Introducing jump blues, the pioneering guitar style that set the scene for rock ’n’ roll by melding swing, jazz and blues

T-Bone Walker
(Image credit: Jose Antonio/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)

Jump blues was a style of music that developed in the 1940s and was an offshoot of the big bands of the day. It was essentially an uptempo swing combining jazz, boogie and blues that was popular in dance halls. 

Predating rock and roll by a few years, jump blues bands were smaller than their big band counterparts and tended to consist of vocals, drums, upright bass, piano and a small horn section of saxophones and trumpets. Sometimes there would be an electric guitar, too.

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Andy Saphir

Andy Saphir has been a professional guitar player and teacher for over 25 years. Graduating with distinction from London’s prestigious Guitar Institute in 1995, he has gone on to gain a reputation as one of the UK’s top country guitarists. Specialising in country and blues, Andy is a versatile, multi-genre player and has a successful international performing career, touring with numerous shows and bands, including the Blues Brothers Approved. Andy taught on the guitar faculty at London’s ICMP for many years, and is a longtime contributor to Guitar Techniques Magazine, as well as being a Jam Track Central artist. Andy teaches in-person guitar lessons from Cambridgeshire UK, or remotely globally.