Music Technology: Stylistic Finger prints of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Rock ‘n’ Roll Stylistic Finger Prints:

  • Instrumentation includes – male vocals, backing vocals, electric guitars, double bass, drums, piano, harmonica, saxophone and other brass
  • Fast Tempo – 140bpm or faster
  • Energetic delivery of vocals (screaming and shouting)
  • Often based on 12-bar chord structure
  • Predominantly uses major keys but with blues scale for vocals, lead parts and solos
  • Strong back beat on beats 2 and 4
  • Often uses a shuffle rhythm – slightly swung quavers
  • Walking bass line, four to a bar, often based on ascending and descending patterns of root-3rd-5th-6th-flat 7th-6th-5th-3rd
  • Quite often this line is doubled by electric guitar
  • Second guitar plays rhythmic patterns of chords – use of 6th and 7th extensions of chords
  • Use of ‘stop time’ where instruments play only on beat 1 then leave space for vocals or instruments
  • Use of flamboyant guitar solos
  • Call and response – often between vocal and guitar


Technology and Production:

  • Live recording, direct to tape and mixing is done on the fly
  • Poor quality of instrument capture
  • Loud guitars and drums
  • Vocals overdubbed later to improve clarity
  • Use of slap-back delay on vocals and guitars
  • Use of echo chambers added to the backing mix
  • The sound of the electric guitar is crucial in the music – use of overdriven valve amplifiers hinting at full-blown distorted sound of rock guitar that would soon become popular



    1. Profile photo of MUSIC DEPARTMENT

      you should have completed your log book as you go through the course step by step i wouldn’t be surprised if you failed the course you can not rush a master piece maximum marks must be gained in order to succeed please do not follow in the footsteps of Emma P

      1. Profile photo of phoenixgreen Author

        Hi, Thank you for your thoughts of which I completely agree with. Too many students leave their logbooks to the end of their course rather than complete them as they go and as a result, they wonder why they are a whole grade lower than predicted. Thanks again, I really think we can’t emphasize this point enough to the students.

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