Power trio

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience Jimi Hendrix Experience.png
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit (drums and cymbals), leaving out the second rhythm guitar or keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands that are quartets and quintets. Larger rock bands use one or more additional rhythm section to fill out the sound with chords and harmony parts.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, and country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses.

Contents

Most power trios in hard rock and heavy metal music use the electric guitar player in two roles; during much of the song, they play rhythm guitar, playing the chord progression for the song and performing the song's important riffs, and then switching to a lead guitar role during the guitar solo. While one or more band members typically sing while they play their instruments, power trios in hard rock and heavy metal music generally emphasize instrumental performance and overall sonic impact over vocals and lyrics. [1] An example of a power trio is Motörhead, which consisted of a bassist, guitarist and drummer, with Lemmy, the bass guitarist, singing lead vocals simultaneously while he played bass.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Rhythm guitar guitar technique; part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with other instruments from the rhythm section

In music performances, rhythm guitar is a technique and role that performs a combination of two functions: to provide all or part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with other instruments from the rhythm section ; and to provide all or part of the harmony, i.e. the chords from a song's chord progression, where a chord is a group of notes played together. Therefore, the basic technique of rhythm guitar is to hold down a series of chords with the fretting hand while strumming or fingerpicking rhythmically with the other hand. More developed rhythm techniques include arpeggios, damping, riffs, chord solos, and complex strums.

History

The rise of the power trio in the 1960s was made possible in part by developments in amplifier technology that greatly enhanced the volume of the electric guitar and bass. Particularly, the popularization of the electric bass guitar defined the bottom end and filled in the gaps. Since the amplified bass could also now be louder, the rest of the band could also play at higher volumes, without fear of being unable to hear the bass. This allowed a three-person band to have the same sonic impact as a large band but left far more room for improvisation and creativity, unencumbered by the need for detailed arrangements. As with the organ trio, a 1960s-era soul jazz group centered on the amplified Hammond organ, a three-piece group could fill a large bar or club with a big sound for a much lower price than a large rock and roll band. A power trio, at least in its blues rock incarnation, is also generally held to have developed out of Chicago-style blues bands such as Muddy Waters' trio.

Amplifier electronic device that can increase the power of a signal

An amplifier, electronic amplifier or (informally) amp is an electronic device that can increase the power of a signal. It is a two-port electronic circuit that uses electric power from a power supply to increase the amplitude of a signal applied to its input terminals, producing a proportionally greater amplitude signal at its output. The amount of amplification provided by an amplifier is measured by its gain: the ratio of output voltage, current, or power to input. An amplifier is a circuit that has a power gain greater than one.

Organ trio trio including a Hammond organ

An organ trio, in a jazz context, is a group of three jazz musicians, typically consisting of a Hammond organ player, a drummer, and either a jazz guitarist or a saxophone player. In some cases the saxophonist will join a trio which consists of an organist, guitarist, and drummer, making it a quartet. Organ trios were a popular type of jazz ensemble for club and bar settings in the 1950s and 1960s, performing a blues-based style of jazz that incorporated elements of R&B. The organ trio format was characterized by long improvised solos and an exploration of different musical "moods".

Soul jazz music genre

Soul jazz is a development of jazz incorporating strong influences from blues, soul, gospel and rhythm and blues in music for small groups, often an organ trio featuring a Hammond organ.

Cream Cream Clapton Bruce Baker 1960s.jpg
Cream

In addition to technological improvements, another impetus for the rise of the power trio was the virtuosity of guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Rory Gallagher, who could essentially cover both the rhythm guitar and lead guitar roles in a live performance. In 1964, Frank Zappa played guitar in a power trio the Muthers, with Paul Woods on bass and Les Papp on drums. [2] In 1966, the prototypical blues-rock power trio Cream [3] was formed, consisting of Eric Clapton on guitar/vocals, Jack Bruce on bass/vocals, and Ginger Baker on drums. Other influential 1960s-era blues rock/hard rock power trio bands were the Jimi Hendrix Experience, [4] Blue Cheer, Grand Funk Railroad, [5] the James Gang featuring Joe Walsh, and Taste. [6]

Eric Clapton English musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist

Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Rory Gallagher Blues rock musician from Ireland

William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and brought up in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste during the late 1960s. His albums have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

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Rush

Well-known 1970s-era power trios include the Canadian progressive rock groups Rush and Triumph, the American band ZZ Top, [7] the British heavy metal band Motörhead, and Robin Trower. Emerson, Lake & Palmer (as well as its offshoot Emerson, Lake & Powell), while replacing the guitarist by a keyboardist, is usually considered as a power trio, [8] [9] as Keith Emerson fulfilled the rhythm and lead playing on the keyboards that would usually fall on the guitarist, while bassist (and occasional guitarist) Greg Lake was the vocalist. In 1968, the power trio Manal was formed in Argentina, and were the first group that composed blues music in Spanish. [10] [11]

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid- to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing.

Rush (band) Canadian rock band

Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart. Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and classic line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first tour of the United States.

Triumph (band) Canadian hard rock power trio

Triumph is a Canadian hard rock band formed in 1975 that was popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s, building on its reputation and success as a live band. Between the band's 16 albums and DVDs, Triumph has received 18 gold and 9 platinum awards in Canada and the United States. Triumph was nominated for multiple Juno Awards, including Group of the Year Award in 1979, 1985, 1986, and 1987. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2007, into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2008, and into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2019.

the Police ThePolice 2007.jpg
the Police

After the 1970s, the phrase "power trio" was applied to the new wave group the Police, [12] grunge band Nirvana, post-punk band Hüsker Dü, mod revivalists the Jam, hard rock/progressive metal band King's X, progressive rock band Rush, post-grunge band Silverchair, alternative bands the Presidents of the United States of America, Goo Goo Dolls, Primus, Everclear, Muse, and Eve 6, pop punk bands such as Green Day, Blink-182, Alkaline Trio and MxPx, and Argentine rock bands like Soda Stereo, Divididos and From Power Project. Also, by the 1990s, rock trios began to form around different instrumentation, from the band Morphine, featuring a baritone saxophone instead of an electric guitar, to Ben Folds Five's replacing the guitar with various keyboards, principally the piano.

New wave is a genre encompassing numerous pop/rock-oriented music styles popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create pop and rock music that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

The Police English rock band

The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of Sting, Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland. The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Emerging in the British new-wave scene, they played a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. Considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the U.S., in 1983 Rolling Stone labelled them "the first British New Wave act to break through in America on a grand scale, and possibly the biggest band in the world." The Police disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008.

Grunge is a rock music genre and subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns. The early grunge movement revolved around Seattle's independent record label Sub Pop and the region's underground music scene. The owners of Sub Pop marketed Northwestern punk rock shrewdly and the media was encouraged to describe it as "grunge", which came to mean a punk and metal hybrid style of music. By the early 1990s its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia, building strong followings and signing major record deals.

See also

Related Research Articles

Funk genre of music

Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer, often at slower tempos than other popular music. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves that created a "hypnotic" and "danceable feel". Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

Musical ensemble group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Speed metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that originated in the late 1970s from new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) roots. It is described by AllMusic as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music.

Jack Bruce Scottish musician, bassist of Cream

John Symon Asher Bruce was a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter known primarily for his contributions to the British supergroup Cream, which also included the guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and the drummer Ginger Baker. In March 2011 Rolling Stone readers selected him as the eighth greatest bass guitarist of all time. "Most musicians would have a very hard time distinguishing themselves if they wound up in a band with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker," the magazine said at the time, "but Jack Bruce was so gifted on the bass that he did it with ease."

Bassline

A bassline is the term used in many styles of music, such as jazz, blues, funk, dub and electronic, traditional music, or classical music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass, cello, tuba or keyboard. In unaccompanied solo performance, basslines may simply be played in the lower register of any instrument such as guitar or piano while melody and/or further accompaniment is provided in the middle or upper register. In solo music for piano and pipe organ, these instruments have an excellent lower register that can be used to play a deep bassline. On organs, the bass line is typically played using the pedal keyboard and massive 16' and 32' bass pipes.

Comping is the chords, rhythms, and countermelodies that keyboard players, guitar players, or drummers use to support a jazz musician's improvised solo or melody lines. It is also the action of accompanying, and the left-hand part of a solo pianist.

Blues rock is a fusion genre combining elements of blues and rock. It is mostly an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock: electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and drums, sometimes with keyboards and harmonica. From its beginnings in the early- to mid-1960s, blues rock has gone through several stylistic shifts and along the way it inspired and influenced hard rock, Southern rock, and early heavy metal. Blues rock continues to be an influence in the 2010s, with performances and recordings by popular artists.

Guitar solo

A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In the 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, swing, jazz, jazz fusion, rock and metal guitar solos often contain virtuoso techniques and varying degrees of improvisation. Guitar solos on classical guitar, which are typically written in musical notation, are also used in classical music forms such as chamber music and concertos.

Rhythm section group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and beat for the rest of the band

A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band. The rhythm section is often contrasted with the roles of other musicians in the band, such as the lead guitarist or lead vocals whose primary job is to carry the main melody of the song.

Mike Keneally American musician

Michael Joseph Keneally is an American session guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and composer.

Aynsley Dunbar British musician

Aynsley Thomas Dunbar is an English drummer. He has worked with Nils Lofgren, Eric Burdon, John Mayall, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis, Ian Hunter, Lou Reed, Jefferson Starship, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Whitesnake, Pat Travers, Sammy Hagar, Michael Schenker, UFO, Flo & Eddie, Michael Chapman, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, Kathi McDonald, Keith Emerson, Mike Onesko, Herbie Mann, and Journey. Dunbar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey in 2017.

A Power duo is a two-piece rock band that follows a similar blues rock style to a traditional power trio, and whose primary lineup consists of a drummer and a guitarist or a drummer and a bassist. One Day As a Lion, Matt & Kim, and Mates of State are power duos featuring a keyboardist and a drummer without guitars or bass; Great Northern currently has a line-up consisting of a guitarist and keyboardist without bass or drums.

<i>You Are What You Is</i> 1981 studio album by Frank Zappa

You Are What You Is is a double album by American musician Frank Zappa. It was originally released as a double album in 1981 and later by Rykodisc as a 20-song CD.

Glossary of jazz and popular music

This is a list of jazz and popular music terms that are likely to be encountered in printed popular music songbooks, fake books and vocal scores, big band scores, jazz, and rock concert reviews, and album liner notes. This glossary includes terms for musical instruments, playing or singing techniques, amplifiers, effects units, sound reinforcement equipment, and recording gear and techniques which are widely used in jazz and popular music. Most of the terms are in English, but in some cases, terms from other languages are encountered.

Heavy metal bass

Heavy metal bass is the use of the bass guitar in the rock music genres of heavy metal and hard rock. The bassist is part of the rhythm section in a heavy metal band, along with the drummer, rhythm guitarist and, in some bands, a keyboard player. The prominent role of the bass is key to the metal sound, and the interplay of bass and distorted electric guitar is a central element of metal. The bass guitar provides the low-end sound crucial to making the music "heavy". The bass plays a "... more important role in heavy metal than in any other genre of rock."

Heavy metal guitar heavy metal instrument and associated playing style

Heavy metal guitar is the use of highly-amplified electric guitar in heavy metal. Heavy metal guitar playing is rooted in the guitar playing styles developed in 1960s-era blues rock and psychedelic rock, and it uses a massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos and overall loudness. The electric guitar and the sonic power that it projects through amplification has historically been the key element in heavy metal. The heavy metal guitar sound comes from a combined use of high volumes and heavy distortion.

Band (rock and pop) small musical ensemble which performs rock music, pop music or a related genre

A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble which performs rock music, pop music or a related genre. The four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. Before the development of the electronic keyboard, the configuration was typically two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Another common formation is a vocalist who does not play an instrument, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer. Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios.

References

  1. Larson, Tom (2004). History of Rock and Roll. Kendall/Hunt. p. 183. ISBN   978-0787299699.
  2. Watson, Ben (1994). Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play. Quarted Books. p. 26. ISBN   0-7043-7066-2.
  3. Hoffmann, Frank (2004). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. Routledge. p. 505. ISBN   978-1-135-94950-1. Extract of page 505
  4. Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man" (audio). Pop Chronicles . University of North Texas Libraries.
  5. Olsen, Andrew. "An Interview with Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad". duluthreader.com. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  6. Cariappa, Shiv (January 8, 1997). "Interview With Gerry McAvoy". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2013. In the late 1960's, two music groups, Taste and Cream, blazed trails as definitive examples of rock's power-trios.
  7. UPI (December 11, 1974). "New Rock Music Trio Coming on Strong". The Dispatch. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  8. Martin, Bill; Fripp, Robert (2015). Avant Rock: Experimental Music from the Beatles to Bjork. Open Court. p. 81. ISBN   978-0-8126-9939-5. Extract of page 81
  9. Harrison, Thomas (2011). Music of the 1980s (illustrated ed.). ABC-CLIO. p. 85. ISBN   978-0-313-36600-0. Extract of page 85
  10. Javier Martínez sube al escenario del teatro Colón con lo mejor del blues
  11. Las 10 bandas más revolucionarias del Rock Nacional
  12. Clark, Dick (July 15, 1983). "The Police: An Arresting Power Trio". Milwaukee Record-Journal. Retrieved 2 June 2013.