#1
Please don't insult me, I'm just looking for answers

I've played guitar for about a year and a half now, and I play alot of thrash metal (MEGADETH as a rythym guitarist in a band with my friends.

Alright so just about every guitarist under the sun knows chords, but why are they so useful?

For example , as a fan of 80's thrash/heavy metal (where chords are barely ever used) don't reall think I need to know them. Isn't it enough to know the ABCDEFG power chord positions?
t why are they so important? anyone who can provide an explanation of their significance, that would be appreciated

I read somwhere, "To not learn chords is to fail as a guitarist, whatever genre you play" Bu
So convince me, why should I learn chords, even now after playing for almost two years?
#3
some thrash metal songs have acoustic parts, you know. knowing chords kinda helps.
#4
So where does all this about "failing as a guitarist whatever genre you play" if you don't play chords come from?
#5
A great part of the thrash riffs you play are based on chords, and they're the building blocks for guitar solos and arpeggios. Also, chords can serve as a backing track for just about any tune.
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#6
Metal isn't the only genre in the world, and if you want to become a really good guitar player you have to be able to play a variety of genre's.
#7
knowing a chord isnt just about what you usualy call a chord (the notes you play at the same time), it's also knowing the positions of a collection of notes and how they kinda sound like toghether.

You might not play a lot of chords in the specific sense of the word, but I bet you like playing riffs, or maybe solo or do arpeggios? Because then, its very usefull to know your chords.
#8
Quote by kerkhammet
So where does all this about "failing as a guitarist whatever genre you play" if you don't play chords come from?

Because they're a fundamental part of understanding not only how you instrument works but also how it interacts with other instruments. Chords are everywhere, even in the music you play - just because somebody isn't strumming and open A on an acoustic guitar doesn't mean there's no chords involved.

Chords are to a guitarist as joints are to a carpenter - the prettiest, most ornate cabinet will have the simple joints holding it all together. Regardless of how exquisite the decoration, if the carpenter can't make a solid mortice or dovetail joint then the whole thing is going to fall apart.

In the same way the most complex song can be stripped down to a simple chord progression, they give you a foundation to build on when composing and allow you to quickly understand what's going on when learning something new.

More to the point though, if you're aware of a gap in your knowledge surely you'd want to fill it? More knowledge and understanding is only ever going to do one thing which is make you a better guitarist.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 10, 2010,
#9
Besides that it's good for your skill development it's also fun to play around with chords. If you break them up play around with them you can get some really nice riffs. And chords are also good for your finger accuracy
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#10
Those fifth chords are invariably just part of a larger chord (major or minor), even if the 3rds aren't played. Through knowledge of the chords it will help you write your own riffs and improvise rhythm and lead parts without mindlessly following whatever the tab says.

Edit: And give you the ability to play other genres outside metal.
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#11
They are the basic structure for most songs. If your just going to play covers than don't worry about them, unless thier in the song. If your going to write your own music, then they become incredibly useful.
#12
I'm not going to try to convince you. If you are happy with what you know, then don't bother learning anything new. But maybe one day you'll change your mind.
#13
Chords are everywhere. They are also important building blocks for guitarists. Chords are one of the first things people learn, and for good reason. They are used everywhere.

To not know chords is doing yourself a HUGE disservice.

Plus, the vast majority (most likely all) of the famous thrash guitarists know chords, even though they mostly play thrash...
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#14
Quote by kerkhammet
Please don't insult me, I'm just looking for answers

I've played guitar for about a year and a half now, and I play alot of thrash metal (MEGADETH as a rythym guitarist in a band with my friends.

Alright so just about every guitarist under the sun knows chords, but why are they so useful?

For example , as a fan of 80's thrash/heavy metal (where chords are barely ever used) don't reall think I need to know them. Isn't it enough to know the ABCDEFG power chord positions?
t why are they so important? anyone who can provide an explanation of their significance, that would be appreciated

I read somwhere, "To not learn chords is to fail as a guitarist, whatever genre you play" Bu
So convince me, why should I learn chords, even now after playing for almost two years?


It depends upon what you want to do, if you want to play power chords and you are happy playing them, then don't learn anything else. You dont have to learn anything. There are people who play the guitar using only one string and they are happy. If something appeals to you and you find it musically relevant then do it, and if not, don't.

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Sean
#15
Quote by kerkhammet
Please don't insult me, I'm just looking for answers

I've played guitar for about a year and a half now, and I play alot of thrash metal (MEGADETH as a rythym guitarist in a band with my friends.

Alright so just about every guitarist under the sun knows chords, but why are they so useful?

For example , as a fan of 80's thrash/heavy metal (where chords are barely ever used) don't reall think I need to know them. Isn't it enough to know the ABCDEFG power chord positions?
t why are they so important? anyone who can provide an explanation of their significance, that would be appreciated

I read somwhere, "To not learn chords is to fail as a guitarist, whatever genre you play" Bu
So convince me, why should I learn chords, even now after playing for almost two years?


seriously?

ask yourself this. how important are words to a language?

same answer.
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#16
Why is it important to know chords? Are you seriously asking that? They are too important. Just look in tab books. Even if there is a riff being played and no chord, they still include the chord name above the notation.
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#17
Also, besides all the stuff everyone else got into, if you get into sweep picking (which you probably will playing metal) you are basically playing chords, really fast, one note at a time.
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#18
Quote by kerkhammet
Please don't insult me, I'm just looking for answers

I've played guitar for about a year and a half now, and I play alot of thrash metal (MEGADETH as a rythym guitarist in a band with my friends.

Alright so just about every guitarist under the sun knows chords, but why are they so useful?

For example , as a fan of 80's thrash/heavy metal (where chords are barely ever used) don't reall think I need to know them. Isn't it enough to know the ABCDEFG power chord positions?
t why are they so important? anyone who can provide an explanation of their significance, that would be appreciated

I read somwhere, "To not learn chords is to fail as a guitarist, whatever genre you play" Bu
So convince me, why should I learn chords, even now after playing for almost two years?

beause there are other styles of music other than thrash that like to use more complex harmony.

thats pretty much it.
#19
You are probably having fun playing your guitar. Keep at it.

You don't 'need' to learn chords. You also don't need to know how to bake an apple pie.

If you ever want to expand your musiic horizons then you will learn chords.

On the positive side, if you have been playing for a while and have developed some finger control then chords will be no big deal. You will be able to easily learn your major and minor bar chords up and down the fretboard. it will be a breeze after months doing power chords.

I'm not sure if learning chords is the best thing for newbies. It can be drudgery and turn off the creative juices. I spent the first few months on the guitar learning C,G,F and it was no great joy to be able to play Pollywollydoodle. Chords might be best learned after noodling and gaining some co-ordination.
Last edited by Raptorfingers at Jul 10, 2010,
#20
I'm just gonna say if your gonna play tonal music. Your gonna need chords.
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#21
Chords are extremely helpful because they give you a road map of what sounds good together.
#22
Quote by kerkhammet
For example , as a fan of 80's thrash/heavy metal (where chords are barely ever used) don't reall think I need to know them. Isn't it enough to know the ABCDEFG power chord positions?


Just about any of those sorts of bands make use of chords. Even when full chords aren't being played, things are often done that are suggestive of certain chords (even if it's the interaction between lead or vocal lines over power chords), or chords may appear in arpeggiated form, etc. If you spent the time to learn notes, chords are just collections of those notes, and arise from the same scales on which the music you play is based.
#23
^ +1

but if you don't wanna learn chords then don't lol, it makes it that much easier for the rest of us to look good.
#24
Quote by Dynamight
A great part of the thrash riffs you play are based on chords, and they're the building blocks for guitar solos and arpeggios. Also, chords can serve as a backing track for just about any tune.


This

Quote by Dodeka
Just about any of those sorts of bands make use of chords. Even when full chords aren't being played, things are often done that are suggestive of certain chords (even if it's the interaction between lead or vocal lines over power chords), or chords may appear in arpeggiated form, etc. If you spent the time to learn notes, chords are just collections of those notes, and arise from the same scales on which the music you play is based.


This, too
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Last edited by Wiegenlied at Jul 10, 2010,
#27
If you want to play any leads, then knowing what notes make up a chord will be essential. I've recently been subscribing to Marty Freidman's philosophies on guitar, but also learning the CAGED system from Fretboard Logic at the same time.

I like Marty because he doesn't take theory to the deep end. He admits he doesn't really learn or bother with scales and modes, and I appreciate that. I'm just trying to learn how to do some sweet riffs, tie them together, and know which ones to use when and where. I'm not trying to compose symphonies here.

Marty also plays his solos against and in the same key as the chord in the progression. He does not stay in the root key and he changes with the chords. I also find this to be the best method.

A light bulb turned on for me when learning the CAGED system when I looked at the A-scale form. Seeing the notes of that chord form going across the fretboard opened up so much for me. Looking at the G-scale form was obvious, since most everyone learns the minor pentatonic scale early on.

These 'forms', as the CAGED system calls them, are not actually chords since they can be applied to any position of the neck. However, they all create chords depending on the position you play them in, so you should probably learn and know each note on the fretboard and which chords contain which notes to really improve your play.