Power Chords II

author: ken20008 date: 05/25/2007 category: for beginners
rating: 9.1 / votes: 216 
The reason why this lesson is for beginners is because power chords are the basics of electric guitar. It's probably the first thing you should learn on electric guitar. It is best coupled for use with distortion as it provides the 'crunch' that you won't get while playing clean. Try playing a power chord (if you know how) clean, and then with distortion to find the difference. For those you don't know what a power chord is, a power chord is a bare fifth of a chord. However, the definition of 'bare fifth' is too complicated to really comprehend in text, I have got to admit, I don't really understand the term myself. But putting that aside, first I am going to teach you how to play a power chord. You got to remember that all power chords with their roots on the sixth and fifth string requires you to place your index finger (your pointing finger) on the root string. Now what is the root? This is difficult to explain in words. So let's just say I show you a power chord:
F5
e|-------------|
B|-------------|
G|-------------|
D|-3-----------|
A|-3-----------|
E|-1-----------|
The 1 on the E string is the root. That means, whatever you play with your first finger is your root. Why the root? Before I get to that, let me teach you how to play a power chord. For right-handers (generally), hold up your left hand, palm facing up (facing you). It should be like this:
thumb\index finger\middle finger\ring finger\little finger
Now use your index finger to press on fret 1 (root). For beginners, you may want to try bar the other two notes using your ring finger. That means using your ring finger to press two notes at once. The more common, and actually better way of playing a power chord is to use your index for the root note, and the ring and little finger for the rest. Don't arch your fingers when playing a power chord, at least not to much. Just a little comfortable small arch would do; you would soon find your most comfortable position soon. Just as a note, your thumb should be in the midway position of the guitar's neck, the back of it. Don't let your thumb move too high above the midway position of the neck nor too low. This ensures you can stretch well. Now play the F5 power chord as per above. If are not getting a thick, good sound, check your fingering. In a power chord, your middle finger should never be used. Judge the sound you get. Is it rich in tone? Check your fingering. Don't blame your guitar or amp, check your fingering. Are you pressing the correct frets? Are you pressing hard enough? For beginners who are not used to the guitar, you may want to rectify the problem by asking yourself those questions above. If you can't stretch well enough, try looking where your thumb is. Refer to the fingering section to get a better idea of what I mean. Try this: place your fingers, playing each note as you go, one at a time one the specific frets. Then strum the power chord. Like the sound? Good? Voila! You got it already. Now check your sitting posture. Your guitar should not be lying parallel to your body, it should be at around 45 degrees angle away from your body, to the clockwise direction (for right-handers, left handers is the opposite). Hold your guitar neck upright, don't let it lean on your body, same goes for your elbow. Now try the one-note-at-time technique exercise. You should feel more comfortable. If you don't, read through all over again. Fret positions and Root notes. Look at the tab(s) below:
    E5 F5 F#5 G5 G#5 A5 Bb5 B5 C5 C#5  D5
e|-----------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------|
D|--2--3---4--5---6--7---8--9--10--11--12--|
A|--2--3---4--5---6--7---8--9--10--11--12--|
E|--0--1---2--3---4--5---6--7--8---9---10--|(ROOT)

    A5 Bb5 B5 C5 C#5 D5 Eb5 E5 F5 F#5  G5
e|-----------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------|
G|--2---3--4--5---6--7---8--9--10- 11--12--|
D|--2---3--4--5---6--7---8--9--10--11--12--|
A|--0---1--2--3---4--5---6--7--8---9---10--|(ROOT)
E|-----------------------------------------|
If you notice, for any power chord whose root is on the 6th and 5th strings, the other two notes are ways two notes away from the root. The root, remembered simply, is the note you place your index finger on. But more correctly, it is the note that defines the sound of the power chord. Try playing a full power chord, then play the root. Then, play all the power chords consecutively, moving up the fret as you play along. Then, do the same thing, but play only the the root note. Repeat the power chords again, but when repeating do not play the root note, play the other notes. Sounds different? Which sound is closer to the actual power chord? The one played with the root or the on the one played with the other notes? You should realise by now it is the root note that sounds much closer. Songs To Try. Green Day and Blink 182 are very good artists to try if you want to mater power chords. I'd recommend Green Day; their songs are way easier. Here are songs to try. Beginner. Sum 41's "Pieces," intro (credit goes to fated2live). Easy, moderate strumming pattern, should be no problem.
Intro/verse (try figure out e strum pattern urself)
e|----------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------|
G|-7-7-7777----------------------5-5-5555-------|
D|-7-7-7777--8-8-8888--3-3-3333--5-5-5555-------|
A|-5-5-5555--8-8-8888--3-3-3333--3-3-3333-------|
E|-----------6-6-6666--1-1-1111-----------------|
Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," intro/verse and chorus. Easy song.
Intro/verse x10
e------------------------|
B------------------------|
G-------------8--8-------|
D-3--3--6--6--8--8--8--8-|
A-3--3--6--6--6--6--8--8-|
E-1--1--4--4--------6--6-|

Chorus:
e---------------------------------|
B---------------------------------|
G-6-6-6-6---------8-8-8-8---------|
D-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-8-8-8-8-3-3-3-3-|
A-4-4-4-4-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-3-3-3-3-|
E---------4-4-4-4---------1-1-1-1-|

e-------------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------------|
G--6-6-6-6---------8-8-8-8------------------|
D--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-8-8-8-8-3-3-3-3----------|
A--4-4-4-4-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-3-3-3-3----------|
E----------4-4-4-4---------1-1-1-1----------|

e-------------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------------|
G--6-6-6-6---------8-8-8-8------------------|
D--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-8-8-8-8-3-3-3-3----------|
A--4-4-4-4-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-3-3-3-3----------|
E----------4-4-4-4---------1-1-1-1----------|

e-------------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------------|
G--6-6-6-6---------5-5-5-5-5----------------|
D--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-5-3-5-5-5----------------|
A--4-4-4-4-6-6-6-6-3-3-3-3-3----------------|
E----------4-4-4-4--------------------------|
The intermediate songs should only be tried after you have mastered the songs above. These songs combine moderate tempo with nicer sounding riffs. Green Day's "Welcome To Paradise," intro (credit goes to Rocko). The first thing you need to know about this song is that the guitar is tuned down a half step. Therefore, E is E flat, A is A flat and so on. If you don't want to tune your guitar down, then you'll just have to look up another version which is probably wrong. I'll show you the part in the tab which requires you to tune your guitar down. Or you could just play the tabs anyway, without the right note. I'm just picky about these things. Oh yea, and listen to the song for the correct rythym of strumming.
Intro: Play 4x
e|--------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------|
G|-----9--9-9-9--9-9--7-7-7-------------------|
D|-----9--9-9-9--9-9--7-7-7--7--7-7-7---------|
A|-----7--7-7-7--7-7--5-5-5--7--7-7-7---------|
E|---------------------------5--5-5-5---------|
Green Day's "When I Come Around," intro/verse and chorus (credit goes to blinkracer18269). This song is great, and good for beginners. It also helps that it trains your palm muting, another basic technique. The 'x' below the tab numbers mean palm mute. Tabbed by Dave. Tuning: Drop Down Step Eb Bb Gb Db Ab Eb | / Slide up | \ Slide down | h Hammer-on | /( ) Play note and slide up | \( ) Play note and slide down | p Pull-off | ~ Let Ring | X Mute note I know this is the abosolute 100% correct tab to the song because I just bought the tab book for International Superhits! and I was looking around the site and saw none that matched the book so I thought I would be nice.
Intro
Eb|---------------------------------|
Bb|-------------------------8-----5-|
Gb|---0-------------7-------9-----5-|
Db|-x-0-----5-----7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-5-|
Ab|-x---5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-7-7-7-3-|
Eb|-x---3-3-3-3-3-------------------|

Rhythm Figure 1
Eb|-----------------------------------------|
Bb|-------------------------8----5---5------|
Gb|----------------7--------9----5---5------|
Db|-5---5------7-7-7-7-7--9-9-9--5---5--7-7-|
Ab|-5-5-5-5-5--5-5-5-5-5--7-7-7--3---3--5-5-|
Eb|-3-3-3-3-3-------------------------------|
 x x x x x x x x x x x

Rhythm Figure 2
Eb|-----------------------------------------|
Bb|-------------------------8----5---5------|
Gb|----------------7--------9----5---5------|
Db|-----5------7-7-7-7-7--9-9-9--5---5--7-7-|
Ab|-5-5-5-5-5--5-5-5-5-5--7-7-7--3---3--5-5-|
Eb|-3-3-3-3-3-------------------------------|
 x x x x x x x x x x x x

Fill
Eb|----|
Bb|-5\-|
Gb|-5\-|
Db|-5\-|
Ab|-3\-|
Eb|----|

Chorus
Eb|--------------------------------------------------------------|
Bb|------------------5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-------------------5-5-5-5-5-|
Gb|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5--2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--5-5-5-5-5-|
Db|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5--2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--5-5-5-5-5-|
Ab|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--3-3-3-3-3-|
Eb|--------------------------------------------------------------|
I wouldn't call the advanced songs 'difficult', but they are the rather so-called "tough" power chord songs. These songs blend good melody with fast switching of power chords and involves palm muting. Green Day's "Basket Case," intro (credit goes to Kingo). This song has palm muting and is fast too. Hear the song to get the tempo. The actuall/right version. Tabbed by Kingo Skifreak_000@hotmail.com. I got this tab from the authentic Greenday-Dookie tab book so it's the real version. Any complaints about it being wrong can go to BJ cause he wrote it!
Guitar tune down 1/2 step
Figure 1:
P.M.
E|-------------------|-------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
B|-------------------|-------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
G|---9---------------|-------------------|-----6-----6-----|-------------------|
D|---7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|-----9-------9-----|-6-6-6-6-6-6---6-|-----6-------6-----|
A|---7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-4-4-|-4-4-4-4-4-4---6-|-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-----|
E|-----------------7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-----|-------------4-4-|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-5-|

E|-------------------|-------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
B|-------------------|-------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
G|-----------------9-|-----9-------9-----|-----------------|-------------------|
D|-------7-----7-9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-----|-----9---------9-|-----9-------9-9---|
A|---7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-0-0-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-7---|
E|---5-5-5-5-5-5-----|-------------------|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-----|

Figure 2:
P.M.
E|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
B|--------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
G|--------------------|-----------------|-----9---------9-|-----9-------9---|
D|-------7------7---9-|-----9-------9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|
A|---7-7-7-7--7-7-9-9-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
E|---5-5-5-5--5-5-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7---|-----------------|-----------------|

Figure 3:
E|--------------------|------------------------|----------------------|
B|---9-----7--7--x--5-|-(5)--5--5---5--5--5----|----------------------|
G|---9-----7--7--x--6-|-(6)--6--6---6--6--6----|----------------------|
D|---9-----7--7--x--6-|-(6)--6--6---6--6--6--7-|-7------------------9-|
A|---7-----7--7--x--4-|-(4)--4--4---4--4--4--7-|-7---7--7--7--7--7--9-|
E|--------------------|----------------------5-|-5---5--5--5--5--5--7-|

E|----------------------------|
B|----------------------------|
G|------------------------9-9-|
D|---(9)--9--9---9--9--9--9-9-|
A|---(9)--9--9---9--9--9--7-7-|
E|---(7)--7--7---7--7--7------|

Figure 4:
E|------------------------|----------------------|
B|---9---x-x-4--4---x-x-5-|-5---x-x-4--4---x-x-9-|
G|---9---x-x-4--4---x-x-6-|-6---x-x-4--4---x-x-9-|
D|---9---x-x-4--4---x-x-6-|-6---x-x-4--4---x-x-9-|
A|---7---x-x-2--2---x-x-4-|-4---x-x-2--2---x-x-7-|
E|------------------------|----------------------|
Green Day's "Nice Guys Finish Last," whole song (credit goes to KoRny Freak). This whole song is fast, and all power chords. Perfect practice for power chords.
Tuning = Standard
intro
|-------------------------------------------------------------
|-------------------------------------------------------------
|---9-9-9-9-9---------------9-9-9-9-9---------------9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-
|-5-----------5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------

------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|
---------------9-9-9-9-9----------------------9-|
-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-2----7-9-|
-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-2----7-7-|
-5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------5-7-7-7-7-7-5-0----5---|

verse pm______________________________________|
|-----------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------|
|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-----------------9-9-9-9-9-|
|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-|
|---------------------------7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-----------|

pre chorus
|-----------------------------------------------------------------
|-----------------------------------------------------------------
|-----------------9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-----------------9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-
|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-----------------5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-----------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------|
-----------------------------------------------------------------|
-----------------9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-----------------4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|
-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-----------------2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-----------------|

chorus
|-----------------------------------------------------------------
|-----------------------------------------------------------------
|-----------------2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-----------------2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-
|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-
|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-
|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------

-------------------------------------------------------|
-------------------------------------------------------|
-----------------2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|
-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------------------------------------|


bridge
|-------------------------------------------------------------
|-------------------------------------------------------------
|---9-9-9-9-9---------------9-9-9-9-9---------------9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-
|-5-----------5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------

-------------------------------------------------------------------|
-------------------------------------------------------------------|
---------------9-9-9-9-9-------------------------------------------|
-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-9-9-9-9-9-6-7-7-7-7-7-6-4-4-4-4-4-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|
-7-9-9-9-9-9-7-7-7-7-7-7-6-7-7-7-7-7-6-4-4-4-4-4-7-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|
-5-7-7-7-7-7-5-----------4-5-5-5-5-5-4-2-2-2-2-2-5-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
If you have any questions or comments email me at silverchair_surfing_bird@hotmail.com. Now if you have any problems with the tuning, songs or any other questions you wanna ask you can always post a comment below stating your problem. Need the song? Email me and I will send it to you. Hope this lesson has been informative enough for you.
More ken20008 lessons:
+ The Drop D Tuning For Beginners 03/17/2009
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