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How to fully incorporate a prog guy into a truly non-prog band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. So I'm back playing and got people on board.

    Here's the deal: 3 of 4 want to go into power pop/alternative/classic rock stuff...

    The other is a great guy with lots of desire and ability... but I am worried because he comes from the progressive rock school.

    A prog drummer in a rather simple rock band. This is a challenge.

    He already knows where we might go and he's very open-minded but I do worry that he will become very uncomfortable.

    Any of you guys have had a similar situation? How do you tweak (sp?) the band sound to allow all members to express themselves in some form without compromising the core musical idea?
  2. Well, maybe he's versatile? I listen to Prog-Rock myself, but at the same time to Indie-Rock and pop.

    If he's open minded he'll have no problem.

    On the other hand it can actually be a great benefit. He will probably have the chops to play some unusual grooves which will set your band apart from others, who can't.
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I've been there. My bass background is progressive death metal. My heart and mind express themselves in odd times, polyrhythms and general technicality. So my first real serious band was a progressive metal band.

    My next sort of serious band was a lame metal band. We are talking 2-3 bar chords a song and the simples 4/4 rhythms. I started out progging it a bit and overdoing my playing. After a while I settled into it and learned how to maximize my bass playing in the right way- doing a few fills per song, but really sick fills. I even played "in the pocket."

    Ultimately my desire to play odd times and polyrhythmic grooves go the best of me and I looked elsewhere.

    I met up with a band that needed a bass player and they were all about writing innovative music, but were very new musicians. The music was simple "jam band" sounding and non-prog, but I could see the direction they were going. My recent background in simple music helped me start out on the right foot and 8 (very patient) months later, we are putting together some great music incorporating everyone's ideas, including my prog influence- and it is very digestible.

    A drummer friend of mine (check out his band... very sick www.myspace.com/aghora) had the same death metal prog background as me and played in a popular reggae band and other "commercial" sounding bands- and learned something from it.

    Long story short- he can do it. There is always something to be learned.
  4. dumbassist


    Sep 5, 2005
    i have a guy who likes to play metallica,iron maiden stuff in my punk rock band...yea, he's open minded...he's the lead guitarist...just ocassionally play covers of the songs that he likes...
  5. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    The drummer, wouldn't be Giann Rubio, would it?

    Anyways though, all the above make great points. My background is primarily in the two fretless metal pioneers, Malone and Digiorgio (but many more though), and the only real band I have time for now is a church band (which now I have to get ready for) that plays in 4/4, much of the stuff is really basic, but I credit my progressive background in that of the little things I can throw in to each song, the "hat tricks" persay, I have more of them than most non progressive players.

    [cheap lame spam filled plug, ignore if you wish:] Worse comes to worse and you can't find a band that's right for you (progressive musicians and Chicago are like oil and water suprisingly), you could always attempt reverting to singer songwriter status and playing all your own music, something like I'm trying to do now, tying progressive metal into the singer songwriter mold. It's beginning to sound insane in my house, don't know whether that's bad or good.
  6. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Giann is the drummer. He is still one of my best friends and we were in a band for about two years. Do you know him?

    Tired Thumb... I think you understand the difficult life of the prog musician =) I've actually been working on singer songwriter oriented prog. I think in a few years we will be seeing more of it.
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    What?! This Dude from Illinois guesses this Drummer named 'Giann' from a band a thousand miles away from only THAT much info??

    You guys are freakin' me out.

  8. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    "This dude from Illinois" has a marvelous contraption known as the internet. :smug:

    Just kidding, I pay attention to Aghora quite a bit and happened to drift over to Giann's band. From what I heard of his drumming, his musicianship on the drums is incredible (imagine that, musicianship and drums used in the same sentence!). I'll be interested to compare and contrast him with Ian Hayes, more of a straight up technical powerhouse.

    Dang, this is the sixth post? ...and we're this far off topic?
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Honestly, it's going to be hard. I played with a rock band called NeverAgain (http://thegreatbetrayal.com), and every time I tried to make a musical suggestion they looked at me like I had three heads. Eventually I got sick of playing the same 5 songs the same way every single time, and bailed.

    If he wants to give it a try you could make it work, but you need to make room for his musical instincts as well.
  10. Man, what a touchy subject...

    I feel like the fundamental problem with 'prog' is the air-tight, scripted nature of it. The parts are so well-reheased and exacting that there is little room for groove or improv.

    My preferred drummer is a drummer who thinks of himself as a drummer and treats all music from a drummer's point of view. I have experience with a prog-drummer who, I am afraid, does not even know there is a world outside of prog.

    What I mean is, his heart, soul, happiness, and all is wrapped up in his Neil Peart-ian drum parts and all other drum parts he seems to treat as 'disposable'

    - not a great description -

    What I mean is, his attitutude toward 'other' drum parts is really good. He says he really likes them and respects them, but his execution is somewhat limited - what he calls a 'good groove' I call 'square as hell' and he does not even seem to know that his squared-off beat is off beat. He tosses 'fills' in that should have been tossed out, tries to 'jazz up' a part that would be better left un-jazzed, and so on. And I don't think he knows this because he can do the LaVilla and the Bartchetta so well -

    "Hey, if I can effortlessly pull of Peart, I surely must be nailing all those other, 'lesser drummers' parts, right?" :rollno:

    You can tell if we were driving though LaVilla Strangiato or Red Bartchetta, he would be all over the hermetically-sealed drum parts, not missing a beat - but when we do 'La Grange', 'Play that Funky Music' or 'Brick House', his bass drum parts sound like he has brick feet - and for some reason, it does not register with him that his 'groove' is not groovy. He finishes a song and hits me with the old, "That was tight! What did you think?" And I am always saying, "Well, it was ok..." - He's like, "You always think it's only ok..." - sorry... but it is only ok...

    Oops... I ranted... sorry. Not saying all prog-drummers are like that - but more often then not I find your 'all-around drummers' are able to climb on and off the prog-wagon a lot easier then drummers who are 'prog' first, drummers later.


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