5 cutting-edge prog guitar licks you need to learn

Prog has had a huge resurgence in recent years and although the roots can be traced back to the 70s with bands like King Crimson, Yes and Rush laying the groundwork, modern gamers are still finding new ways to innovate and push the boundaries. guitar. In this lesson, we’ll look at some of the technical and creative approaches used by some of today’s best players.

As you work through the tab exercises, try listening to phrases that sound familiar. Although I didn’t directly copy riffs or licks, these ideas relate to rhythmic ideas, melodic phrases, and playing techniques that are integral to progressive guitar today.

From the piano-like tapping techniques of Covet and Chon to the technical metal mayhem of Protest The Hero and Between The Buried And Me, there’s plenty to get your teeth into.

Example 1. Tapotements à la Yvette Young / Mario Camarena

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At first glance, this opening example looks like a pain in the back to master, but it’s easier than you think!

Hold down the 7th, 8th, and 10th fret notes as a chord throughout, then all you have to worry about is tapping. Tap with your index and middle fingers on the middle strings and your ring finger on the first two strings.

Example 2. Plini / Misha Mansoor style melodic phrasing

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Modern prog isn’t just technical magic. Players like Plini, Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, and Intervals’ Aaron Marshall effectively use jazz-fusion-inspired lyrical melodic lines over djenty beats, and that’s what you’re looking at here in this Dorian mode.

Choose softly to allow the melody to connect smoothly. Neat slides and steady vibrato will help the notes sing.

Example 3. Syncope à la Roman Ibramkhalilov / Acle Kahney

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Here I demonstrate the rhythmic cunning of bands like Ukrainian prog/metalcore masters Jinjer and British prog-metal titans Tesseract. ‘What is the deception?’, you ask? Well, our drop-D tuned riff repeats every five eighth notes, which syncopates and shifts when played against the 4/4 offbeat. Clever stuff!

Example 4. Tim Henson / Manuel Gardner Fernandes style harmonics

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Acts like Polyphia and Unprocessed have taken clean riffing to new heights in recent years, incorporating natural harmonics seamlessly into complex melodic grooves.

For clean harmonics here, position your finger directly in line with the fret and lift your finger as soon as you pluck the string. Play the riff with a pick, fingerstyle, or a combination of both.

Example 5. Technical Riffing à la Tim Millar / Paul Waggoner

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Finally, we enter the world of technical riffing, with acts like Jason Richardson, Protest The Hero and Between The Buried And Me proving that there is always something heavier and more extreme around the corner. The 7/8 time gives a progressive flavor and the rapid transition between sixteenth and sixteenth note triplets is typical progressive fare.

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