Early rock music was a blend of country, blues, and rhythm and blues. Guitars and washboards were the primary instruments used.
Early rock music – the roots
Guitars and washboards were the original rock instruments, and they laid the foundations for the music we enjoy today. These simple, yet effective, tools allowed early musicians to create a sound that was both unique and catchy, and which would ultimately go on to influence generations of musicians.
Guitars in early rock music
Guitars were first used in rock music in the 1950s. Though other instruments, such as the violin and piano, had been used in rock music before this time, the guitar was able to give the music a louder, more powerful sound. The early rock musicians who used guitars were inspired by the blues and country music they heard on the radio. They wanted to create a new kind of music that would make people dance and feel good.
The first guitars used in rock music were electric guitars. These guitars were played through amplifiers, which made them louder than acoustic guitars. The electric guitar quickly became the most popular instrument in rock music. Early rock musicians such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley made their names playing electric guitar.
Another important type of guitar used in early rock music was the slide guitar. Slide guitar is played by holding a metal or glass slide against the strings of the guitar while playing. This gives the notes a “sliding” sound which is perfect for creating bluesy melodies. The most famous slide guitarist is probably Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band.
The last type of guitar worth mentioning is the washboard. Though it is not technically a guitar, the washboard is sometimes used as an instrument in early rock music. It is usually played with two wooden sticks or brushes and looks like a miniature washing board. The washboard is often used to create a rhythms for other instruments to follow.
Washboards in early rock music
Washboards have been used in music since the 18th century, when they were commonly used in folk and blues. In the early 20th century, washboards became popular in American and British vaudeville and music hall performers. In the 1940s and 1950s, washboards began to be used in rockabilly and early rock and roll.
Early rock musicians who used washboards include Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, and Bill Haley. These musicians often played their washboards with drumsticks or guitar picks. Washboards were also sometimes played with bare hands.
In addition to being used as a solo instrument, washboards were sometimes used as part of a band. Early rock bands that featured washboards include The Rocking Stones (a British rockabilly band), The Rolling Stones (an American rock band), and The Washboard Rhythm Kings (an American jazz band).
While washboards are not as commonly used in music as they once were, they can still be found in some genres of music, such as ska and punk.
The influence of early rock music
Despite popular belief, early rock music did not emerge in the 1950s with the start of Elvis Presley’s career. Instead, its origins can be traced back to a combination of African-American, Caucasian, and Appalachian influences in the 1920s and 1930s. This melting pot of musical styles created a unique sound that would go on to have a profound impact on popular culture in the United States.
One of the most important aspects of early rock music was its use of guitars and washboards. These instruments helped to create a distinctive sound that was unlike anything else at the time. Guitarists such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Bo Diddley were pioneers in this regard, and their influence can still be heard in today’s rock music.
Despite its humble beginnings, early rock music went on to have a huge impact on the world. It helped to shape the sound of popular music for generations to come, and its influence can still be heard in today’s modern rock hits.
The legacy of early rock music
The early rock and rollers who played guitars and washboards have left a lasting legacy. These musicians were the pioneers of a new type of music that would take the world by storm. They combined elements of blues, country, and gospel to create a sound that was truly unique. Their records were filled with energy and excitement, and they quickly became popular with the young people of the day.
Sadly, many of these early rockers are now forgotten. But their music lives on, and their influence can still be heard in the work of today’s musicians.
Early rock music – the sound
Early rock music was characterized by its use of guitars and washboards. The guitars were typically played with a distinctive sound, which was Bounce Forward and Back, Pick Slap, Power Chords, or Riff-Based Entries. The washboards were used to provide percussion, which added to the overall sound of the music.
Early rock music – the look
Most people think of early rock music as the music of the 1950s. This is the era when rock and roll was first created, and when it began to influence other popular music styles. But rock music didn’t just appear out of nowhere in the 1950s – it had its roots in earlier musical styles.
One of the most important influences on early rock music was the blues. The blues is a type of music that originated in African-American communities in the southern United States. It is characterized by its simple, repetitive chord progressions and its catchy melodies. Another important influence on early rock music was country music. Country music is a type of American folk music that evolved in the 1930s and 1940s. It is characterized by its twangy guitars, its sentimental lyrics, and its focus on rural life.
Early rock musicians often combined elements of both the blues and country to create a new, hybrid style of music. This new style was characterized by its electric guitars, its driving rhythms, and its youthful energy. Early rock musicians also borrowed from other genres of popular music, including rhythm and blues (R&B) and pop. But no matter what other styles they borrowed from, early rock musicians always kept one foot planted firmly in the blues.
Early rock music – the attitude
The attitude of early rock music was something new and fresh. It defied convention and traditional values. The music talked about topics that were considered taboo at the time, such as sex and drugs. It also dealt with more serious issues, such as poverty and social injustice. Early rock musicians were not afraid to speak their minds and express their opinions. This was a major departure from the more conservative approach of previous generations.
The energy and excitement of early rock music was positive and upbeat. It was a welcome change from the negative and pessimistic outlook of many adults at the time. Early rock music reflected the optimism of youth. It celebrated life and urged people to take risks and live for today.
The sound of early rock music was also new and different. Guitars, bass guitars, drums, and pianos were used to create a loud,raw sound that was unlike anything that had been heard before. Washboards, harmonicas, and other non-traditional instruments were also sometimes used. Early rock songs were often shorter than those of other genres, with most lasting between two and three minutes.
Early rock music laid the foundation for subsequent genres such as punk rock, heavy metal, and pop rock. The attitude, sound, and ingredients of early rock music are still evident in these styles today.
Early rock music – the fans
The fans of early rock music were mainly the young people who were just beginning to rebel against the conformity of their parents’ generation. They were looking for a new kind of music that would express their own beliefs and values, and early rock music was the perfect vehicle for this. The fans were also attracted to the wild, rebellious image of the early rock stars. This was in stark contrast to the clean-cut image of most popular singers at that time.
Early rock music – the future
Early rock music was the beginning of a new era not just for music, but for popular culture as a whole. This type of music emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and it quickly spread throughout the world. Early rock music was simple in structure and often featured just a few instruments, such as guitars and washboards. However, this simplicity did not take away from the power of the music, and early rock quickly became one of the most popular genres of the time.