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Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Young Jackson was a Metal Head. Sometime around 1982, however, he fell under the influence of four individuals who would expand his musical horizons, and that expansion began, primarily, in the field of Progressive Rock. The move from Metal to Prog is not a great journey. One could say that Iron Maiden is a very progressive band, and one could argue that Rush fits both bills. Yes and Genesis have their heavy moments, and in the early eighties, Marillion found themselves on many a Metal filled bill.

My Brother Rod bought me Pink Floyd's 'A Collection Of Great Dance Tunes' in late 82. Although I wouldn't lump Floyd in with the Prog lot, Rod, through Floyd, opened the door in my Metal mind, and once the door was open, some amazing stuff came through.

'Blind' Mitch turner gets the credit for the Yes. I bought Fragile in early 83, and it blew my mind. By mid 84 I had Relayer, The Yes Album, and my fave, Close To The Edge.

My brother Fred gets the Genesis cred. He turned me on to Peter Gabriel's Third Solo Album in 82, and before I knew it, I had worked my way back to his time with Genesis, and even ventured into the brief period of Genesis post Gabriel, pre suck.

Brian Spears gets the Marillion nod. For those inclined to comment negatively about this, please be respectful, Brian is no longer with us. Say what you will, any band that encores with 'Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You, Tonight' is okay in my book.

Throughout all my appreciative listening to Prog bands, I have never set myself to the task of writing any Prog tunes, until yesterday.

It's not natural to me. I have never played anything that wasn't 4/4 or 'three time' (3/4, 6/8). I set a click to 7/8, mapped out 16 measures, switched (for no apparent reason) to 6/8 for 4 measures, back to 7/8 for 16, 6/8 again for 4, then to 4/4 for a middle 8, and then back to 7/8.

I then wrote a riff for each time signature, and recorded them. As you might expect, it didn't feel very natural, because I wasn't writing from a natural place. It was pieced together, and sounds pieced together. It is a start, however. I need to play more in 7/8 to feel it naturally, once I begin to feel it, I'll be able to write for it better.

It's not going to be a quick journey. I have a lot of work to do. It is fun, though, so I got that workin' for me.

Odd time signatures are the Devil's Playground. 5/8 is the Devil's Rumpus Room.

You were warned.
So when do we get to hear it, bitch?

Didn't I do some odd time signature with that Sorry song, without even realizing it?
I remember the Sorry song dropping an extra bar of 2/4 here and there, on the "I'm so... sorry" bit.

I may be hallucinating.
What you need to do is start trying to hear 7/8 in the world around you. Try counting to seven over and over as you walk around.

4/4 is burned into the synapses in your brain. So is 3/4 and 6/8. Now you have to make some new patterns.

1 2 3 4
1 2 3
1 2 3 4
1 2 3
Maybe, after a few more attempts, I'll come up with something taht I'll share with the world, but I'm certainly not there yet.
Sounds like a good branching out! As for the music, if you haven't listened to solo albums of Steve Hackett (of Genesis), I can reocmmend them highly -- some of the best prog out there, IMHO.

-- david
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