#1
Stumbled upon a video by Marty (I guess I don't know his name, but a somewhat popular online guitar teacher) and was using what he described as power chords but not in the 3-5-5 or 1-3-3 way.

He was using what appears to be open chord fingerings but muting a note (the third?). I think on that version of the G5 he is muting the high E string? (And to be honest, it never occurred to me that is basically what I already do for the E5 power chord).

Are these simply called power chords in this form or something else? I searched the internet for the chord charts for these examples but am unsuccessful, which led me here to ask if there was a certain name for them?

AC/DC did this quite a bit, and while I am not a huge fan of AC/DC, from what I heard on the video is much better than 1-3-3-X-X-X shape (Nirvana).
Epi G400 '66 Reissue
w/ Airline Vintage Voiced Single Coil Pickups
#2
A power chord is simply 2 note separated by a perfect fifth interval. A perfect fifth is 7 frets. 5 frets will get you to the next string, so if you subtract 5 from 7 you get up one string and up 2 frets. This is the most common way to play power chords (with the octave on the top aswell)

So in your nirvana example, you've got an F, a C and another F on top, with the rest of the strings muted.

If we look at our F major scale which contains a perfect fifth interval we see F G A Bb C D E F.

First fret on the E string is the F note, the third fret of the A string is C, and the third fret of the D string is another F.

You can play these notes wherever you want as long as you keep the root the same and the rest of the notes are either the fifth or the octave, and it will be a powerchord.

On of my favorites is in Drop D tuning: 0-0-0-2-3-5. If you don't like that high A on the thin E string you can not play that string and get the same thing.

Powerchords can be play quite easily if you follow the same idea.
0-2-2-x-x-x
x-0-2-2-x-x
x-x-0-2-3-x and so on.


Edit: Formatting
Last edited by Mr.Dissonant at Feb 19, 2014,
#3
i play that version of the G powerchord all the time. you just mute the B on the 5th string/2nd fret. Or just play the low G on the 6th string/3rd fret with your thumb.

and yeah it's still a power chord, you still only have the root and 5th. Just more of them.
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#4
Thanks. Marty does it with the D as well. I am sure every major open chord it can be done. Now I just need to apply music theory to it and figure it out.
Epi G400 '66 Reissue
w/ Airline Vintage Voiced Single Coil Pickups
#5
This may be the moment that you realise that chords are formed by notes, not shapes.

I do get what you're saying. You're used to a G power chord looking like:
x
x
x
5
5
3

and you move this shape around based on the root note and somebody tells you, hey, you can play it like this

x
x
0
0
x
3

and it blows your mind. What's happening is that the notes repeat across the fretboard, the same note appears in a couple of places. So in this example both the chords are made up of the same notes, they're just played on different strings.

Is it better? That's really up to you. The former doesn't have any muted strings in the middle of it, so may be easier to use in quick downpicking things. The latter has open strings, and opens up the possibility to let them drone and do vibrato stuff on the G note if you like.

Power chords don't have to be two or three notes either, they can be;

4 notes

x
3
0
0
x
3

5 notes

3
3
0
0
x
3

6 notes

0
5
4
2
2
0

This last one is an E5.

As long as the only notes you play are the root and the 5, it's a power chord.
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#6
So applying this newfound knowledge (Thanks Alan and Dave and Mr.Dissonet), I am trying to understand this more just so I feel I have a grasp on this.

For example for an open G chord: G - I B - III D - V
To make this open chord a power chord just mute the B (the third).

But for an open D chord: D - I F - III A - V.
I would mute the F but the open D chord is D-F#/Gb-A (at least I think it is). So flats/sharps play a role in this theory (I don't know why it wouldn't).

For an open A chord: A - I C# - III E - V.
I would mute the C# for a power chord version.

And so on? I think the sharps/flats were throwing me off. And this is applied regardless of finger positions but I am interested, for lack of better terminology, the open positioning power chords.
Epi G400 '66 Reissue
w/ Airline Vintage Voiced Single Coil Pickups
#7
F# is the third in a D major chord, not F. If it's a major chord there will always be 4 semitones (frets) between the root and the third, so sometimes it'll be a flat or sharp. If you played a D chord with an F in it instead of F# it'd be D minor (there are only 3 semitones/frets between D and F which is a minor third).

And yep you just mute the third every time. Just bear in mind, as Alan implied, the third can occur more than once in the chord so you might have to mute a couple of frets. If it's too awkward it might be easier just to play the power chord as a different shape.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Just my 2 cents...I sometimes like throwing in a "lower 5th" by playing the root note on the A string and barring the note right "above" it (which is also the 5th). This gives a more powerful/deep sound. Kind of like you are playing a 7 string.

So an E chord would be 7-7-9-9-x-x

Also, for that open D power chord just throw in the A string. x-0-0-2-3-x

And you can move that all around and make much fuller sounding chords. Such as...

A "power" x-7-7-9-10-x
G "power" x-5-5-7-8-x
ETC

Just an idea to make those power chords sound a little more interesting and "fuller", since that's kinda what you are looking for.