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Punk Rock Musical Elements

Punk rock music is largely inspired by the garage rock of the 1960’s. Punk rock borrows the same simple musical structure, with no ostentatious elements or performances. The typical instrumentation for a typical punk rock band is made up of one or two electric guitars, drums, electric bass and plain vocals.

Usually, punk rock songs are shorter than any other rock songs. For example, 7 of the 14 songs on Ramones’ debut album were under two minutes. Punk rock is not that innovative when it comes to the structure of the songs. Most of them keep the classic, traditional rock’n’roll linear structure made up of a verse-chorus form.

The vocals of punk rock bands are known for their screamed lyrics and nasal sound. The vocal style of punk rock is often characterized by a lack of unity. Punkers use brutal shifts in volume and intonational style and frequent shits in pitch. Punk music rejects complicated solo guitars because they are considered too pretentious and unnecessary. The guitar sound on a punk rock song is best described by the formula buzzsaw drone. The sounds are very high pitched and distorted in order to create the nihilism and chaos expressed in the lyrics. The bass line is simpler: punk bass players use uncomplicated and repetitive rhythms that many characterize as forced and relentless.

Punk drums have a minimum display and usually sound heavy and dry. The drumming in most songs is very fast. The lyrics that punkers compose are mostly anti-political. They talk about confrontation, revolution, rebellion, violence and sex. Punk lyrics revolve around social and political issues. In the early days of British punk, the goal was to shock and outrage the public. Sexual relationships are often described as lacking sentimentalism. Punk revolutionized the musical culture because it openly talked about sexual taboos and offered a hardcore perspective on life.