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Blues rock bands "borrow[ed] the idea of an instrumental combo and loud amplification from rock & roll".
The core blues rock sound is created by the electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit.
The electric guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix (a veteran of many American rhythm and blues and soul groups from the early-mid-1960s) and his power trios, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys, had a broad and lasting influence on the development of blues rock, especially for guitarists.
Rock and blues have historically always been closely linked, and electric guitar techniques such as distortion and power chords were already used by 1950s blues guitarists, particularly Memphis bluesmen such as Joe Hill Louis, Willie Johnson and Pat Hare. His instrumentals from that period were recognizable as blues or R&B tunes, but he relied heavily upon fast-picking techniques derived from traditional American country and bluegrass genres.
The best-known of these are the 1963 hit singles "Memphis" (Billboard R&B #4, Pop #5) and "Wham! However, blues rock was not named as such, or widely recognized as a distinct movement within rock, until the mid-late 1960s.
Often bands also included a harmonica, usually called "a harp." The electric guitar is usually amplified through a tube guitar amplifier or using an overdrive effect.
Two guitars are commonplace in blues rock bands: one guitarist focused on rhythm guitar, playing riffs and chords as accompaniment; and the other focused on lead guitar, playing melodic lines and solos.