Main Differences Between Blues and Rock

Music plays a significant, almost spiritual role in the human race. People will listen to their favourite tune when sad to uplift them, when happy to celebrate, or when overwhelmed to calm them. There is music for every occasion and situation across different cultures. People will use music to mourn and happy occasions.

Since everyone has their genre preference, blues and rock are becoming popular across the board and globe. Many more artists are also joining in the blues-rock love and creating awesome tunes. is the platform that connects blues and rock fans and makers. While blues and rock are similar, they have some differences worth noting.

Differences between blues and rock


Rock sprouted from the US and UK in the 1950s while blues came from the US in the late 19th century. Blues origin is attributed to Afro-American folk music, spiritual songs, and work, while rock music is traced from folk music.


Rock is popular and distinct with the use of drums, organ, piano and bass guitar. For blues, apart from the instruments used in rock, it has additional instruments like saxophone, harmonica, trombone, and trumpet. A blues band will, therefore, need more people than a rock band.

Use of chords

Pure rock is characterised by three chords only. There is one strong chord, the second is a backbeat, and the last is the appealing melody. However, since rock music has evolved with time, most of them have 4 and a half chords repetitions. On the other hand, blues progressions in chords are characterised by 12-bar, which is the genre most common characteristic.

Number of members

Rock groups commonly have three to four members. Most of the times, one is on the guitar, another bass guitar, the third is a drummer and the fourth the lead vocal. If the group for some reasons omits one member leaving the three to complete the band, the vocal takes an instrument of the omitted member. The three will still deliver as a complete rock band. A blues band, however, needs much more people because of the more instruments and vocalists required to complete the group.