The Different Types of Rock Music

If you’re a fan of rock music, then you know there are many different sub-genres to choose from. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of rock music and what makes each one unique. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, punk rock, or metal, there’s something for everyone. So sit back, crank up the volume, and enjoy!

Classic Rock

Classic Rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on commercially successful hard rock popularized in the 1970s. The radio format became increasingly popular with the baby boomer demographic by the end of the 1990s.

While classic rock draws its inspiration and most of its artists from Britain, America and Canada, it is also strongly influenced by garage rock, blues rock, proto-punk and other genres. Classic rock is sometimes used as a synonym for early heavy metal music.

Hard Rock

Hard rock is a form of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hard rock music typically features heaviness and aggressive musical traits. The first use of the term “hard rock” in a song title was in 1967 by British band Cream with their song “I Feel Free”.

In the early 1970s, hard rock was still relatively new and many bands were still experimenting with its sound. Heavier than Rock and roll, early hard rock bands were also influenced by blues music. One of the first pioneers of hard rock was American band Led Zeppelin. They helped to popularize the genre with their 1968 self-titled debut album and their subsequent releases. Other well-known hard rock bands from the 1970s include Kiss, Aerosmith, Queen, AC/DC, and Van Halen.

The 1980s saw the development of many different subgenres of hard rock music. This decade also saw the rise of many glam metal bands, such as Motley Crue and Ratt. Glam metal bands often incorporated elements of pop music into their sound. In the 1990s and 2000s, grunge and Nu metal became popular subgenres of hard rock music. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Metallica helped to bring hardrock back into the mainstream spotlight.

Progressive Rock

Progressive rock, also referred to as prog rock or prog, is a rock music subgenre that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid-1960s. Originally termed “art rock”, it was used by critics to describe the more ambitious, experimental and intellectual incarnation of rock, in contrast to the four-on-the-floor style that was prevalent at the time.

Progressive rock reached a peak of popularity in the early 1970s, but faded soon afterwards due largely to a backlash against the perceived pretensions of the genre. It remains a significant influence on subsequent generations of musicians; in 2002, Q magazine placed five progressive rock albums at number 16 on its list of “The 50 Greatest British Albums Ever”.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s. Musicians attempted to replicate the experience of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, in their music. To do this, they used elements of Eastern philosophy, including sitar-style drones and extended jams. Psychedelic rock reached its peak of popularity in the late 1960s, when bands such as The Beatles and The Doors released some of their most famous work. Although psychedelic rock is no longer as popular as it once was, it has influence the sound of many subsequent genres, including punk rock and grunge.

Folk Rock

Folk rock is a musical genre that combines elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the United Kingdom around the mid-1960s. The genre was pioneered by the American rock band the Byrds, and reached its greatest prominence in the last two years of that decade. Dylan’s lead was followed by Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, John Prine, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield and The Holy Modal Rounders in North America; and Donovan, Fairport Convention and Pentangle in Britain.

In a broader sense since the late 1960s, the term has been used to describe a wide variety of forms within popular music from CONTINENT/COUNTRY X. Some writers have applied it to musicians who borrowed from traditional folk music styles Bill Monroe while others have krautrock groups such as Kraftwerk or individual performers like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

Since the early 1970s it has been applied to various genres including country rock (The Byrds), Garage rock (NRBQ), harder styles (The Flying Burrito Brothers), punk rock (The Pogues)

and even some forms of heavy metal music (Wishbone Ash).

Punk Rock

Punk rock is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as “proto-punk” music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

The term “punk rock” was first used by certain American rock critics in the early 1970s to describe 1960s garage bands and subsequent acts perceived to be their stylistic heirs. By 1976, when the historian Clinton Heylin used the term in British magazine Record Mirror, it had been extended to include artists such as Television and the Ramones. In January 1977, punk fanzine Sideburns published an illustration of three chord shapes intended to represent the aesthetic of punk rock.

Punk rock developed a following in Japan starting in the late 1970s. Influenced by American punk rock groups such as Television and the Ramones, Japanese punks were able to bring their own style to the music. One Japanese punk band that gained a large following outside of their country was Shonen Knife.


Post-punk is a type of rock music that emerged in the late 1970s. Post-punk bands typically used guitars and bass guitars to create a harsh, driving sound, and they often incorporated elements of punk rock, such as simplified song structures and onstage DIY ethic. As the name suggests, post-punk bands were influenced by the punk rock movement, but they also drew inspiration from other genres, such as krautrock and disco.

New Wave

New Wave is a subgenre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create pop music that incorporated electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, and disco. Common features of new wave music include synthesizers, drum machines, and simple guitar work.

Indie Rock

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. As punk rock developed, police brutality became more prevalent at punk shows, resulting in the formation of many hardcore punk bands who eschewed indie labels and the mainstream music industry. In the late 1980s, grunge bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam brought alternative rock to mainstream audiences.

In the 1990s, indie rock developed a range of styles, from lo-fi and garage rock to math rock and emo. In the 2000s and 2010s, a new wave of indie rock acts emerged, including The Strokes, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Haim, and The National.

Alternative Rock

Alternative rock is a broad umbrella term that can describe a wide range of music. If you were to ask ten different people what alternative rock is, you might get ten different answers. In general, however, alternative rock is music that does not fit neatly into other genres or sub-genres. It often features nontraditional song structures, experiments with different sounds and styles, and lyrics that deal with topics that are not commonly found in pop music.

Alternative rock can trace its roots back to the 1960s with bands like the Velvet Underground and the Beatles. In the 1970s, punk rock emerged as a response to the mainstream music of the time. Punk was raw, fast-paced, and often confrontational. In the 1980s, bands like R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and the Pixies continued to push musical boundaries and pave the way for alternative rock in the 1990s.

The 1990s saw alternative rock achieve mainstream success with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Radiohead. Alternative rock continued to evolve in the 2000s with bands like Arcade Fire, Interpol, and Modest Mouse. Today, alternative rock is as popular as ever, with new bands continuing to experiment with sounds and styles.

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