#1
I have been playing guitar for about 2 1/2 years. I am a huge fan of Progressive rock. I am a fan of Rush, Pink Floyd, Yes, Eric Johnson, etc. but I was wondering if anyone has any tips for a progressive rock guitarist, like techniques to learn and stuff. I also want to know what gear would be suitable for progressive rock. I basically want to get Alex Lifeson's tone.
#2
Progressive music, by definition, is harder to put into a little box in terms of what to play. Sounds like you got your influences down, go ahead and study their music. As far as techniques, you have to be prepared for anything, sooooo...everything!

Lifeson uses a lot of pedal tones, moves between higher and lower voicings and plays with the bass note of his chords and arpeggios (usually slides it down by a step.) That's just a few things I've noticed about his style; keep studying the songs, you'll get it eventually!

As far as gear, a lot of prog guitarists like semi-hollows (I want one, too!) but I also hear Lifeson did 2112 with a Marshall/Les Paul combo... . If you want Lifeson's tone, go read some interviews, that's where you usually find them discussing their gear. He doesn't seem to like Fenders (he said a Tele was the worst guitar he's ever had.) Oh, and don't forget the classical guitar!
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#3
Well depending on your price range a PRS (Paul Reed Smith) will encompass the entire sonic scope of the bands you have listed and more. An SE guitar along the lines of a Singlecut would probably be the closest to what you're after. The SE Custom 24 would be my recommendation from the SE line and a Custom 24 obviously if you can afford it. As far as techniques, you should know all of them because Progressive Rock/Metal is about raising the IQ of Rock and expanding on its sonic spectrum through musical experimentation. Which brings me to my next point, don't copy these bands. Do something new that they haven't. In order for those bands to get the musical recognition they have, they had to do something new. This means you are going to have to study and analyse other forms of music. This could be Jazz, Fusion (Al Di Meola is a good place to start who also uses PRS guitars), Heavy Metal, Baroque, Country, whatever you can get your hands on. Next learn as much music theory as possible. In order to be 'Progressive' you need to know the rules before you can break them. Finally, look up Camel, a Progressive Rock band with a really great sense of melody.

Hope that helps.
#4
new gear can only take you so far.

expand your horizons. yes, rush, flyod are only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to progressive and experimental music.

Learn jazz, it's the most intricate and difficult genre out there. start with anything Miles Davis ever did. he changed jazz 4 times.
Metal is pushing some of the same borders that jazz right now
Rap is what shred is to metal and what bebop is to jazz, if you catch my drift.


tosin asabi is the top of the prog game right now. a cupple extra strings on your guitar can open up a whole new world. Who truly needs bassists any more when you can just get a 8 string guitar???

but hey, if your still stuck 40 years ago, King crimson, ELP, Zappa, Van der graff, syrius, and asia were all great.