Easy indie pop guitar chords (guitar lesson)

Apr 9, 2024

Step 1: learn the guitar chords.

The indie guitar chords in this guitar lesson are in the key of D minor. To get dreamy indie pop chords on guitar, use suspended chords. Suspended chords give you an open, airy sound that is easy to use to transition to other chords. These suspended chords above resolve to D minor.

Notice the D string anchored as the root of all the chords. It ties them all together. So, your only physical consideration is fretting the 3 thinnest strings. The Dsus2 and the D5 are a little stretchy- so drop your wrist and position the thumb of your fretting hand a little lower behind the neck.

Practice tip: play each chord 2 times each to get to know where you’re headed, and time to think about the next chord transition until it becomes automatic.

The use of suspended (“sus” chords) in the indie chord progression

The suspended chords lack a major or minor 3rd, so they sound airy and create a nice sonic vibe. They tend to want to resolve to major or minor in general. In this lesson example, they go to D minor, whereas the ear is anticipating more a D major sound. That’s the fun of them, and easy to use in your indie song writing and chord progressions.

Additionally, the D5 has an open sound, consistent with the suspended chords in that it also lacks a major or minor 3rd interval. Play with these and get them into your indie guitar playing- whether indie pop, dream pop, or indie rock- the 5 chord and sus chords are very adaptable.

Step 2: create a rhythmic idea with the indie guitar chords!

In the example above, the chords are adapted into a right-hand pick pattern. The chords are arranged so bars 2 and 4 are like a response to bars 1 and 3. Dsus2 is the driving sound and atmosphere, with its floating quality. Sus2 and sus4 chords can easily go from one to the other to keep the sonic sound going. At the end, the suspended chords resolve into D minor. You COULD use D major, but the expected minor twist pulls the rug out from under the listener and is a surprise. Be sure to add that concept into your indie guitar chords- be it acoustic indie, indie pop or indie rock guitar.

The physical ease is that is that the open string along with the A note (2nd fret on the G string) are used throughout, so that enables minimal movement and easier memorization of the chord progressions.

The picking pattern: try all upstrokes on the arpeggiated notes (the single notes). Let them ring throughout so you get that sonic indie atmosphere!

Use drum backing tracks to get familiar with practicing the chords. Also, a drum track provides you a rhythm and energy to tap into, to squeeze musicality of the chords much faster. Start with a repetitive pattern used over each chord.

Also, check out the FULL VIDEO demonstration and walkthrough of these chords BELOW!

…And as always, keep posted for more indie guitar, chord progressions and skill training on guitar!

Watch the video for FULL LESSON on the easy indie pop guitar chords!

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