How To Play Indie Music On Guitar

Posted by Mike Schumacher

As a beginner in music, you have two options. You can either get by on licks and songs you learned or you can study the fundamentals.

Independent Music is indie rock and indie pop that originates in America. Independent music is the music that you listen to when you’re driving alone in the car, without the radio blasting in your ears.

In order to have fun and be creative with your music, you should try to put yourself in the lyrics of this independent music.

Break down your favorite indie songs

guitar songs

You can also check the lyrics of independent songs and then break them down to their basic parts.

Indie music is more an idea of being yourself, being true to yourself, and letting your inner voice come through.

You should not try to emulate anyone. If you try to copy someone, you will do something wrong. Learn to follow your own heart and to follow your own inspiration.

Try to keep all the lyrics that are sung in your head when you are driving down the highway. If you are able to read and write, then you can use a different type of music to accompany you while you are driving alone in your car.

Download the song or stream it and listen to the song while you are driving. You should also listen to the song from the artist’s point of view. For example, listen to how the song is constructed—how does it start? What is the bass doing? What are the vocals doing? Are the guitar and bass synchronized?

Indie Music: Learning songs

learning songs

As a beginner, you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning difficult songs.

Your time would be better spent learning songs that are more enjoyable and less stressful.

You’ll also learn how to perform songs much faster if you choose to focus your efforts on less challenging songs.

Once you have mastered more popular songs, you’ll be able to get away with some of the easier songs in your sets.

There are also so many resources available to help you learn indie guitar music.

At my current jam house, I am the only guy who plays rock and my housemates don’t really care too much about indie music.

Here are some popular indie songs.

  • Fireflies – Miley Cyrus
  • Mykonos – Fleet Foxes
  • The Night We Met – The Gaslight Anthem
  • Break Up The Whispers – The Weepies
  • Pretty Girl Rock – Bleachers
  • Where I Go I Go – ZZ Ward
  • That’s How Strong My Love Is – The Darkness
  • I Might Have Only This World to Give – Imagine Dragons
  • Everyday Life – Coldplay

Although indie music is not limited to the bass guitar and drums, it is not always a bass guitar and drums solo. In order to learn to play indie music on guitar, you should be able to play along with the music.

You can play along with the lyrics or you can try to improvise by playing a melody while driving down the highway.

When you improvise, you must improvise with each musical note, which is called arpeggios. In order to play an arpeggio, you will have to play three notes with your left hand and then four notes with your right hand.

When you are improvising, you will have to take different sections of the song and then switch to other sections in order to follow the song.

Indie Music: Basic Chord Changes

selective focus photography of person playing guitar

Learn to play both chords and arpeggios. Chords are a progression of notes that is ordered in a simple key. They will usually repeat quite often.

Arpeggios are a progression of notes that are inside the chord. The order of the notes in the arpeggio is a combination of different chord shapes.

Indie Music: Melody

The melody of the song is the key point of the song. Every single instrument or part of the song belongs to the melody. Every voice is determined by the melody.

The composer puts the main melody in order to communicate to the listener what the singer wants to tell him or her. Every part of the melody tells a part of the story.

There are many instruments that support the melody, and you should learn each instrument that supports the melody.

Indie Music: Rhythm

Music band performing in front of building

When you are trying to learn how to play indie music on guitar, you should focus on the rhythm.

You should have enough competence playing basic strumming patterns that you can play against a simple drum beat.

Be your own player

Two men playing electric guitars

One of the most enjoyable aspects of playing guitar is when you’re just playing with no external influences.

However, once you enter the world of performing, this is no longer possible.

In fact, performing is one of the hardest parts of playing guitar.

Every little thing you do has to be 100% correct, otherwise the entire band will be thrown off.

In addition, performing is one of the most stressful things I have ever experienced.

There is so much pressure to perform well and for the band to be the best.

It’s no wonder why so many guitarists suffer from performance anxiety.

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