Here’s How Blues Has Influenced Pop Music

Learn Blues Piano: How the Blues Influenced Modern Music

Music today is incredibly varied. From hip-hop to jazz to R&B to rock, every genre offers musicians and fans a unique sonic journey and new opportunities to discover great music. Renowned artists can weave through these varied styles to find the best blend of sounds to create amazing works.

As far apart as they are, however, most of the pop music we listen to today can at least partly trace its roots back to a single awesome movement: the Blues. Originating with the African-American communities in the 19th century “Deep South”, Blues music found its influences in the folk music of the European and American continents, as well as traditional African music and old spirituals and songs sung by slaves.

As the music evolved, it became a major starting point for incredible musicians in almost every field of music. Its influence can be seen in some of the greatest bands and artists in history. If you’re thinking about taking a blues course online or blues piano course, check out how blues have changed some of the music you love and play!

Hip-Hop – The Rhythm

Blues is all about rhythm. Without it, even the genre’s famous “worried notes” sound flat. Tracing its percussion and beat patterns from traditional African drum sounds, Blues’ rhythm is a unique blend of pacing and swagger. Hip-Hop borrows a lot from old Blues music, from guitar riffs to samples to drum beats, but more than anything, Blue’s swagger and tone are always present in hip-hop productions.


Jazz – The Sounds

Anyone who’s listened to jazz can tell you the horns are pretty important. What you can probably not tell as much is how the sounds made by the horn sound a lot like Blues’ guitars. The twang and pitch of the guitars is replaced in Jazz by trumpets, trombones, and saxophones. On top of that, Jazz musicians use many of the unusual time signatures also present in Blues, though it takes it to a higher level.


R&B – The Soul

If you’ve heard any R&B, you know that one of the main ingredients in the recipe is soul. R&B music is about expressing powerful emotions, and the best way to do that is by singing with real passion. One of Blues music’s biggest draws is the fact that the best songs are infused with the heart and soul of the artists playing them. The genre avoids sounding mechanical, and truly excels at transmitting as much with its emotion as with its music, in the same way the best R&B songs do.


Rock – The Tools

While blues music uses several instruments, the guitar is undoubtedly front and center for any band. The genre pioneered new styles in guitar-playing, and its broad musical influences combined to create a truly unique and unheard of sound. Rock music takes its cues from blues, and its footprints are easily visible from Led Zeppelin to Lynyrd Skynyrd to the Allman Brothers.


Feel the Blues!  Check out some great blues and broaden your musical landscape. Want to take a blues piano course? Download Simply Piano