Broken Powerchords

author: Beast Shredder date: 01/21/2009 category: chords
rating: 7.6 / votes: 16 
I would like to tell all you metal guitar players something: I experimented with power chords someday and then I came across a math metal band, called Dillinger Escape Plan. They played very strange accords:
|-----|
|-----|
|-----|
|--7--|
|--6--|
|--5--|
First thing I thought was, what the heck is that? Only a few weeks later, when I was writing a song with my band, I realized that those chords can have a very good sound if you can use them right, so I decided to share the newly obtained knowledge. At first, if we look at Power chords, we can see that they are simply a combination of 2 tones: the tonic and the quint. Therefore the 5.
  A5
|-----|
|-----|
|-----|
|--7--|
|--7--|
|--5--|
That is simply an A power chord, it consists out of a A and a E, the tonic and the quint. If we now play a short riff that I thought of for this lesson:
   E  E  E  S S S S S E S E
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|--7--7--7--------------5-7--|
|--7--7--7--------5-6-7------|
|--5--5--5--5-7-8------------|
The riff sounds pretty happy, doesn't it? Notice that there already is a D# in the scale. That is important, because the "Broken Power Chord" is nothing else than playing a D# instead of a E in the A power chord. So it is actually just a A5b chord. The quint goes a half step down. So now I figured, maybe this riff sounds just a little bit more "metal" if we replace the A5 with a A5b. Now play the second riff:
   E  E  E  S S S S S E S E
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|--7--7--7--------------5-7--|
|--6--6--6--------5-6-7------|
|--5--5--5--5-7-8------------|
Yes. You're right. The only difference is the chord, the riff is still the same. But NOW, the riff sounds a lot spookier. And that is EXACTLY what many metal bands need. If someone is interested in what the riff sounded like in the song that I wrote, I can tab it out:
  E E E E E E E E 
|-----------------|
|-----------------|
|-----------------|4x
|-----------------|
|-----------------|
|-0-2-3-4-3-2-0-2-|

  Q Q Q Q
|---------|
|---------|
|---------|
|-3-3-3-3-|
|-2-2-2-2-|
|-1-1-1-1-|
And just repeat that a lot... The speed is pretty darn high, something around 210... I hope that this lesson will bring you to a new level of metal. If it does, e-mail me. Sincerely yours, Beast Shredder
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