So, I couldn't help but notice the lack of musical/theoretical analysis for punk music over almost the entire internet. If you want to learn "metal style" or "blues style" there's a book for it, and a billion online lessons. For punk and its' offshoots, that's a different story.

There are things I've learned more or less by accident, but nobody ever formalizes these things. Anyone with a "just play three power chords, repeat" response doesn't know what they're talking about. Even the supposed "punk lessons" on the site are lacking. For example.

East Coast punk-two chord progressions
West Coast-three chords

Almost all of it uses power chords. Punk tends to use three note power chords as opposed to their two note variants. Also, fifth string root notes seem to be preferred over sixth string root notes.

Minor [and sometimes major] barre chords are the second choice, sacrificing a little speed and ease of use for a more full sound.

"Octave chords" or whatever you call them, are used quite a bit, although I've never seen them discussed thoroughly.

Alternative power chords, like the two-note major, were a staple of a lot of punk acts like Black Flag and At The Drive In. These are usually only brought up in metal rhythm, however.

The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" is a great example of a punk song using open chords, and usually shuts the haters [usually jazz guys and BC Rich playing gain *****s] right up when having this discussion.

Soloing/lead playing tends to stick to simple pentatonics, but this is more of a rule of thumb than an actual rule. I've heard stuff using the major and minor scale, and even the occasional harmonic or melodic minor. Harmonic minor tends to be used in the more metal-oriented stuff like Crust/D-Beat. Some of it's bluesy, and some it's more hard-rock oriented.

Song structure is a little harder to pin down. So many bands just used pop-rock song structures inspired by early Beatles and the like that it's pretty much become the standard.

Discuss? This is partly to help me learn, but I also hope it helps out people who are stuck where I'm at.
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The thing is metal, for example, is sort of definable musically. Generally it's heavy riff-rock. I reckon punk is more of a tradition of certain philosophies toward music. Philosophies that are anything but universal and often contradictory. And the impact on those philosophies on the music varies greatly from band to band.

I get what you're saying. Punk is more definable ideologically than musically, and there are very few musical characteristics that are explicitely "punk", which is part of its' diversity. I'm aware of that, but nobody can deny there's a sort of a punk "sound" that you just know when you hear it. I guess that's what I'm getting at.
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You can make some musical generalizations about specific eras, scenes, and sub-genres, there's not a single common thread that connects them all like there arguably is for metal.

I'm just a fan who started playing the last year or so out of boredom. I keep delving deeper into punk and the various scenes/styles/sub-genres and what makes them sound different from the other scenes/styles/subgenres. I'm not arguing that it's not difficult to pin down, but there is a difference between the way a street punk band plays and the way a pop punk band plays. I guess the point is I started out doing this very casually and now my interest is more matured and I want to know exactly what makes the beast tick.

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BTW you're looking at an absurdly small cross-section of what "stylistic analysis" encompasses. It's a whole lot more than just "what kind of chords do the guitarists play?"

I wasn't trying to be complete. I was just sharing what little I've figured out that a lot of bands have in common. I wanted to hear what other people have learned about the various styles, and see if anyone would correct mistakes/misconceptions I had.
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So yeah. Sure, you can say "punx guitarists usually play barre chords or power chords, and sometimes open chords." But, of course, I could name a handful who play jazz voicings.

I wasn't aware I'd typed anything that sounded as stupid as "punx guitarists always play power chords". Once again, I'm a relatively new player who's only recently started taking playing seriously. Maybe I didn't use enough bands as examples? I can understand if I sort of painted punk into a stylistic corner, which wasn't my intent.
If you're gonna include both The Clash and At the Drive-in in this, then no, there is no recognizable sound. The only thing I can think of that they have in common musically is the passion they had when playing, but that doesn't really count...
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If you're gonna include both The Clash and At the Drive-in in this, then no, there is no recognizable sound. The only thing I can think of that they have in common musically is the passion they had when playing, but that doesn't really count...

I've heard Greg Ginn and that guy from At The Drive-In compared with each other before. I wouldn't agree with it per se, but they both use the "alt. power chords" I talked about and I didn't just want to fawn all over Black Flag like everyone does. I see your point though. This thread was doomed from the start. Seems like anytime I post anything in a forum I get reamed by somebody lol