Power Chords And Punk Bands: All Bad?

author: Unregistered date: 04/09/2004 category: genres' battles

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Warning: if you don't want to read another article about power chords, please just leave. I don't want people to be moaning about how they wasted thirty-seven seconds of their life because they chose (and I mean chose - not forced) to read this article. Also, I use a bunch of examples, and recapitulate a lot. The examples are general and represent a typified version of what they represent. If you don't like this, or my reiteration, please just read a different article. All right, I've heard it many times over. Power chords suck, and anyone who plays them should jump off a cliff and die. Is that necessarily true? Can bands or guitarists that play power chords be good musicians? That conundrum echoes in probably fifteen-plus (And don't hold me to it; I'm exaggerating) articles and lessons and posts all over this site. I'll try my best to give my (subjective - sorry) opinion of the topic. Everywhere, you see power chords. You might play them. I learned how to play guitar off power chord songs. However, power chords can be good. You can make a great riff (or a mess of screeching drivel) out of several power chords. Does it really matter if music is hard to play? It really /should/ matter if the music sounds good to you. An (objective) example. Rap. I personally don't like rap; but what about all the "gangsta" kids walking about school reeling off 50 Cent. You don't have to like it, but people do. The same is true of power chords. And you can't condemn a band for using power chords. Give me a break; they are a root-fifth chord - a chord like any other. Give me a rock band, and 80% of the time, you could say that they have used power chords. Nirvana depended on them; not many people can condemn Nirvana to absolute suckdom. Kurt Cobain might not have been the best guitarist ever, but not many people (and I mean not many) can say that Nirvana was a noise polluting waste-of-oxygen. The main argument of the metal vs. punk altercation is that punk bands use power chords. Metal does too. Not all metal - I'm not trying to be superlative here - but a lot of metal does. "Sum 41 sucks, they use power chords! Metallica rules, they solo!" If only I could kill whoever posts that on every article. Metallica uses power chords too! Often said is that punk sucks because they use tons of power chords. Yeah, they can become boring with their unoriginality, but that is just how they play. It can reflect upon the skill upon the guitarist. If you can't learn how to play barre chords, then okay. That's how you play. If people like your music, all right. If they don't - too bad. It's cool if you can solo. But if you can make a good riff out of whatever chord, you deserve respect. I'm going to get yelled at for this, but music is about opinion, and there's nothing that anyone can do about it. You can say, "Sum 41 sucks, they use power chords! Metallica rules, they solo!" all you want, but it will never be true. It will be, like any other similar "statement", an opinion. Too many people write off power-chord using bands and genres. Just give it a break. If you don't like punk because they use power chords, don't listen to them. Same goes if you don't like Metallica because they squeal out solos and wear black. And dare I say, if you don't like 50 Cent because he raps about being shot, don't listen to him either. Just don't whine about it.
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