Prog Rock dismantled... just for fun



PROG ROCK IN 5 MINUTES

Wacky Instruments
Chapman stick / Mandolin

Half-baked Themes & Philosophy

Crazy Time Signatures

Insane Song Lengths

Concept Albums
Yes-Tales from Topographic Oceans
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

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother
Camel-I can see your house from here
ELO-On the third day
ELP-Love Beach
Gentle Giant-Acquiring the Taste
Rush-Hemispheres
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
-Okay singers
-Huge egos
-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...

Ian Anderson

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)

Ian Anderson

Rush

Conversely, modern progressive rock is characterised by a distinct lack of pants...

Tool

CLASSIC PROG ROCK

Classic progressive rock bands emerged in the late 60's and early 70's, marking the only period in human history in which progressive rock was commercially viable... Progressive rock fans were impressed by the genre's fusion of jazz-like technical proficiency and classic rock sensibilities.

Key bands: Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, ELP.



MODERN PROG ROCK

Modern progressive rock is more diversified, with many offshoots of the core "progressive" motif. Progressiveness can now be attached to death metal bands (Opeth), thrash metal (Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation), orchestras (Apocalpytica, Symphony X) and even retard metal (Rammstein). Modern progressive rock bands took on heavily stylized and niche-filling sounds, as opposed to classic progressive rock.

Key bands: Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Queensryche.



HOW TO FORM YOUR OWN PROG BAND 

1. Experimentation

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:
Interstellar Spinach
The Epic Taco Project
Hat Dimension

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.

Genesis