Genre Blending

In this lesson, I'll teach you the various features of several genres, how to incorporate them into music, and how to overlap the traits.

Genre Blending
4

Characteristics of Genres

Blues

The first genre to look at is blues. Blues is one of the oldest genres in popular music, and therefore has very simple traits. The twelve-bar blues is a chord progression that most everyone is familiar with.

I-I-I-I
IV-IV-I-I
V-IV-I-I

In the key of C this would be:

C-C-C-C
F-F-C-C
G-F-C-C

Commonly, each chord is played for four beats each, and each chord is a dominant seventh. The dominant seventh chord in itself is very bluesy.

Country

Modern country music is a derivative of folk, bluegrass, and blues. As such, it shares many similar characteristics. A skill essential for country guitar playing is finger-picking. There are a variety of picking styles, but one of the most common is Travis picking. The thumb plays a simple alternating bassline on the E and A strings, while the remaining fingers fill in the melody.

p mi p am p mi p ai
e-------------3----------------3-----|
B-----0--------0------0---------0----|
G-------0---------------0------------|
D------------------------------------|
A----------2---------------2---------|
E--3--------------3------------------|
The pattern above is a typical Travis picking style riff. The thumb plays the G and B on the E and A strings, and the index, middle and ring fingers fill in the chord on the G, B, and e strings.

Rock

Rock 'n' roll is one of the most versatile genres, with a wide web of inclusion. One feature that most sub-genres of rock have is the power chord. A power chord is simply a perfect fifth interval. This interval is loved in rock because it has an almost universal shape on the guitar neck, so that it can be used anywhere; the lack of a third gives the music an indeterminate sound, not major nor minor; and the distortion commonly used in rock makes full chords sound messy, but not the power chord.
D--5--| B--6--| e--6--|
A--5--| G--5--| B--6--|
E--3--| D--3--| G--3--|

Funk

Funk is a study all itself, with a composition that takes years to fully understand. On any instrument in funk, the key is syncopation: moving the beat out of place. On guitar, you can use sixteenth-note riffs with very jazzy chords to achieve a funk sound. Instead of accenting the downbeats, try delaying a note for one beat.
e----------------------------------------| 
B--7-x-x-x---7-x-x-x---x-7-x-x---7-x-x-x-|
G--7-x-x-x---7-x-x-x---x-7-x-x---7-x-x-x-|
D--6-x-x-x---6-x-x-x---x-6-x-x---6-x-x-x-|
A--7-x-x-x---7-x-x-x---x-7-x-x---7-x-x-x-|
E----------------------------------------|
In the above example I use an E9 chord and move the beat on "3" to "e".

Blending Genres

As an example, let's create a funk-rock blend. We can start with choosing a power chord (F, for instance), then build a rhythm around it.
D--3-x-x-3-x-x-3-x-|--x-3-x-3-x-x-3-x-|
A--3-x-x-3-x-x-3-x-|--x-3-x-3-x-x-3-x-|
E--1-x-x-1-x-x-1-x-|--x-1-x-1-x-x-1-x-|
We have an F power chord played In a 3-3-2 rhythm for the first bar. Then, on the second bar, we change the first beat to the "&" of 1. This creates an interesting riff that can be used Ina number of locations.

One more example, this time will choose country and blues.
G--------------------------------|-------------------------------|
D-----0------0-----0-------0-----|----0------0-----0-------0-----|
A---------2-------------2--------|-------2-------------2---------|
E--3------------3----------------|-3------------3----------------|

G-----0-----0----0------0---|-------------------------|
D---------2----------2------|----0-----0----0------0--|
A--3-----------3------------|-------2-----------2-----|
E---------------------------|--3-----------3----------|
G----0-----0------0------0-----|-----------------------------|
D--------4-------------2-------|----0-----0------0-------0---|
A--5------------3--------------|--------2-------------2------|
E------------------------------|--3------------3-------------|
We use a vaguely Travis picking style, with a twelve-bar blues progression. This is a common blend of genres, as country was originally influenced by blues.

Thank you for reading. I hope this lesson was informative and useful. Watch for more lessons by me.

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    krivov.daniil
    Answer, please, in last example you use as a V chord G----0-----0----D-----4-----A--5-----E-----what is this, and where is it come from? P.S. I'm undrestood, that it's a just GGGG CCGG DCGG but whole tab sound very unknow to me)