#1
I've recently considered writing prog for a solo project. Incorporating guitars (and bass and drums via MIDI). Are there any effects I should consider? Or any techniques would work.

First of all I attempted writing heavier stuff but didn't really turn out too well.

Edit: I'm also in the process of writing an acoustic instrumental, with some Opeth influence. I'm just looking for ways to make it sound interesting without boring the listener. For instrumental music.
Gear:

Guitars:
Takamine Gs330S
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Ibanez RG3EXQM1
Epiphone SG G-310

Amps:
Crate Palomino V16

Pedals
Ibanez TS9DX
Line 6 Tonecore Uber Metal
Last edited by md41 at Aug 13, 2009,
#3
Prog is short for progressive. That means you're supposed to do something progressive. That means you're not supposed to ask people what you're supposed to do.
#4
Quote by b r y a n
Prog is short for progressive. That means you're supposed to do something progressive. That means you're not supposed to ask people what you're supposed to do.

+1

make progress, thats the idea.

my first question would be "can you write a catchy 2 minute pop song?" if not, then work on that before you start trying to write epic 12 minute metal anthems.
#5
incorperate time changes and modulations, if you need some ideas or some bands to listen to, i suggest Dream Theater, Opeth, Circus Maximus, Pagan's Mind, stuff like that
Schecter C-1 Classic in Seethru blue <333
Schecter Damien FR
Roland AC-60 acoustic amp
Boss GE-7 EQ
Line6 Ubermetal Distortion
Sigma Dx Acoustic
#6
best of luck with this.

I think the major hurdle will be planning. since it's charecteristic of prog to have songs that're longer than 3min, feature structures other than "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus, end" or feature alot of bridges and different things, this'll be really hard to organise without getting yourself confused. when multitracking, you have to play the same structure for every instrument, which sounds easy, but is a nightmare if you're just going by gut instinct, or if you make a mistake. give yourself a count in (letting the drum machine go for 2 bars and muting and playing "1,2,3,4" are two ways I've done it) and decide and write down a structure before you start.

for instance, one of mine might start like this:
intro riff x2
riff x2
verse (riffx8)
chorus
riff x2
verse (riff x4)
chorus
bridge bit
solo (riffx4)
end
outro riffx2


but prog is probably the worst genre to start with when doing home recording because it's unlikely to follow an othrodox song structure. If I were you I'd start with something alot more cliche'd structurely, eg: pop, rock etc.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Aug 13, 2009,
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Can you write a 3-minute pop song like Brown Eyed Girl?

Quote by z4twenny

my first question would be "can you write a catchy 2 minute pop song?"

beat ya too it still waiting to hear the answer tho!
#9
When I write something outside the usual verse chorus formation I use either a whiteboard or a piece of paper to keep track of order and number of times through. Put a click track in your recording so no matter what you can keep on beat (assuming you're not doing time changes outside of half and double time). The benefit of the click track is it'll keep you on beat no matter what's going on in the song and you can delete it when you're finished.

Write the guitar line, then the drum line, record the drum line, record the guitar line, write/record other parts and fillers. The biggest thing of all is patience. My first recording sucked because I lost patience and kept saying, "It's close enough." I was constantly off beat and singing off key.
#10
first thing is to do stuff that u wouldnt usually do. work on accenting odd patterns and get some funky odd time signatures going. try writing stuff in 7/8 or 5/4 to start with and when u get the hang on working outside of traditional time sigs then u can just blow a whole new world wide open lol.
I am Rob Rideout! Wearer of Pants!
#11
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Can you write a 3-minute pop song like Brown Eyed Girl?

i wish
good pop music is actually ridiculously hard to write. i can theoretcially strip apart a pop songs in seconds but that never helps me explain why i nearly crashed my car because i am singing it instead of concentrating on driving

complicated/funky songs are much much easier to write, you can hide your average melody behind to web of complex structures and layered instruments.

That and i have no way in **** of replicating the fantastic sound of a good pop song - i just can't make a guitar sound like that!
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
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Practice more
#12
Progressive music doesn't have to be long songs, or have parts where you switch to clean tones. It's a common misconception that even I had before I really understood what was really going on musically. Basically once I heard YYZ (especially the intro), all the prog elements of other bands that I was listening to at the time suddenly became clearer.

Prog originated when rock bands wanted to "progress" from the commercial standards of commercial rock, so they incorporated many time sig changes/odd timing, unorthodox chording (i.e. diminished 5th chords, like the intro to YYZ) increased levels of musicianship, but they also would sometimes have longer songs and change moods throughout the song.

but Metallica has some long songs, so does Candlemass. are they progressive? no.


listen to Watchtower... all the elements of progressive music exaggerated tenfold plus many elements of jazz/fusion. After you listen to them, you'll be able to notice all the more subtle prog elements of less gnarly (yet equally as awesome) prog bands.
Last edited by ThinkThis at Aug 13, 2009,
#13
Quote by ThinkThis
Progressive music doesn't have to be long songs, or have parts where you switch to clean tones. It's a common misconception that even I had before I really understood what was really going on musically. Basically once I heard YYZ (especially the intro), all the prog elements of other bands that I was listening to at the time suddenly became clearer.

Prog originated when rock bands wanted to "progress" from the commercial standards of commercial rock, so they incorporated many time sig changes/odd timing, unorthodox chording (i.e. diminished 5th chords, like the intro to YYZ) increased levels of musicianship, but they also would sometimes have longer songs and change moods throughout the song.

but Metallica has some long songs, so does Candlemass. are they progressive? no.


listen to Watchtower... all the elements of progressive music exaggerated tenfold plus many elements of jazz/fusion. After you listen to them, you'll be able to notice all the more subtle prog elements of less gnarly (yet equally as awesome) prog bands.


I'd say that some Metallica songs, particularly those on ...And Justice for All, are very progressive.
Quote by dudetheman
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#14
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
I'd say that some Metallica songs, particularly those on ...And Justice for All, are very progressive.

Though i agree with you i don't think that's the point he was making - perhaps a better example would be Jessica by the Allman brothers. That is 7.30 long and certainly not a prog song.
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
#15
if u need to ask that question your not ready to write prog
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Last edited by Eggmond at Aug 14, 2009,
#16
Quote by doive
Though i agree with you i don't think that's the point he was making - perhaps a better example would be Jessica by the Allman brothers. That is 7.30 long and certainly not a prog song.


Exactly... I was saying that long songs DO NOT constitute music as progressive. It's an ignorant misconception (that I used to think as well haha!).


So yeah, Metallica isn't progressive... they have long songs, but once again, long songs do not equal any form of prog.


Listen to Watchtower or Spastic Ink. every quality of progressive music is exaggerated tenfold, into 4 minute songs. After them, all misconceptions of progressive music will disappear.
#17
^ prog is generally considered long, with many parts often requiring a bit of technical proficiency with ones instrument.... and lets not forget time sig changes
#19
Quote by ThinkThis
Exactly... I was saying that long songs DO NOT constitute music as progressive. It's an ignorant misconception (that I used to think as well haha!).


So yeah, Metallica isn't progressive... they have long songs, but once again, long songs do not equal any form of prog.


Listen to Watchtower or Spastic Ink. every quality of progressive music is exaggerated tenfold, into 4 minute songs. After them, all misconceptions of progressive music will disappear.


My point was that while Metallica would certainly not be classed under the umbrella term "progressive metal," they had quite a few tracks that were quite progressive for thrash. The time signature and key signature work on songs like Blackened, along with the length of the songs, certainly qualifies.

All I'm really trying to say is that Metallica was a bad example.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#20
Try listening to a range of Prog, not just metal. Try some King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Focus.
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#21
do whatever you want with song forms as long as it souds good and definately do not copy any song. use a lot of different chords and try to stay away from dominant 5 chords. try maj7 m7 7 dim + 9 sus and add chords. odd time signatures would help too like 5/4 3/4 6/8 11/4 7/4