5 cutting-edge prog guitar licks you need to learn

Misha Mansoor
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic)

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

As you work through the tab exercises, try to listen out for phrases that sound familiar. Though I haven’t copied any riffs or licks directly, these ideas home in on rhythmic ideas, melodic phrases and playing techniques that are part and parcel of prog guitar today. 

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Charlie Griffiths

Charlie Griffiths plays guitar in acclaimed prog-metal outfit Haken, and has a wealth of experience handling corporate and session gigs for genres as diverse as rock, heavy metal and pop. He has been a regular contributor to Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques, and Guitar World for over a decade, and released his debut solo album Tiktaalika in 2022.