PROG ROCK IN 5 MINUTES
|Chapman stick / Mandolin|
Half-baked Themes & Philosophy
Crazy Time Signatures
Insane Song Lengths
|Jethro Tull-Thick as a Brick|
|Pink Floyd-The Wall|
Jethro Tull's famous concept album, Thick as a Brick, consisted of a solitary track lasting for 43 minutes.Although technically they had to split it across two sides because it was too damn long...
A QUICK GUIDE TO PROG ROCK ALBUM COVERS
|Camel-I can see your house from here|
|ELO-On the third day|
|Gentle Giant-Acquiring the Taste|
|Yes-Going for the One|
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROG ROCK
Progressive rock is characterized by a sacking of traditional song structure, complex rhythms, odd time signatures and a sense of inherent superiority over other rock genres. Because of this, it's pretty much never been popular... There is no clear definition of progressive rock, as it is not bounded by convention, structure, tradition or common sense. Progressive rock is like the anti-socialite of music; there are no rules or restrictions.
However, progressive rock bands have typically featured:
-Extremely skilled guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboardists
-No sense of when to stop a song
A typical prog band
Basically, progressive rock is anything-goes rock music. Literally anything you can record a sound of is welcome in progressive rock... If you ever get trapped into a discussion with a prog-rocker and have no idea what's happening, just remember this rule of thumb: A good barometer of progressive rock quality is the number of instruments used at any one time. Prog is the only rock genre in which the term "flute solo" has any meaning...
Instrumentals are a common feature of progressive rock. In some cases, the instrumental is a showcasing of pure, raw talent. In other cases, the artists have just thrown up their hands and said: "The hell with it. We're going to yodel for a few minutes.."
THE EVOLUTION OF PROG (in pants)
Conversely, modern progressive rock is characterised by a distinct lack of pants...
CLASSIC PROG ROCK
Key bands: Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, ELP.
MODERN PROG ROCK
Key bands: Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Queensryche.
HOW TO FORM YOUR OWN PROG BAND
While most rock bands experiment during practice, prog bands are encouraged to do this on their records. When making a prog album, feel free to go beserk in the studio. Of course, you won't actually sell any albums...
2. Choosing a Band Name
|How to choose a prog band name|
You really have two options when choosing a prog band name. You can either go with something "simple but random", like Yes, Rush and Camel (may we suggest "Spinach", "Taco" or "Hat"?); or you can use a complex title if it is sufficiently outlandish. The second route is riskier, but the payoff is enormous if you nail it. Enthusiasts love to quote their favourite obscure bands, and the zanier the better... "Oh, next you're going to tell me you aren't a fan of Van Der Graaf Generator."
Some suggestions to get you started:
The Epic Taco Project
3. Merge Your Songs
Okay, so you have a record. Ten songs, four minutes apiece. You may need to tweak some of the titles and insert an instrumental track to amp up your "wackiness", but the most important thing you'll need to do is merge those tracks into three or four longer songs. Don't worry, the songs don't actually need to sound similar, just make sure that they flow into one another. (May we suggest the accompaniment of a flute, viola, trumpet or tambourine to ease the transition?).
So, the final product will look something like this:
You will now be referring to these songs as "sections".
Congratulations! You have attained prog rock success. You will now spend the next 30 years hiding from an impossibly devoted cult following while living in your mother's basement.