Rock chords

This article focusing on rock music and you will get instruction about chords and riffs that are ingredients in rock songs.

Easy chord progressions in rock style

To get a rock sound we don’t need more than a few chords. Some of the open chords, like A, D and E are suitable for rock songs that goes for a “fat” sound. Other open chord can, however, work fine different situations.

By using simple open chords you can play songs like “Wild Thing” by The Troggs:

A – D – E – D – A – D – E

... or the verses to Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World":

Em – D – C

Suspended chords (Sus chords)

The Suspended chords are very common in many music styles including rock songs. These chords are almost similar with the major chord with some slight difference - in general you just move one finger to change the chord, for example D Major to D Sus.

There are Suspended 4th (sus4) and Suspended 2nd (sus2), the names depending on which note in the scale that are in the chord - the second or the fourth. On the pictures below you can see some common sus chords in rock music.










Suspended chords are often used together with their relative major chords. Two famous songs written by Tom Petty can be used as examples:

The first song, "Free Fallin'", uses the following chord sequence in most of the song:

D - Dsus4 - D - Asus4

The second song, "Feel a Whole Lot Better", has a distinct riff in the verses:

A - Asus2 - A - Asus4 - A - Asus2 - A

Barre chords progression

A fatter sound can be accomplished by the use of barre chords. An elemental rock progression can go like:

Eb – Bb – Ab

Here we use the barre chords positions: X68886 (Eb), 688766 (Bb), 466544 (Ab).

By doing some of the strums with muted strings, you will create more interest to the sound.

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