Power Chord Bible

author: daniel.kPL date: 05/03/2012 category: chords
rating: 9.2 / votes: 17 

E|-----Daniel-----------------------------------
B|-------------Kaczmarczyk----------------------
G|--------------------------Guitar--------------
D|----------------------------------Lessons-----
A|---------power-chord-bible--------------------
E|-----------www.facebook.com/dkguitarlessons---
Power chord, also named a fifth chord is a chord that consist of only the root note and the fifth. Technically speaking, chord should consist three scale degrees, so keep in mind that a power chord is something between a normal dyad and a chord. We name power chords in the same manner as the normal chords, firstly the root note name and a suffix, which in case of power chords is "5" (it's a fifth chord, you remember, right? ). So, the power chord in which C is the root note would be written as "C5". Power chords sound (as the name implies) very powerful and heavy, when you play them on distorted channel. Therefore, they are used in every "heavy" music genre - from metal, trough punk to rock. But don't be confused. They are used often in blues or jazz also. They are very easy to play, and sound very universal - there's no third in the power chord, so they are neither minor or major. And they are a must for every guitarist, so if you want to know everything about power chords Read on! ABC of fingering power chords The power of power chords is also hidden in the simplicity of using them. Your fingers can form a "fork" to catch the power chord in a very easy way. Look at the tab, showing you how to fret this chord. It's A5 chord on the low E string.
E|-------
B|-------
G|-------
D|-------
A|--7----
E|--5----
   A5
Fingering is 1,3. That means that the index finger catches the root and the ring finger catches the fifth. So if you have it under your hands - strum it! Does it sound "power" enough for you? Hope yes! If not-you can add another note to it-next A note, which is an octave (so theoretically it's the root), and play it like this: (use your pinky to fret the octave)
E|-------
B|-------
G|-------
D|--7----
A|--7----
E|--5----
    A5
Whoa, more Power! Turn the gain knob to 11 now! You can move this shape lengthwise the string to play all the possible power chords. Remember, that the name of a power chord comes from the root! The same shape as we just used applies also to the fifth string power chords. So, I.e. If you want to play a C5 chord on a A string, you just play this: (here are the two ways of voicing that chord - without an octave, and with it, just as above, try both)
E|-----------------------------
B|-----------------------------
G|---------------5-------------
D|--5------------5-------------
A|--3------------3-------------
E|-----------------------------
    C5           C5
Remember to mute the unfretted strings! But I assume that you know to do that. As before, that shape can be moved along the string to play any other x5 chords. So far, the "fork" remains the same, but if you want to play the power chord with root on a D, or a G string, there will be a little change. Due to way of guitar tuning, power chords wit roots on D, G, B strings will be looking like this: (I will be using the "with-octave" power chords from now on) Root on D (F5 chord)
E|--------
B|---6----
G|---5----
D|---3----
A|--------
E|--------
    F5
Root on G (A#5 chord)
E|---6----
B|---6----
G|---3----
D|--------
A|--------
E|--------
    A#5
Try to play them in more positions! As you've noticed - they are not so easy as the previous ones, so it's obvious that the previous fingering is much more popular. Also, check how they sound on various places on the fretboard. The high-pitched power chords are not so good sounding as the low and middle range tones. Other examples of fingering fifth (power) chords.
E|-----------
B|-----------
G|--5--------
D|--5--------
A|--3--------
E|--3--------
    C5/G
That's a C5 chord, but with added fifth below the root - it make that type of Power chord sound darker, and so forth - heavier.
E|-----------3-
B|-----3-----3-
G|-----2-----0-
D|-2---0-------
A|-2-----------
E|-0-----------
   E5   D5   G5
This is how they look like when the root is on the open string. Drop D power chords So if you kept attention and practiced fairly, you should be able to play a power chord within the whole fretboard without any problems. Next step is to use our guitar tuning flexibility to make the power chords even easier to play! Re-tune the low E string to D (two steps lower) and see what happens. The E5 power chord in standard tuning looked like this:
E|-------
B|-------
G|-------
D|--2----
A|--2----
E|--0----
    E5
And now, in drop D it looks like this:
E|-------
B|-------
G|-------
D|--2----
A|--2----
D|--2----
    E5
Because the low E went two steps down, to balance the difference we play the lowest string two frets higher. And now - we can use only one finger to play power chords! This is why drop D tuning is so popular in many heavy genres. They are great to play heavy riffs fast on the low strings. Hellyeah! You need just to slide your finger back and forth to form other power chords. To expand the sound of a power chord in drop D, we can play it like this: (fingering is 1,1,1,2,3 ; or 1,1,1,3,4 ,as you wish). It's still only the root and the fifth in it!
E|---------------
B|-3-----6-------
G|-2-----5-------
D|-0-----3-------
A|-0-----3-------
D|-0-----3-------
   D5    F5
Okay, so that's it. That's all I can remember now about power chords. Probably after posting this article I'm gonna have a head full of great ideas to add to this lesson... But whatever, I hope that this lesson helped you. If it's true, head on to my Facebook profile and like it. It's the best appreciation I can get from you! Daniel Kaczmarczyk, lodzgitara@gmail.com
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