Blues and its subgenres were first; then, Rhythm & Blues was born from Blues, Jazz, and Gospel. We can say that suddenly R&B has become more famous and it counts with more interpreters than the Blues. However, both genres are pretty good. The history of the Blues is intense and extent, this genre has been through a lot, and that’s why it’s such a respectful and meaningful style.
Rhythm and Blues has more “rhythm”, the lyrics aren’t that deep, meaningful, or don’t express what Blues’ songs bring in their message. It also has some different instruments, the voice matters in every track. This doesn’t change the fact that they have some similar elements. And now, we are going to explain them in detail.
How Blues has influenced R&B music
During the 1940s, Jump Blues evolved into Rhythm & Blues thanks to a greater presence of on-stage instruments, guitar, bass and a few melodic figures, and parts that would eventually become Rock n ‘Roll. The R&B shifts more emphasis towards the character of the singer and his song than towards that of the instrumentalists. This base has prevailed over the years, to this day.
In spite of transforming itself into Rock n ‘Roll in the fifties and Soul in the seventies. While Rock n ‘Roll continues to grow, R&B has branched out from styles like electric blues, doo-wop, or New Orleans which in turn have influenced other forms of R&B as well as music in general. The Rhythm and Blues was the predecessor of Rock and Roll and the successor of rockabilly.
The original genre, known today as classic R&B has evolved into two popular strands known as contemporary Rhythm and Blues and one that has virtually no relationship to this subgenus mainstream. Today, we’ve got many interpreters from this genre, like Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and others. The Blues is originally from the African-American communities of the United States. It was developed through the spiritual, songs of prayer, work songs, English rhymes, Scottish ballads and Irish narrated and shouts of the field.
Both are the introduction of synthesised sounds and drum machines, as well as a closer approach to the pop genre. The musicians paid little attention to the difference between Jazz and R&B, and often recorded for both types. The decade of the 50 was the first of the R&B. Coinciding with other genres such as Jazz and Rock and Roll. R&B today defines a kind of Afro-American music, originated after the “death” of disco music in the 80s.
R&B and Blues
Music is used to express the feelings. Anger, happiness, hate, concern, love, resentment. It helps you to feel better, because you take out those bad or good feelings, and you always recover. In this genres, lyrics are usually meaningful, especially the Blues lyrics, those have to be significant because that’s what it is all about. To play the Blues’ genre, guitar, double bass, banjo, battery and piano or Hammond organ are used. R&b includes more instruments, which are the guitar, bass, saxophone, drums, piano, harmonica, Hammond organ, trumpet, electronic keyboard and double bass.
Credit: Kiki Ruiz