Hey all, can you all help me understand something about power chords. I have watched a couple of lessons on them, one with Marty Schwartz and one with Justin Sandercoe. Marty shows two finger power chords, he finds the root note with the index finger and then goes two frets over and one string down with the index finger. Justin uses the index, ring and pinky on two frets, I think Which is a better method?
It's actually the same thing really- the note played with the pinky is the same as the one played with the index finger, just one octave up.
It's up to you my friend.
Some songs are easier to play with 2 finger 5th chords (powerchords) if the tempo of the song is quick.

3 finger 5th chords are just making the sound 'fatter' or 'bigger' by using the same notes.

|-5-| G
|-5-| C
|-3-| G

That 3' is a G note, that 5 on the A string is a C note and that last 5' on the D string is a higer ocatve of G.

It's just down to what you prefer, but i would advise to learn both ways of playing 5th chords.
Last edited by SumFX at Jun 9, 2011,
You can create epicness with STACKED POWERCHORDS.
Finger a Powerchord normally with your 1st and 3rd fingers. Then, with your 2nd and 4th fingers, finger another one on the strings below it.
Example in a tab


Kinda suck at writing tabs but you'll get the idea hopefully.
Don't forget the 1st finger and Pinky powerchords.


Sounds soo twisted.. YEAH!!!
Especially on the top 2 (Heaviest!) strings in a Drop tuning.

You can invert those, like this..


Damn I suck at writing tabs. No, I cant make them in Tuxguitar for guitar pro either?
Last edited by Ultraussie at Jun 9, 2011,
It's best to learn both methods. I use both in a lot of my music. The two finger power chords are a little "edgier" and biting, while the three finger versions sound a little fuller with more harmonic undertones.

Also, it seems a little faster if you're doing very fast chord progressions if you use the two finger versions.

To the poster above me - I'd never considered stacked power chords, I'll have to try that out. And yes, I do love inverted power chords. Great for creating scary black metal riffs...
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
There isn't much of a difference. Using three fingers and having that extra note adds the root's octave, giving it a fuller sound, but it's not going to make a huge difference if you leave it off. For me personally, I use the full chord when I'm just strumming or only doing small chord changes, and I use the two-fingered method for more complicated riffs with lots of movement.

I also like to use a method made famous by Dave Mustaine (of Megadeth) which he calls a "spider riff." You use two different methods of playing the two-note power chord. The regular way, with your index and ring, and also with your middle and pinky, then you learn to switch between them.
If you're using the power chords in riffs, then it's probably easier to do the two fingered version. If you're playing a rhythm, you probably want to use the three fingered version. Obviously it's gunna vary between the things you play, but that's just a general rule I guess.

I play them with my index finger on the root note and then barre the 5th and the other root note with my ring finger which also covers the notes under the 5th.