Characteristics of Blues Music

Blues Music pic
Blues Music

Arizona-based life coach and the owner of GoldMind, LLC, Peter Winslow provides mentoring services to clients both in person and via telephone and Skype. Dedicated to helping others find lasting happiness, he has worked as a life coach for more than 15 years. Outside of work, Peter Winslow enjoys playing the blues guitar.

One of the most popular music genres, blues music was created from a combination of African and Western cultures. Part of what sets blues music apart from other genres is its unique harmony. When creating a song in this genre, artists focus on using the first, fourth, and fifth chords within a scale. Further, blues music traditionally emphasizes a flattened third, fifth, and seventh notes on a major scale.

Beyond the notes used in blues songs, the genre maintains a rhythm based on the 12-bar and 48-beat repetitive pattern. This means that the three chords used in blues music are played for 12 bars. Each bar is then divided into a certain number of beats. When all 12 bars are added up, they normally consist of a total of 48 beats.

The lyrics and instruments of blues music also set the genre apart. Most blues verses are made up of three lines. Both the first and second lines of each verse are relatively similar, while the third is structured a bit differently. Lyrically, themes focus on disappointing stories and sadness. Meanwhile, the instruments frequently used in blues include the piano, guitar, and banjo. Over the years, the genre has expanded beyond these constraints, and some songs have included electric guitars, the harp, and the harmonica.