How to Start a Progressive Rock Band

Progressive rock was popular throughout the seventies. It was categorized for the long songs, virtuosity, and concept albums. Here's how to start a progressive rock band in a few easy steps.


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    Progressive setups shouldn't be made like conventional rock bands. That means, don't get four mates together, set up all your gear and then hope for a great start, because it won't work. It is not the seventies anymore. Forming a band should be a gradual process.
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    Make a writing partnership with a good friend or musician who also has an interest in progressive rock. If you are both good musicians then you'll be able to write parts for all the units of the band easily. Write a couple of progressive songs using this syndicate writing method. It works well for people like Mars Volta and bands like Gentle Giant, who had most of their music written by two band members only.
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    Seek inspiration from other genres too! Try not to get your influences from progressive rock itself, or your music will sound stereotypical and copied. Be original. Honestly, people hoping to write progressive music today have a technical advantage over the other original bands because many new styles of music have emerged. So, it is easier to find new production techniques and helpful tweaks now.
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    Get some musicians together. Ideally, they should be interested in playing something different. Just let them get into it. As you play with the band, the songs will start to change slightly from how you wrote them in the first place. But don't be upset or disheartened, because it is a good sign. It simply means they're evolving into something more spontaneous and more widely influenced.
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    Find another band to perform with. Usually, it can be tricky to find another band that is willing to gig with yours. If you have composed authentic progressive rock, then you're going to look odd performing with an indie or a metal band, so pick wisely. Generally, there are only a few classic rock bands in a town or city that you can collaborate with.
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    Get recording if your live performances are not successful. Get a proper recording session done at a studio and then spread your music around the internet to enthusiasts. There are some dedicated progressive labels you can look up to and you can always wait on the progressive festivals to play at. Organise some gigs and performances and invite the enthusiasts that you have attracted through other means. This way, you can make your band famous and showcase your music effectively.


  • Be inspired by progressive rock but pay attention to other genres like jazz, funk, world music and pop too.
  • Sharing a good relationship with all the band members helps a lot. If you get along well with the rest members, your jamming sessions will become more fun and your songs will become livelier.
  • Don't complicate your pieces for the sake of it.
  • Playing progressive rock without being too genre-specific can help a lot.
  • If you are intent on being a "progressive rock band" specifically, don't portray yourself or your music in an outdated or pretentious way. You're trying to get the audience's attention and not alienating them. A little bit of pretentiousness is okay, but be essentially down-to-earth and fun
  • Be unique, it helps attract fans and enthusiasts.
  • If you have guitarists, try to write specific music with accordance to the kind of instruments and the people playing them.
  • Be patient, it helps a lot in the long run.
  • It is alright to write music without your instrument once in a while.
  • Try to become more interesting as a person by having adventures, experiences and by befriending different kinds of people. Going to sci-fi conventions, imitating the themes from advertisements and children's television also counts.

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Categories: Forming a Band | Music Techniques