Early Rock guitar finds its roots from Blues music. The big difference between Blues guitar and early Rock guitar is due to the age of the Rock musician and the expanded role of amplification and electronics into the music. The beat and feel of the music was faster, harder hitting and focus on the end consumer – the youth of the United States, Britain and Europe.
The real transformation from Blues guitar into Rock guitar came from bands such as the Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbrakers, which were fronted by such guitar legends as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page.
Jimi Hendrix, who appear in the rock scene a little latter was also heavily influenced by by Blues music and Blues guitarists such as Buddy Guy.
Rock guitarists also expanded on the rhythm styles that where inherited from the Blues. Rock guitar players such as Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was heavily influence by such Blues guitar players as Muddy Waters, BB King, Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry (who many consider as the Father of Rock, as he bridged the gap between Blues music and Rock by performing for large audiences of young, white youths).
As Rock guitar developed the use of guitar effects became as essential the the use of amplification as guitarist tried to find their own individual “sound” through the use of guitar effects. Rock guitar players also looked towards other musical genre such as Classical and Jazz for inspiration. Steve Howe from Yes would be a great example of a Rock guitar player who was heavily influences by Classical music which can be heard in his songs such as ………… and ………..
Jimi Hendrix, who was influenced by Jazz Guitar great Wes Montgomery, would add altered chords such as his trade mark 9th chords as heard in Purple haze, Foxy Lady, and Voodoo Child (Slight Return).