This maybe a stupid question, but I'm going ask it anyway...

I recently watched Justin Guitars High Way To Hell lesson and it got me thinking how bands like ACDC, The Who, Oasis, Nirvana and punk bands make basic open chords, power chords and barre chords sound so original and cool?

It's actually surprised me how simple the chords are to some great songs. Before I started learning guitar I presume any good song was mass of complicated chords an rhythms.
its got to do with rhythms mainly and also some to do with certain melodies and sounds.

IMO the best jazz or classical song in the world will not hit you the same way as a good power chord intro. Think about primitive people out in the woods with drums etc. They werent breaking out violins and flutes.

The more complicated Mozart stuff appeals more to ones intellect but the simple AC/DC/Stones/ stuff hits u more in the gut...more in your instincts

the one that came to my mind was Ozzys "Little Dolls". Just that first drum part and very simple guitar riff really grab u
Last edited by JohnProphet at Jul 29, 2014,
Absolutely the rhythm and groove dictate the power and impact of a simple riff or melody. And actually even classical music and jazz have used the same ideas, like the opening of Beethoven's 5th for example. Super simple, powerful, and memorable. Or in Jazz, the riff to Take Five by Dave Brubeck. Very simple and catchy and its in 5/4!
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Look at how the guitar section fits with the rest of the song, the tone of the guitars (amp, pickups, the angle of the pick to the strings etc...) and like the above posters said the rhythm is very important.
I like using open chords in place of power chords sometimes, they can sound fuller. AC DC does that quite a bit too, a lot of their songs you'd assume were power chords, but they're open Ds and stuff