Indie Rock Chords


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The Sound II
03-15-2008, 12:10 AM
I need help finding some good sounding chords for indie rock/pop/alternative stuff such as Arcade fire, rilo kiley, radiohead, clap your hands say yeah, tokyo police club, the libertines, broken social scene, television, gang of four. Basically not the standard major/minor barre chords everyone knows how to use. Examples are gang of fours revolutionary usage of angular chords, I don't know where to find the shapes for them. so to some it up I want to be able to make good chord progressions for the above genres, without having to use all the basic chords most players know.

oh and an example is

Rilo Kiley: Breakin' up (can't find tabs)

go ahead and flame if you want, I'm expecting to have at least a couple LISTEN TO REAL INDIE type comments

thanks for those of you who help

pumpkins_rule
03-15-2008, 12:52 AM
As far as I know a lot of indie bands use major, minor and power chords.

#1 synth
03-15-2008, 12:56 AM
just don't play and you have the next best thing to indie rock, post modern rock!

Try it, you'll love it.

The Sound II
03-15-2008, 01:04 AM
hahaha

somewhat_here
03-15-2008, 01:26 AM
As far as I know a lot of indie bands use major, minor and power chords.

galaxie 500 - 4th of july
B, F#, G#

yes.

Arthur Curry
03-15-2008, 01:31 AM
G.

sponj
03-15-2008, 09:00 AM
G C E

Gurgle!Argh!
03-15-2008, 10:44 AM
as someone who plays in an 'indie rock' band i think my number one trick is playing power chords/octaves with a root on the A string and letting the high B and E ring, possibly capoing if i'm playing in F or something. it makes things sound a bit noisy and things and i think the fact that i do it across quite a few songs helps give our band a certain sound with a certain degree of consistency. but not in too much of a lame way.

but really, you can do anything. just make it interesting or something. i guess.

The Sound II
03-15-2008, 12:33 PM
alright thanks

Andrewbiles
03-15-2008, 08:08 PM
as someone who plays in an 'indie rock' band i think my number one trick is playing power chords/octaves with a root on the A string and letting the high B and E ring

:haha I was doing that same thing earlier today. Love the sound it gives off. Capo'd around the 5th fret anything sounds beautiful.

But yeah, mainly majors and minors for kind of chart indie music, the more you look into it though the more interesting the chord selections become, might still be the basic chords but quite often played in different positions and with alternate route notes or additions.

snipelfritz
03-15-2008, 08:45 PM
My band's a bit more indie folk, but I tend to use a lot of sus4ths and 2nds when I'm writing riffs/chord progressions.

I'd recommend you get your barre chords down pat as well learn major and minor chord shapes higher up on the neck on the top 3-4 strings. Its a lot about making sure those top notes ring out.

scenecreamer
03-16-2008, 11:37 AM
tune your geetar to GGDDD#D#...

Child In Time
03-16-2008, 11:59 AM
Ask Sonic Youth.

gallagher2006
03-16-2008, 02:11 PM
By Indie rock you mean Libertines, NME bands, etc?

Play your chords as Barres, and miss out the top note so it's played like (xRPMII), and accentuate the GBE strings more so, and let the bass handle any low notes.

They also seem to use clean tones with alot of treble. My band sounchecked for a band yesterday, and that's pretty much the sound the wanted. Treble on everything. Even the bass -_- Oh well, "Judge not lest ye be judged"

REDSOX2758
03-16-2008, 07:22 PM
yeah, just use mainly power chords, thats what i do, then use some penitonic scales or something like that to mix it up a bit and then go back to the power chords....

http://www.myspace.com/tugboatspecial

bradulator
03-17-2008, 01:09 AM
Barre Chords.

UMadeMeRealise
03-17-2008, 01:11 AM
Tune your guitar weird like Sonic Youth. You can find examples here (http://www.sonicyouth.com/mustang/tab/).

Time Seller
03-17-2008, 12:01 PM
You don't need chords, you fool!

Hit your thick E string, then twirl the tuning knob in random directions to generate uber sounds. Repeat with each string. Now you have a randomly detuned guitar. Proceed to strum random chords.

Straplocks
03-17-2008, 09:02 PM
Examples are gang of fours revolutionary usage of angular chords, I don't know where to find the shapes for them.


If you find out about this let me know. Their guitarist has an amazing style.

Other than that, check out the chords those bands use in their songs and play around with them. I love picking up interesting chords by stumbling across them in some one else's song.

BluesLP1990
03-18-2008, 07:17 PM
i love how so many people only post in the indie/alternative forum just to make fun of alternative/indie music. Not.


what on earth is an "angular chord?"

trackmind
03-18-2008, 07:19 PM
G.
That one's my favourite.

uhh_me?
03-18-2008, 08:34 PM
i love how so many people only post in the indie/alternative forum just to make fun of alternative/indie music. Not.

actually, most of the people in this thread are regulars.

and as people have said to do, try some alternate tunings.

Mack56
03-19-2008, 02:47 PM
try tuning your guitar to E A C# G B C#

I've come up with weird stuff that way.

hendrix4934
03-19-2008, 06:10 PM
the 7th and 9th chords are good. You can also take triads (C,E,G) up to the top 3 strings get more of a chimy sound. But one thing you can do is playing a C major chord over an A bass note. so C/A. If you have ur bass player just playing 8th notes on the A string then you can play a C major chord over it to get an Am7 chord. A,C,E,G. It's pretty easy to expand on this. Lets say your bass player is on a G, then you can play a Bdim triad (B,D,F) up on the higher strings which then gets you (G,B,D,F) making it a G7 chord. I've seen alot of inde bands using those upper chords and it sounds great with two guitarists if one just plays typical power chord rock and you play the upper triads so taht you get a balance of higher notes and lower notes.

You can also use augmented chords, minor major chords. (root, b3, 5, 7). an easier thing to do is just taking random notes out of a scale and playing a chord out of them. Say your bass player is on an A and your in Am for example.

Take an Am scale. (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A) then pick some notes out of it
B,D,G,A. As long as your bass player holds down the root note, this will sound good.

One more thing you can do. If you give each note in the key your in a differant letter of the alphabet then spell out a word and get a chord. Like this:

Lets say where in G:

G:A
A:B
B:C
C:D
D:E
E:F
F#:G
G:H
A:I
B:J
C:K
D:L
E:M
F#:N
G:O
A:P
B:Q
C:R
D:S
E:T
F#:U
G:V
A:W
B:X
C:Y
D:Z

If you take a short word then find the notes and put them together you'll have a jazzier type chord which is what radiohead and some other alternative bands use alot.

If you have the word "Word" then you get

W:A
O:G
R:C
D:C

Played over a G Chord, that gets a very spacy sound.

Child In Time
03-19-2008, 07:00 PM
Lets say where in G:

G:A
A:B
B:C
C:D

Hahahaha.