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

In Important A Level Articles, Stylistic Fingerprints by phoenixgreen3 Comments

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. 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. 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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