Want a deeper heavier power chord sound on the guitar with a little more umph to it?…try this.
Start out by playing a basic 3 note C5 chord with the root on the 5th string at the 3rd fret.
Now take your first finger and extend it so you are barring across both the 6th and 5th strings. You will then strum the bottom 4 strings.
A power chord only has 2 different note names in it. So a C5 chord only has the notes C and G. When you play just the basic 3 note version of this chord, you have a C on the 5th string, G on the 4th string, and another C on the 3rd string. So you double up on the C note…but it’s still just C and G.
For our more menacing power chord, you are just adding another G to the bottom of the chord. So it’s still just the same 2 notes, with a little different configuration. And having that G in the bass is what gives this particular power chord form such a big sound on the guitar.
This is what is known as a “slash chord”. So this is a C5 chord. The root or primary note that the chord is named after is on the 5th string. But the bass note…the lowest sounding note in the chord…is on the 6th string. And that’s a G note.
So the chord is called C5/G. (C 5 Slash G) Or C5 with a G in the bass.
More Menacing Power Chord Variations
Here are a couple of small variations you could try with this power chord form.
First, just let go of your 4th finger and play only 3 strings.
Next, try using your 4th finger on the 4th string instead of your 3rd finger.
One more version of this power chord to look at is an open A power chord.
If you were to play a basic open A5 chord, here is what it would look like.
If you want the more sinister power chord sound we have been looking at, try just adding in your 6th string open. So this would be an A5/E chord.
So the next time you want a little more power in your root on the 5th string power chords…give these a try.