Summers' Secret

 by James Santiago

In the span of about five years, the Police went from an unknown British trio to the biggest rock band of the early '80s. On the surface, the Police seemed like your average hit-making pop stars. Most musicians will tell you, however, that those guys weren't just playing three-chord songs. Guitarist Andy Summers contributed a good deal of the Police's chordal complexity. Years before the Police formed, in fact, Summers had traveled abroad to study music at CSUN (California State University, Northridge) and under the guidance of Los Angeles' resident chord guru, Ted Greene.

There are at least two Police songs that owe their entire harmonic structure to one three-note chord. Commonly known as a sus2 (short for suspended 2nd), that chord shape is the basis for tunes like "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take." The next time you're playing power chords, try substituing one of them with the sus2 voicing.


GuitarPort® Online is an online guitarist publication for owners of POD®xt, TonePort™ and GuitarPort hardware. It is updated weekly with new tracks and lessons covering the greatest guitarists of all time, in addition to providing unlimited access to its archive of hundreds of tracks, lessons and licks.

The best part of all? You can join today and try it for free. Find out more at!

Get more free lessons at

There are no comments yet.

You must login or register to comment.

Recently Viewed
Login to view your recent items!
Stuff I Liked & Commented On
Login to view your favorites!