The history and development of indie rock music

The Stylistic Fingerprints of Indie Rock

In Indie Rock, Stylistic Fingerprints by phoenixgreenLeave a Comment

Indie rock stylistic features

The stylistic fingerprints of Indie Rock music is a short list of features that can be commonly found in Indie rock music. You should refer to this list when answering the Section B stylistic question of the AS music technology listening and analysing exam (Unit 2 Music Tech Resources).



  • Vocals (usually male)
  • Backing Vocals
  • Two guitarists – Lead and Rhythm
  • Keyboards
  • Bass
  • Drums


Performance and Arrangement:

  • Guitar as the main harmonic instrument
  • Guitar sounds commonly associated with indie are often referred to as jangly – a fairly light tone, often picked, sustained arpeggios with effects
  • Vocals are often fairly understated, with a melancholy or introspective feel
  • Backing vocals are not usually a big feature, so the music tends to be relatively sparse
  • Some songs are long and loosely structured, almost like extended jams around a groove
  • Solos do not form a very important part of the music


Technology and Production:

  • Guitar amplifiers and effects play a big part in the sound of Indie music – The light, sustained tone and use of delays is common in many bands
  • DIY production ethic, low budget recordings based on simple capture of live performances.



  • UK Rock (The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks)
  • Velvet Underground and Psychedelic Rock
  • Punk Rock
  • Funk
  • House



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