Understanding Power Chords

author: naguenyong vinx date: 11/12/2013 category: chords
rating: 7.4 / votes: 45 
Understanding Power Chords
In guitar music, a power chord is a chord that consists of the root note and the fifth interval. Power chords are played on amplified guitars, especially on electric guitar with distortion. Power chords are a key element of many styles of rock music. Power Chords are sometimes labeled by their root note with the number 5 to identify them: C5, D5, etc. The power chords below will show you how to play a chord progression using power chords on the 5th and 6th guitar strings. Let's try a G power chord - G5:
e|-----|
b|-----|
g|-----|
d|-----|
a|-5---|
e|-3---|
Use your index- and ring finger, or index and little finger. If you move it up two frets, it becomes an A power chord - A5.
e|-----|
b|-----|
g|-----|
d|-----|
a|-7---|
e|-5---|

     D5             C5            G5                            
e||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
B||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
G||--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--------------|--------------||
D||--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
A||--5--5--5--5--|--3--3--3--3--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
E||--------------|--------------|--3--3--3--3--|--3--3--3--3--||
Some power chords can be played using an open string such as the A5 power chord and the D5 power chord used in the guitar tab below:
     A5                   D5 C5    A5                   D5 C5   
e||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
B||-----------------------3-----|-----------------------3-----||
G||--2--2---2--2----2--2--2--5--|--2--2---2--2----2--2--2--5--||
D||--2--2---2--2----2--2--0--5--|--2--2---2--2----2--2--0--5--||
A||--0--0---0--0----0--0-----3--|--0--0---0--0----0--0-----3--||
E||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
You can also play the guitar tab above this way:
    A5                    D5 C5    A5                    D5 C5    
e||------------------------------|------------------------------||
B||------------------------------|------------------------------||
G||--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--|--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--||
D||--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--|--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--||
A||--0--0----0--0----0--0--5--3--|--0--0----0--0----0--0--5--3--||
E||------------------------------|------------------------------||
Power Chords with root notes on the G or 3rd string and the D or 4th string:
     C5             G5             F5                           
e||--8--8--8--8--|--------------|--------------|--------------||
B||--8--8--8--8--|--8--8--8--8--|--6--6--6--6--|--6--6--6--6--||
G||--5--5--5--5--|--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
D||--------------|--5--5--5--5--|--3--3--3--3--|--3--3--3--3--||
A||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
E||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
I hope this lesson helps you to understand what a power chord is.
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