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Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
#3037524 04/08/20 04:27 PM
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another way to present the question is ...

" Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing or Progressive metal keyboard playing A Priority ? "
As an approach, or genre , you like to play on your keys ?

I consider Derek Sheridian a Progressive Rock keyboard player

We all know about JR and Dream Theater, and all that is heavily discussed elsewhere.
So thats a 2nd 'progressive' or metal rock example. { not talking keyboard technique].

Much of Porcupine Tree and certain Steven Wilson albums progressive/metal rock with excellent keyboard work.

Those are my current progressive rock examples.

The question is ,, is this style of keyboard playing a priority with you ?
Does it rank in your top 5 ?

I attempt to compose progressive rock, [ its not 100% ], you will hear some examples
in my Progressive Heart Playlist:
https://soundcloud.com/user-898236994/sets/progressive-heart

Sane in Left Brain, 100 Beating Hearts , Desert Heat, are my examples

Interested if you emphasize hard/,metal/heavy rock in your keyboard approach

Last edited by GregC; 04/09/20 02:57 AM.
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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037526 04/08/20 04:32 PM
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If they're calling with a gig, yeah.

Also, I love headbanging. Grew up on Metallica first.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037527 04/08/20 04:32 PM
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Well, I'm in an original progressive metal band and took some facetime lessons from Derek, so I'd say yes!


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
MAJUSCULE #3037535 04/08/20 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
If they're calling with a gig, yeah.

Also, I love headbanging. Grew up on Metallica first.


What if its ' unpaid " ?

Metallica is definitely heavy metal. I recall 1 or 2 songs having piano

By and large, I didn't 'hear ' keyboard parts in their material.
Thus, I haven't followed them

If you have a song example or 2 that kills it, let me know.

Thanks

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037539 04/08/20 04:52 PM
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Have you checked out Derek Sherinian's current project, Sons of Apollo? Lots of good stuff.



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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037540 04/08/20 04:57 PM
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First, to answer the original question - no, I don't consider hard rock in my arsenal.

And then a related question - what are we calling hard rock these days?

Seems to me the origin of hard rock keys could be Jon Lord, Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf era. Straight rock with organ.

Now, it appears when we're talking hard rock keys, we're really emphasizing progressive metal.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
J. Dan #3037542 04/08/20 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
Have you checked out Derek Sherinian's current project, Sons of Apollo? Lots of good stuff.

[video:youtube]https://www.youtuYfkE[/video]

what I like about this tune, is that they made a good transition at 2:38. And showed good subtlety and made the song interesting

I like every solo album by Derek up to Oceana [ 2011]

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
timwat #3037544 04/08/20 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by timwat
First, to answer the original question - no, I don't consider hard rock in my arsenal.

And then a related question - what are we calling hard rock these days?

Seems to me the origin of hard rock keys could be Jon Lord, Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf era. Straight rock with organ.

Now, it appears when we're talking hard rock keys, we're really emphasizing progressive metal.

thx for the answer on your pref.

I hear you, on the iconic bands of the 60's.

I attempted to define the genre [ not very precise, I know] with my ' current ' examples.

Progressive metal might be more definitive/accurate.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037545 04/08/20 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GregC
Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
If they're calling with a gig, yeah.

Also, I love headbanging. Grew up on Metallica first.


What if its ' unpaid " ?

Metallica is definitely heavy metal. I recall 1 or 2 songs having piano

By and large, I didn't 'hear ' keyboard parts in their material.
Thus, I haven't followed them

If you have a song example or 2 that kills it, let me know.

Thanks
I mean, they're a strings-and-drums band with very little exception (save maybe a piano overdub on one or two songs, and their handful of concerts with the San Francisco Symphony in 1999 and 2019)...

But it doesn't mean the material doesn't lend itself to keys at all! wink


(Just an FYI, that's an unlisted video -- that performance is a little rough around the edges, in no small part due to the drunk dude who kept trying to grab the mic from our lead singer... but it's fun enough that I'm happy to share it here.)


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037547 04/08/20 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GregC
Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
If they're calling with a gig, yeah.

Also, I love headbanging. Grew up on Metallica first.


What if its ' unpaid " ?

Metallica is definitely heavy metal. I recall 1 or 2 songs having piano

By and large, I didn't 'hear ' keyboard parts in their material.
Thus, I haven't followed them

If you have a song example or 2 that kills it, let me know.

Thanks

Two out of three of good money, good music, and good people, right? And anyway, even pass the hat gigs (in the days of gigs) tend to do alright if you're even slightly picky about saying yes.

Also no, Metallica isn't heavy on keys at all, just adding that for my own personal context.

I would also definitely include heavy organ stuff like Tim mentioned.

Another band I was familiar with but didn't realize they featured keys is Between the Buried and Me. Definitely more in the modern progressive metal lane. Seems like he mostly either plays or sings/screams, not much of both at the same time.



Last edited by MAJUSCULE; 04/08/20 05:21 PM. Reason: Added video

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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037549 04/08/20 05:18 PM
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I was digging that until he started singing. Not a fan of the cookie monster vocals.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037551 04/08/20 05:20 PM
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For me, my number one is Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
J. Dan #3037552 04/08/20 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
I was digging that until he started singing. Not a fan of the cookie monster vocals.

I agree with you. I had to tolerate the vocal to listen to the tune. I get its the song writers pref.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
EscapeRocks #3037553 04/08/20 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EscapeRocks
For me, my number one is Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish

Great pick David. I love this cover they do:


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037556 04/08/20 05:46 PM
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What does the gig pay?


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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
CEB #3037558 04/08/20 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
What does the gig pay?

thats only the 1st time I have read that here wink

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
CEB #3037562 04/08/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
What does the gig pay?


As someone who plays in one of these bands, I can tell you....NOT MUCH! For our thousands of streams worldwide, I think so far we've made about $16. I think we broke even on the CD's we had printed. Gigs pay enough to cover the web site.

You have to tour Europe to make any money in metal.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037564 04/08/20 06:01 PM
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So it's a lot like playing jazz. Except you've already made $16.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
timwat #3037571 04/08/20 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by timwat
So it's a lot like playing jazz. Except you've already made $16.

Well, we're a 6-pc, so after dividing it up.....


Last edited by J. Dead; 04/08/20 06:22 PM.

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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
J. Dan #3037572 04/08/20 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
Originally Posted by CEB
What does the gig pay?


As someone who plays in one of these bands, I can tell you....NOT MUCH! For our thousands of streams worldwide, I think so far we've made about $16. I think we broke even on the CD's we had printed. Gigs pay enough to cover the web site.
It is sad that when I read that... I was a little envious! roll


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
samuelblupowitz #3037576 04/08/20 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
Originally Posted by GregC
Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
If they're calling with a gig, yeah.

Also, I love headbanging. Grew up on Metallica first.


What if its ' unpaid " ?

Metallica is definitely heavy metal. I recall 1 or 2 songs having piano

By and large, I didn't 'hear ' keyboard parts in their material.
Thus, I haven't followed them

If you have a song example or 2 that kills it, let me know.

Thanks
I mean, they're a strings-and-drums band with very little exception (save maybe a piano overdub on one or two songs, and their handful of concerts with the San Francisco Symphony in 1999 and 2019)...

But it doesn't mean the material doesn't lend itself to keys at all! wink


(Just an FYI, that's an unlisted video -- that performance is a little rough around the edges, in no small part due to the drunk dude who kept trying to grab the mic from our lead singer... but it's fun enough that I'm happy to share it here.)

Wow, that sounds pretty good! Great grooves and keys work!!

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037581 04/08/20 06:52 PM
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I'm just happy to play Firth Of Fifth on my home piano.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
J. Dan #3037593 04/08/20 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
Have you checked out Derek Sherinian's current project, Sons of Apollo? Lots of good stuff.
Man, I really like that! Thanks for sharing!

Old No7

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037606 04/08/20 08:21 PM
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The new Nightwish triple album arrived two days ago. Great album!

Trans Siberian Orchestra are the ones who get virtuoso keyboards, guitar, violin, bass, drums, string, horns, all the everything going and everyone has a good time from kids to senior citizens. Those shows are amazing. They are also through composed, so that keeps a lid on too many notes with not enough to say. They aren't "metal" enough for the growling crowd. They aren't "out" enough for prog, but they put on a great show, and give arenas of average folk fairly complex material to digest. There's always a story, and the live show is super well produced.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
J. Dan #3037610 04/08/20 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
I was digging that until he started singing. Not a fan of the cookie monster vocals.

That's a keeper.
grin

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037614 04/08/20 08:49 PM
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Love me some TSO keyboards



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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037630 04/08/20 09:55 PM
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Is prog rock keyboard playing a priority?

Afraid not. I enjoy listening to it, I have the chops to play it, but where I live there's no market for playing it. If there's no appreciation for it, there's no point for me to learn it.

Our band covers some Styx songs and Carry On Wayward Son, but that's only because the classic rock crowd knows them.

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Yes it is.

I like prog, I like hard rock. Am lucky to be involved in bands that allow me to play it too.

But I don’t have the chops to play most prog. That’s ok, I can still appreciate it!

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
The Real MC #3037637 04/08/20 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Is prog rock keyboard playing a priority?

Afraid not. I enjoy listening to it, I have the chops to play it, but where I live there's no market for playing it. If there's no appreciation for it, there's no point for me to learn it.

Our band covers some Styx songs and Carry On Wayward Son, but that's only because the classic rock crowd knows them.

I understand. I reside in a relative dead zone where locals and venues have
zero interest in original music, jazz, instrumental music, etc etc etc.

And that makes Zero diff to me. Because the bubble I reside in is not relevant to what music I create.
IOW, I am not interested in seeing which way the local herd is.

The world is huge in comparison to the area I reside in.

Anyway, I read that often here. " Its the money. It is about the money ". "Does it pay ? "

My context is from the artist view, where money is not the motivator.

I don't expect much agreement or interest about this context.

The context does exists outside the need and priority to catch and snatch Benjamins.

Last edited by GregC; 04/08/20 10:18 PM.
Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037640 04/08/20 10:22 PM
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Supper's almost ready, but I wanted to slip in a few quick points:

1) I cannot listen to the kind of vocals where the singer sounds like he/she has been gargling with rusty nails. Shout-screaming doesn't count as singing in my world. And if you consistently can't tell what the words are because their voice is so distorted, it ain't singing, it's just noise.
2) I cannot abide unrelenting hostility in the lyrics (e.g. "I want to rip off your head and shit down your throat"). I mean, really, don't we have enough hostility in the world? I, for one, don't need more than I'm already exposed to.
3) The infusion of heavy metal into what I would call prog has a tendency towards being a shred-fest of minor/pentatonic/whatever scales at light speed. I want to make clear that I'm not against speed, per se, but if the best you can muster is just a scale, then that ain't a melody. You didn't actually create anything. You're just regurgitating a music lesson you saw on YouTube. (...they probably didn't pay for it...)
4) #3 brings up the "What is progressive music?" question. It's hard to define. I maintain that prog is the category people dump music in when they can't figure out where else to put it. I, for one, hear nothing whatsoever in common between, say, Yes and Pink Floyd, yet they're both classified as prog.

The supper bell just rang.

Grey


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GRollins #3037647 04/08/20 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by GRollins
Su
4) #3 brings up the "What is progressive music?" question. It's hard to define. I maintain that prog is the category people dump music in when they can't figure out where else to put it. I, for one, hear nothing whatsoever in common between, say, Yes and Pink Floyd, yet they're both classified as prog.

Grey

yeah, the genre is subject to discussion on definition etc etc.

My O/p identified 3 current artists of the 'type ' of current progressive music where keyboards are the deal.

IMO, Steven Wilson is 1 of the few that has carried the torch for progressive rock music.

Yeah, yeah, he does a few commercial songs, and he slips into metal often.
So he is 'blending ' from other artists, other influences. I really enjoy that.

But I was interested in hearing from keyboard players where progressive rock, or hybrid rock metal is a Priority to play, perform, record, compose from.

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037674 04/09/20 12:18 AM
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Though I can't claim to be a keyboard player, properly speaking (at the end of the day, I'm still more string oriented), prog (by some definition) is undoubtedly a priority with me. Strike that. It's THE priority.

With the caveat that my definition of prog may not mesh with others'.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037675 04/09/20 12:29 AM
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I’m clearly the old guy here... progressive? This stuff may be called progressive in 2020 but real progressive was long time ago, with less head banging, vocal screaming nonsense...try listening to true classic progressive artists...this is something...but to define it as progressive?
Times may changes, standards must remain...


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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Originally Posted by Motif88
I’m clearly the old guy here... progressive? This stuff may be called progressive in 2020 but real progressive was long time ago, with less head banging, vocal screaming nonsense...try listening to true classic progressive artists...this is something...but to define it as progressive?
Times may changes, standards must remain...

I am 67. Often the old guy here.

I don't expect another new Yes or new ELP.

Just the same, there are artists worthy of your time.

Check out Steven Wilson. He is a hybrid of sorts , an excellent song writer
and has stellar keyboard players. Adam Holzman is talented.

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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Old school prog, yes. Anything approaching prog metal, no.


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
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Greatest ‘Prog’ albums of all time were the first four Kansas albums. Prog is just some newish label people have stuck on old album rock bands. It’s all KSHE 95, Real Rock Radio.

A friend asked me to do a Dream Threater’esque sort of thing after hearing me spew on some bullshit in the store. But the gig wouldn’t have paid anything. I mean ... a lot of us grew up playing Bach, Liszt, Beethoven, Bramhs, etc.... Proggy Metal is fun. I love Jens and Jordan and Derek.

In high school my metal band dabbled in that sort of thing with our original and I played Fusion one night a week in college as an open mic night host band (great crowds on a Thursday just because the bar was behind the quad next to campus). But today if I want to sharpen chops I go back to my classical roots.

I never could play effing Chopin. Too subtle.

Last edited by CEB; 04/09/20 01:14 AM.

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037686 04/09/20 01:20 AM
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Interested in listening to old school progressive but strangely enough I'm not interested in playing it nor learning to play it. Go figure.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037703 04/09/20 02:11 AM
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REAL progressive metal IS progressive. The only thing that makes it metal is just being heavier. In fact I sometimes question the "metal" label of some of it more than the progressive part. But labels are labels. Google all the subgenres of metal sometime. It's laughable and metal heads self-deprecate and laugh at it as well. But I think progressive metal is a real thing that IS progressive and is at least hard enough to qualify as one of the many subgenres of metal.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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I love this whole album, but whatever your influences, I don't know how any red blooded, Hammond loving keyboard player can't appreciate this:



And they don't over do the Drop D and no Cookie Monster vocals....heavy but include all the elements of prog with odd time signatures, intricate solos, nonstandard sing formats, etc.

Last edited by J. Dead; 04/09/20 02:17 AM.

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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I really dig Sherinian’s stuff, solo as well as contributions. DT’s Once In A Live Time spent a cool year in my car’s CD player. Black Country Communion has a large niche in my playlist.
However, my own most successful band experience was really cool, original hard rock stuff with twin lead guitars and lots of keys, but I was miserable for most of that six years; partly because of the toxic personality conflicts but also because all I ever wanted to do was grow up to be an Allman Brother...too old school for those cats. ’Can’t help who we are and what we like though, right?

I like listening to prog but gotta be in the mood. A song or two in a gig night is okay, but cannot commit to one genre all night except maybe some rockin blues or of course Greg Allman stuff.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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Originally Posted by EscapeRocks
For me, my number one is Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish
Originally Posted by David Holloway
Originally Posted by EscapeRocks
For me, my number one is Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish

Great pick David. I love this cover they do:

Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
The new Nightwish triple album arrived two days ago. Great album!

Trans Siberian Orchestra are the ones who get virtuoso keyboards, guitar, violin, bass, drums, string, horns, all the everything going and everyone has a good time from kids to senior citizens. Those shows are amazing. They are also through composed, so that keeps a lid on too many notes with not enough to say. They aren't "metal" enough for the growling crowd. They aren't "out" enough for prog, but they put on a great show, and give arenas of average folk fairly complex material to digest. There's always a story, and the live show is super well produced.
Originally Posted by EscapeRocks
Love me some TSO keyboards


Well, Nightwish falls squarely in Symphonic Metal and Gothic Metal, Trans-Siberian as symphonic progressive imo, and Cradle of Filth in gothic/power/black metal depending on the album.

I dislike metal in general but I do like symphonic metal, so I’m a big Nightwish fan. But they’re not really progressive rock, so I’m not sure they fit this thread.


To answer the question, progressive rock keyboard playing is definitely not in my top five for playing, nor for listening. A few exceptions like Boston and Rush for listening, but that’s about it.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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Sorry if I appear to be a Sherinian fanboy, but unabashedly...I am. Not just because of his own stuff, but because if what I have learned from him during our sessions, If you are interested, just reach out to him, his rates aren't out of line from any other teacher except that it's F-Img Derek Sherinian. He will try to sell you a red keyboard. He loves red keyboards. Just tell him you're only in it for the lesson. He's really good. We picked songs I was working on and he gave me specific arpeggios, scales, excercises, riffs, etc to work on in the key and the mode of the songs we were in the process of writing so that when the time came, I was well equipped to write and performs a solo. Great guy, highly recommended.


Dan

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037732 04/09/20 03:51 AM
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Aw, well this thread is starting to get fun, isn't it? laugh

So if everyone loved BTBAM so much (which again, I'm not really into, I knew their name and only realized last week they have keys), well then I'm sure everyone will be head over heels for The Locust!



This one is a 40 minute set, but skip to just under three minutes in for them to get on stage and start playing. Genuinely curious how far into this one everyone gets. smile YT might be being dumb and starting the video where I was when I tried to embed it.



Anyway, perhaps more along this forum's speed (I know brother New&Improv is a big fan) would be Elephant9. More in the jammy modern heavy organ stuff, but with all that cool Scandinavian vibe going on. smile





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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037735 04/09/20 04:03 AM
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There is a Prog/Metal band here in New Jersey called Symphony X that has been around since about 1994. Few people in their home state know who they are but they have been huge in Japan since their first album and have also built a big following in Europe. Much of their earlier material was Keyboard heavy incorporating excerpts from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Bartok, Paganini, Holst and other classical composers. Their later material still has Keyboards but usually in a more supportive role.



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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037736 04/09/20 04:18 AM
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Yeah Symphony X is pretty decent. I confess I'm not much into symphonic or black metal so Nightwish isn't as much my speed. And TSO is definitely its own thing.

Also shoutout to forum member MorayM who plays in a Rammstein tribute in the UK.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
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Quote
Also shoutout to forum member MorayM who plays in a Rammstein tribute in the UK.
I want video. Du Hast, please...and I wanna see that brother on a treadmill. hitt

Keine Lust (with fat suits) will do the trick as well... grin rocker

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
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Yep, rock/metal keyboards in all flavours is a big part of my playing. I got into keyboard playing at the beginning of the 80s with all the electronic music bands on the scene, then mid 80s when Yngwie Malmsteen came out, my guitarist brother exposed me to this band and Jens Johansson changed my outlook on keyboards, as did Jan Hammer and from there I wanted to play keyboards in a lead role and playing within a rock/metal style which led me on to fusion, funk and have always loved new age. The likes of Jens, Jan Hammer, Derek Sherinian seem to have a more guitaristic approach to rock keyboard playing than most as the guitar has been an influence to them like it has to me. My challenge has always been finding like minded keyboardists with the same taste. Good to see lots here !!

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037760 04/09/20 12:34 PM
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In the world of more contemporary heavy bands with prominent keyboards, Opeth definitely stands out. They're not a band I'm super familiar with (my biggest hard rock/metal period was in high school, and other than a handful of bands I really fell in love with I was more metal-fan-adjacent to my best friend), but they write really cool stuff with prominent Mellotron, Hammond, and Wurlitzer.



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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037766 04/09/20 01:11 PM
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I have some like minded friends who I can round up to do a 3 song set for an open stage - willing to dig in and play some Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Genesis type material. It gets great response from other musicians in the room, of course. Peer respect from your fellow musicians is who you primarily perform it for who appreciate the effort to learn the material.

There isn't much of a market here to build a fan base for that kind of thing in the bar band scene. Perhaps a regional tribute band with a deeper effort to authenticity of the sound/performance is a path for this. Not sure I am going to gig with a Mellotron M400 or dress up in Japanese silk kimonos onstage anytime soon to achieve that.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037769 04/09/20 01:20 PM
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I grew up with prog, my first band did Genesis and stuff, and especially Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, leading Italian prog band. I got the jazz bug quite early, though, and that interrupted the love affair with prog for a while. But in the 90s and early 2000s, I played in a group with elements of Banco, we did five albums doing a mixture of prog and ethnic Mediterranean/Eastern music.

Prog/metal bores me a little bit after a while, but it just depends. One of my dreams, which in all likelihood will stay a dream, is to play in a prog/funk project - complex but fun! But I would need a virtuoso guitarist to collaborate with for the composing. I'm sick and tired to write all my music alone, and I already have lots of unpublished projects waiting in line...

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
marino #3037770 04/09/20 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by marino
One of my dreams, which in all likelihood will stay a dream, is to play in a prog/funk project - complex but fun!
One of my main projects, Thru Spectrums, could definitely be defined as "prog/funk," and I will affirm that it is a ton of fun. That's the band that really got me learning to play Hammond "properly" when I joined in 2014. Also the band that keeps me sharp on voicing chords with upper extensions, which is harder to get away with on heavy, high-gain prog/metal material.
Originally Posted by marino
But I would need a virtuoso guitarist to collaborate with for the composing.
Yup, that's definitely the reason my band works.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
samuelblupowitz #3037774 04/09/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
Originally Posted by marino
One of my dreams, which in all likelihood will stay a dream, is to play in a prog/funk project - complex but fun!
One of my main projects, Thru Spectrums, could definitely be defined as "prog/funk," and I will affirm that it is a ton of fun. That's the band that really got me learning to play Hammond "properly" when I joined in 2014. Also the band that keeps me sharp on voicing chords with upper extensions, which is harder to get away with on heavy, high-gain prog/metal material.
Originally Posted by marino
But I would need a virtuoso guitarist to collaborate with for the composing.
Yup, that's definitely the reason my band works.
Any link to this group's music?
EDIT: Found it. Quite groovy and fun indeed! 2thu

Last edited by marino; 04/09/20 01:46 PM.
Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
J. Dan #3037780 04/09/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
I love this whole album, but whatever your influences, I don't know how any red blooded, Hammond loving keyboard player can't appreciate this:
< Sons Of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony >
And they don't over do the Drop D and no Cookie Monster vocals....heavy but include all the elements of prog with odd time signatures, intricate solos, nonstandard sing formats, etc.
Thanks to your post last night, I found that song/CD -- and already have it on order. Can't wait.

Old No7

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037803 04/09/20 03:06 PM
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I enjoy both playing and listening to classic prog. I think many of the pieces are fun to play and can help build technique.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
marino #3037809 04/09/20 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by marino
Prog/metal bores me a little bit after a while, but it just depends. One of my dreams, which in all likelihood will stay a dream, is to play in a prog/funk project - complex but fun! But I would need a virtuoso guitarist to collaborate with for the composing. I'm sick and tired to write all my music alone, and I already have lots of unpublished projects waiting in line...

Recent experience with that direction. Was approached by an excellent lead guitarist to collaborate with original material . I have +70, mostly copyright. He was a few hundred miles
away so it wasn't a local neighborhood thing.

Got off to a good start with the material. Once I saw the click, I wanted to formalize and improve the communication the old school way, talk on the phone.

Long story short he wanted my keyboard skills and my recording/mixing for backing tracks and free music production.

If he or anyone wanted just that, thats a 'for hire ' contract arrangement.
I suggested , since he only wanted to use my experience, and if he wanted cheap and easy, he could find free midi files. And wail along to those with his lead guitar skill.

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037828 04/09/20 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GregC
Originally Posted by marino
Prog/metal bores me a little bit after a while, but it just depends. One of my dreams, which in all likelihood will stay a dream, is to play in a prog/funk project - complex but fun! But I would need a virtuoso guitarist to collaborate with for the composing. I'm sick and tired to write all my music alone, and I already have lots of unpublished projects waiting in line...

Recent experience with that direction. Was approached by an excellent lead guitarist to collaborate with original material . I have +70, mostly copyright. He was a few hundred miles
away so it wasn't a local neighborhood thing.

Got off to a good start with the material. Once I saw the click, I wanted to formalize and improve the communication the old school way, talk on the phone.

Long story short he wanted my keyboard skills and my recording/mixing for backing tracks and free music production.

If he or anyone wanted just that, thats a 'for hire ' contract arrangement.
I suggested , since he only wanted to use my experience, and if he wanted cheap and easy, he could find free midi files. And wail along to those with his lead guitar skill.

Ouch!!

I have already a clear picture... if I should ever meet the right musician to collaborate, I'll make it very clear that I want to share duties and results 50/50.

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
marino #3037835 04/09/20 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by marino
[q

If he or anyone wanted just that, thats a 'for hire ' contract arrangement.
I suggested , since he only wanted to use my experience, and if he wanted cheap and easy, he could find free midi files. And wail along to those with his lead guitar skill.

Ouch!!

I have already a clear picture... if I should ever meet the right musician to collaborate, I'll make it very clear that I want to share duties and results 50/50.[/quote]

Very good. There are numerous very talented guitarists, etc .

I think long term, and believe its important to establish ' ground rules ' sooner than later.

Keeping it loose and informal has attraction , but ' try as you go ' and ' lets see what happens later ' can result in future misunderstandings.

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
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Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
In the world of more contemporary heavy bands with prominent keyboards, Opeth definitely stands out. They're not a band I'm super familiar with (my biggest hard rock/metal period was in high school, and other than a handful of bands I really fell in love with I was more metal-fan-adjacent to my best friend), but they write really cool stuff with prominent Mellotron, Hammond, and Wurlitzer.

[video:youtube]ht3MY[/video]

Thats a good post and solid example.

Steven Wilson has refers to Opeth and follows them.

I think its cool how ideas can cross pollinate

Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3037840 04/09/20 05:15 PM
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Problem with prog is there is a line between technical/ interesting and technical/boring. YES=interesting . Other band (that I wont name because someone here likes them) boring. Generally I find practicing progressive music boring so I suppose the end product I would produce would be boring to you.

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Originally Posted by Jr. Deluxe
Problem with prog is there is a line between technical/ interesting and technical/boring. YES=interesting . Other band (that I wont name because someone here likes them) boring. Generally I find practicing progressive music boring so I suppose the end product I would produce would be boring to you.

Yes created unique melodies, rather than just tearing off scales. That, for me, was what made them interesting.

I have been remiss in keeping up with Billy Sheehan and was quite interested to find that Sons Of Apollo billed themselves as prog. Billy Sheehan and prog? Sounds like a good match to me...only...not. I don't hear anything "prog" in SOA's music at all. Metal, yes. Hard rock, yes. You can tick either or both of those boxes quite readily, but prog? I don't hear it. As I mentioned above, it's going to boil down to someone's definition of prog, but still:
1) Complex rhythms? No.
2) Changing rhythms? No.
3) Long compositions? No.
Etc.
Now, I want to make clear that I haven't been through all their stuff, so there may be some things that are more "prog" than I've heard so far. If that's the case, I'll eventually get there, because I like some of what I'm hearing and I'm going to keep listening.

But prog?

I just don't see it. Not in this case...or at least not yet.

So, again, what is prog? Who gets to decide? I see that SOA bills themselves as prog, so in their minds, they're ticking some sort of prog boxes on the imaginary checklist. What are they hearing that I'm not? Or is this just another example of music getting dumped in the prog category because it doesn't fit gracefully anywhere else?

And what's up with the mix? On the tracks I've listened to so far, Billy Sheehan's bass is mixed so low that it's hard to pick out. Lotta guitar, though.

A while back Rolling Stone published a list of the 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time. I took it as an excuse to go wallow in some cool stuff--maybe find something that I'd overlooked. The problem was that at least a third--maybe as much as half--of the list didn't strike me as prog on any level. It was almost as though an editor assigned the story to the reporter with the title already intact and the poor guy ran through all the usual suspects (Yes, ELP, Rush, Genesis, Pink Floyd...) and still had slots to fill in order to make it to one hundred, so he started backfilling with other things.

So, again, what is prog, anyway?

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GRollins #3037890 04/09/20 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GRollins
I don't hear anything "prog" in SOA's music at all. Metal, yes. Hard rock, yes. You can tick either or both of those boxes quite readily, but prog? I don't hear it. As I mentioned above, it's going to boil down to someone's definition of prog, but still:
1) Complex rhythms? No.
2) Changing rhythms? No.
3) Long compositions? No.
Etc.
Now, I want to make clear that I haven't been through all their stuff, so there may be some things that are more "prog" than I've heard so far. If that's the case, I'll eventually get there, because I like some of what I'm hearing and I'm going to keep listening.

But prog?

I just don't see it. Not in this case...or at least not yet.

Try this one on for size, but don't give up on it in the first 2-1/2 minutes, you have to listen to all 9:22. In particular, everything going on through the roughly 3-8 minute marks I think check all the boxes you said "no" to above.



Dan

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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037903 04/09/20 09:59 PM
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Never felt the need to learn progressive rock. Never played progressive rock. Never had a problem finding work. Granted, I have played stuff that some people call progressive rock that was crossover to pop/rock. But the market share for progressive rock is very, very small. You don't NEED to learn it or play it. It is not a priority. If you enjoy it, go for it. But don't persue it because you think it will get you more jobs.


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037911 04/09/20 10:33 PM
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progressive rock. I didn't think the topic would become a 5 pager-

its cool folks are having a good time and discussing really interesting bands- bands I had no clue about.

we live in difficult times, for sure. So the money and gig worthiness of live performance is going thru a seismic shift.
Applies to all genres I suspect.

Anyway, I am of the opinion is that a performer or an artist or both has to build his/her audience

Today, Covid aside, if you/your band is starting out, I am not sure if there is 5000 or even 500 people sitting in a county,
just waiting for you or your band to create your 3 sets. Then discover
your venue at a club, then they sit down, drink, enjoy your 3 sets.

I thought a new band in a county or populous area has to grind it out, build a following, 50 people at a time,
promote like crazy, advertise advertise, splash on youTube and FaceBook, beg old friends to show up at the venue, etc etc etc.

IOW, you or your band has to create a loyal bunch of listeners.

Feel free, as a new band, to edit the above. How you would have to proceed to build your listener
audience. It could be country music, top 40, metal rock, tribute. whatever. I thought its a huge grind and expense
to promote and advertise. Part of the challenge is that there numerous new bands and current bands competing for
the same audience.

When Steven Wilson goes on tour, he says he is competing with 'millions ' of other bands to land the venues on the country tours.

Maybe ' millions ' is metaphorical. But I get his point.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037923 04/09/20 11:15 PM
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Music doesn't always just have to be about money. Anybody, regardless of musical style, who plays originals is unlikely to ever make a living doing it. Some do, but very few. Conversely, it's relatively easy to make a living (as long as all of the bars and restaurants aren't forced to shut down) playing covers. For me, I make money playing in various cover bands around town as a fill-in guy which keeps my schedule flexible. For creative outlet and personal enjoyment, I write, record, and occasionally perform in the progressive metal band. Shows aren't huge and don't pay a lot, but the fans are loyal, and with an online presence, regions of the world where our style is more popular can get exposure to us without us ever visiting. When we look at the reports of where our streams are going, a lot of it is in Europe. Strangely for some reason, quite a few in South Africa. We have never promoted outside our local town but I guess it gets around. We have no delusions of grandeur, it's a labor of love, and when I'm long gone from this world, my kids can go online and show my grandkids and great grandkids and so on what I produced.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037942 04/10/20 12:33 AM
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I read somewhere--can't remember where--that there are fewer than 200 full time authors...everyone else has a day job. Speaking from experience, I can attest that writing is a "don't quit your day job" kind of thing. I've got a spreadsheet that I use to keep track of the stories I've sold. If I had made all that money in one year, I'd count it a fair living at doing something that I like to do. Split it into two years and it's close to poverty wages. Divide it over the length of time I've been writing and it's pretty paltry per year, but good beer money.

How many full time musicians there are, I do not claim to know. I sense that the statistics are much better than they are in the writing game. Still, it's clearly difficult to make a living at it unless you're teaching--which to me counts as a day job, the same as an author who teaches.

I see some people saying, in essence, "if I can't make money playing prog, it's useless." Okay, but that's an entirely different mindset than the one that says, "I feel it. I hear it in my head, and if I don't play it out loud, I'm gonna bust open at the seams." If money is your driving motivation for playing music, then you're going to arrive at entirely different answers than if you're being driven from the inside to play prog, win, lose, or draw. You can criticize any genre of art as being worthless because it won't make you money if you're in the wrong place or at the wrong point in the cycle for what you want to play/write/paint/dance/whatever. There's a pretty good chance that prog will fail utterly in the middle of the Amazon River basin. Likewise in the Congo. It would have failed in the 1700s, anywhere in the world. Obviously, it did well from the late sixties through the mid-to-late '70s, then went into hibernation. Now it may be stirring once more. If I'm right, we're entering a period where people may again appreciate more musical complexity after a diet of pablum pop; something more stick-to-your-ribs, rather than cotton candy. There are signs that things are trending that way in that vocals have become very flashy, with lots of trills and octave-wide leaps. So far the instrumental accompaniment has been rudimentary, but I believe that will change. Vocal harmonies are in vogue and that's also an encouraging sign. If we can get the instruments to where the vocals are, things will start happening.

Hmmm...vocal harmonies and complex music...kinda like Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, eh? (And, yes, a little help from Steve Howe on vocals...)

And, yes, the audiences will begin to show up. It's all cyclical. After listening to complex music, the trend swings towards simpler music. After a while, the mind starts hungering for something more substantial. That time is coming. If you want to play something else, that's fine. Even during the heyday of prog and fusion jazz, there were other sorts of music that were doing well.

Grey


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Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037971 04/10/20 02:40 AM
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Prog was a thing of it's time. Amazing musicianship in the golden age of the music history. Like classical composers, I think as a genre it's a closed deal. A couple of artists here and there will pop up like something from another era but as a scene, no.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3037980 04/10/20 03:46 AM
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I keep mentioning Steven Wilson as an example.

It appears progressive music, prog metal, whatever variant is still relevant in Europe.

True, its not like 1970. But its not a closed deal, not in Europe.

http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/tour-dates/

In the US, yes, I am not aware of similar prog music acts or prog metal bands.

But the US is not the only bubble out there.

Its a big world of digital music listeners.

I have good listener data on my Sound Cloud with my 70 originals.
Have 109,000 listeners for the year, a YTD figure.

I have more listeners on the European continent vs the US.

In a way this makes sense, in that SoundCloud is a German co thus
they have a large inherent listener base in the various countries in Europe.

Re: Is Hard Rock Keyboard Playing in Your " Top 5 " ?
GregC #3038032 04/10/20 10:41 AM
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Why so gloomy? Classical isn't dead. It's currently called "film soundtracks."

John Williams, Howard Shore, et. al. are writing beautiful Romantic classical music that's already slowly (in some cases, not so slowly) moving into concert halls as stand-alone music. We went to a Harry Potter concert last year (SC Philharmonic @ Koger Center, so a real, actual, formal sit-down concert) and his Star Wars music has been making the rounds for years. I saw John Williams conducting the Boston Pops cover that all the way back in the '80s. Some of Shore's music from Lord Of The Rings is outstanding. Hans Zimmer has done good work. There are others. Prokofiev wrote film scores, so there's precedent. Come on, man, don't be an Eeyore. All you have to do is open your eyes and look about. There's some amazing classical music right under our noses.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3038058 04/10/20 12:33 PM
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A lot of the debate about prog IS about a useful definition of Prog. For me the essence is to paint an intense, creative music on a larger canvas than the typical song form. I hear prog aspirations in RTF's Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant, Metheny's The Way Up and Snarky Puppy's We Like it Here. Those comparisons might be horrifying to some, but I feel it's ok to see prog as a largeness of spirit rather then a specialized genre with prescribed licks, tropes and sounds. It is about art more than artifact. Looking back over prog rock history some of my favorite musical moments are when the musicians haven't codified a recipe yet. They are doing things for the first time and not entirely sure where they are headed.

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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
Tusker #3038060 04/10/20 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tusker
Those comparisons might be horrifying to some, but I feel it's ok to see prog as a largeness of spirit rather then a specialized genre with prescribed licks, tropes and sounds.
Exactly! The classic "prog rock" genre was born out of rock musicians wanting to be more adventurous and less predictable. As soon as you can pigeonhole it into "long songs you can't dance to with English folk influence and lyrics about outer space" (for example), it just becomes another restriction to work within and without.


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Re: Is Progressive Rock Keyboard Playing a Priority ?
GregC #3038075 04/10/20 01:23 PM
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For me "prog" is different depending on the context it's associated with - meaning for example: Prog Rock vs Rock is a different association that Prog Metal vs Metal, if that makes sense. I don't think you can take what you think differentiates Yes from 10cc and apply that same "difference" to metal to make it progressive. It's complicated by the fact that there are SOOO Many subgenres of metal. But I think anything that elevates the genre musically beyond what the basic norm would be within that genre, by definition is progressive. Hell, in most cases, just throwing in a bunch of keyboards could be considered progressive in a genre that is so guitar dominated usually with no keys to be found.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
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