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hey JT- Prog question!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 5stringDNA, Mar 3, 2003.


  1. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    JT, Since you are in a prog band and seem to have a good grasp on the genre, I ask this-
    What elements woudl you say a song or group, etc, needs to have to be considered progressive, for the most part. I know Tool is commonly considered Prog rock (from waht I've been told) but I don't really know of too many bands that ascribe to this genre. I tried listenign to some of your mp3's, but had some issues with them loading, etc.
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    ooo, i don't know. prog is almost a bad word in most circles, and from my experience the bands that are the proudest of calling themselves that fit the genre the least.

    originally progressive music was just that, progressing beyond the bounds of the music of the day. the music that does that the most today often would not be considered progressive by many self-proclaimed prog fans - shoot, some of them wouldn't even call it music :D.

    one of the biggest hallmarks of a progressive song is the changes - finding a way to keep a song interesting and vibrant without making it too disjointed is a a constant quest for the progressive musician. most prog songs contain multiple changes with instrumental sections and solos.

    alternative instrumentation is also a hallmark of many progressive acts. using stringed instruments such as violin or cello, or woodwinds in an otherwise electric band format is common with many progressive bands.

    the use of odd time signatures is a common hallmark of progressive songs. the mark of a good progressive band is to make a song that sounds fluid and natural with odd time. certain time signatures lend themselves to certain feels, and capitalizing on this tendency can make a song more poigniant.

    there are many styles of music that fall under the umbrella of progressive, and they all have their peculiar characteristics.

    here's a pretty cool website about prog music -

    www.ghostland.com . there's links to lots of bands there, both famous/established bands and underground/regional acts from around the world. check it out.
     
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i think that it's essential to do both, or live a lonely and intimacy-free life like many prog music fans do :D. ;) j/k.
     
  4. I like prog!!!...someday, I'd like to start a prog rock band...:bassist: :bassist: :cool: :cool: :rolleyes: (the eye rolling cuz no one in my area would want to do that 'cept for one of my friends who also plays bass and a kick @$$ drummer that I know...who might be going to Berklee in 2 years...)
     
  5. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Ok, so essentially, prog can be a variety of style and genres but doesn't necessarily consitute a genre itself due to the blending of various styles? It seems, from what you have said JT, that the most important elements of a piece that is to be considered prog is the development of different ideas that include a wide range of style and instrumentation, while following the same "groove" in one fluid piece. Is an odd time signature used most of the time, or is it reserved to the "better" prog groups then?
     
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    ooo, that's a slippery slope. what denotes a good prog band is good songs - if they have odd time that's great, if not, that's fine too. the songs just need to have a musicality that transcends the note count.
     
  7. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    So the odd time thing is common and adds some technical depth to the mix, but essentially, prog is liek any other genre where if it flows good and sounds good its, well, good- no "technical requirements" needed? The impression I'm getting is that most prog is more of a "know it when you hear/see it" type thing, but can't be very easily put in a box so to speak.
     
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, imo, the fans are the ones who put such restrictions on progressive music - "there must be a certain number of notes per measure or else this is not prog". music is music - good stuff is good stuff.
     
  9. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Hmmmm well said, I'd have to agree( as far as fans putting restrictions on music). By the way, I finally got the song in your sig to load, I really like it. Is it your work?
     
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Good songs, and musical style. It'll sound different because of style. But if the tune is catchy and it makes you want to play it over and over...it's a COOL TUNE.

    Old Genesis, ELP, Yes, RUSH, or King Crimson, what made it work was the quality of the music. You dug the tunes, you played it again. It wasn't because it was 33/13 time.
     
  11. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    So simple, yet so true...
     
  12. 33/13 time?
     
  13. I think of prog sort of as classical music with rock instruments, a more serious form of music.

    Prog bands write for the music, not for any format. You allow the song to take you where it may without trying to follow the usual verse/chorus structures. It usually doesn't overlap itself in this respect but contains similar musical themes... and a great prog song could be 3 minutes or 1 hour long.
     
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, thanks :) i wrote it, most of the instruments, including all of the bass, of course, and the arrangement and all that.

    thanks again :)