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Guitar Power Chords
by Shawn Bradshaw

A power chord is a slang term for a chord that only contains the root and the fifth. The root is the letter name of the chord (A, B, C etc.). The fifth is the fifth note in a major scale. See guitar chord theory for more information on how chords are created. They are called power chords (as you might guess) because they have a very heavy, powerful sound, especially when distortion is used.

You might choose to use a 2 note power chord over a 3 note when the chords are moving quickly. They are a little easier to move around.

 

C major scale

C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8(1)
Root        5th

2 Note Moveable
Guitar Power Chords

These power chords do not have any open strings, therefore they can be moved anywhere on the neck of the guitar.

guitar power chord chart

guitar power chord chart

Here is a 2 note power chord with the root on the 6th string. Replace the R in R5 with the root of the chord (ex. A5). There are 2 different fingerings that can be used, try both and decide for yourself which one feels most comfortable. I personally use the 1st and 4th fingers. Also let your 1st finger touch lightly ( without pressing down ) the strings that you do not want to hear. If you do this you could actually strum all 6 string, but only hear the 2 notes you want to hear. Don't curve your 1st finger very much, keep it straight.

 

Guitar Bob asks "Hey cyberfret dude, I don't know what the names of the notes on the neck are. How do I know what fret to play these chords, and what the name will be?"

Well Bob click here and all your questions will be answered. Well at least the part about the names of the notes on the neck.

 

guitar power chord chart

 

Here is a 2 note power chord with the root on the 5th string. When you are playing a chord with the root on the 5th string, let the tip of your 1st finger touch the 6th string. That way you don't have to worry about the 6th string accidentally ringing.

guitar power chord chart

guitar power chord chart Here is a 2 note power chord with the root on the 4th string.

Open Position, 2 note Power Chords on the guitar forward guitar pick

 

Guitar Power Chords
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