation, there are still many differences that are most notable between these two music forms.

In terms of cultural birthplaces, blues sprouted from the southern regions of the U.S. during the late 19th century whereas rock came from both the U.K. and U.S. in early 1950s. Moreover, blues attributes its origins from Afro-American folk music, as well as, work and spiritual songs. On the contrary, Rock and Roll, Electric Blues and, like blues, rock music’s style can also be traced from folk music.

Being a genre under popular music, rock is often distinct with its use of the electric bass guitar, drums, organ and piano. Aside from using these same musical instruments, blues has incorporated other sounds from various instruments by employing the use of the harmonica, saxophone, trumpet and the trombone.

Pure rock is said to contain three chords only. One of which is the strong chord, the second a back beat and the last chord is the use of an appealing melody. But because rock music itself has evolved from time to time, most rock forms nowadays have 4 and half chords repetitions. Conversely, the use of 12-bar blues progressions in chords is one of the most common characteristic of Blues music.

Unlike the blues bands of today, a rock group or band is commonly made of 4 members. One plays the electric guitar, another uses the bass guitar, the third being the mainstay drummer and of course the lead vocal. In some occasions, the group omits another member from the quartet leaving three members to complete the band. In this regard, the vocal is usually seen to use the instrument of the member omitted from the group.

Summary:
1.Blues began its culture in the U.S. alone while rock began in both the U.K. and the U.S.
2.The typical Blues music employs more instruments than rock.
3.The style of Blues can be traced mainly from Afro-American folk music while rock music had bigger influences from Rock and Roll and Electric Blues.
4.Pure rock is said to contain 3 chords only and most rock subgenres has 4.5 chord repetitions whereas Blues use 12-bar blues chord progressions.


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5 Comments

  1. Yet few can deny that blues rock fusion is perhaps the greatest crossover genre to date. After all, it’s where psychedelic, acid, prog, heavy metal, southern, and other modern genres came from. And why is it that blues rock is so often seen as being ‘old-school rock’ by many purists?
    I maintain that the mixing of blues and rock and roll remains a legendary occurance in pop culture.

  2. I like the fact that in blues music the musician does not have to reinvent themselves. In rock its mandatory that the player has to be different than the last rocker i.e. Stand on the head while pretending to be enraged with the world, dye their hair with bleach and Burn their eyebrows off, remove all their clothes shout no more war …Blues is an all American genuine product unlike rock which takes from all genres but may not master any I.e. classical rock is not nearly as good as the real thing.
    But you cannot compare for example blues to classical because blues does not borrow from classical (this is the relaxing effect of any traditional music).
    If I saw a blues guy with purple lipstick no eyebrows half a Mohican half a head of long hair a skull and nuclear warning signs on his guitar I would probably laugh.

  3. Rock did NOT originate in the UK ! The UK had nothing to do with the invention or origin of Rock n Roll music. Blues, Boogie, Jump, Skittle were all from the same communities and exported to the UK just as Rock was. This is well documented. The first rock acts of British origin were formed around playing Blues, Boogie, Jump and or Skittle until they heard and began playing Rock N Roll.
    Also, Rock originated before the early 1950’s in the same community that created Blues. The Twelves (1935) Stop Breaking Down(1937)Roll Em Pete(1938) That’s All(1938 Strange Things Happening Everyday, Sis Rosetta Tharpe); Let’s Have A Ball(1945); Caldonia(1945); Rocky Road Blues(1945); That’s All Right Mama(1946); Rock&Roll(1947Paul Bascomb); You Got to Run Me Down(1947) Good Rockin Tonight(1948); Boogie Chillin(1948); Muddy Jumps One(1948); Bounce Pee Wee(1948); Hole In The Wall(1948);Rock This Joint(1949) ;All She Wants to Do is Rock(1949); Rockin At Home(1949); Saturday Night Fish Fry(1949) Rock That Boogie(1949); Rock and Roll(1949); Venus(1949); Rock A While(1949)
    All preceded Rocket 88 by Ike Turner(1951) widely claimed to be the first rock song. While I wouldn’t claim Trixie Smith’s My Baby Rocks Me With A Steady Roll, to be an actual Rock n Roll song it was a for-bearer of the lyrical content and proof that the linking of the term with music, in music as euphemism was evident in the same community that originated Blues, Jazz, Boogie, Skittle and Jump not to mention Gospel and Doo Wop……and Rock n Roll.

    So NO! Rock did NOT originate in both the USA and the UK. This is NOT a distinction of Rock and Blues. Both came from/originated in the same African American communities in the USA. They were recorded certainly in the 1940’s but played in the African American communities at least as far back as the 1930s.

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  1. Difference Between Jazz and Rock | Difference Between | Jazz vs Rock

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