#1
So I already said some of this in my intro, but I'll say it again here with a new question.

So my recent love for Metal has gotten me to buy a guitar and amp. I'm musically brain dead and don't know anything. I've been doing research though.

So ultimatly I want to play metal/rock for a band (this is WAY in the future given my skill). I know I should start by learning chords and riffs for my first few months. I was wondering; should I learn power chords first? Or should I get a good grasp on basic chords/learning how to switch between them before moving on to power chords? Are power chords used more in metal(I know, total noob question). Once again, I'm COMPLETLY new to this, I'm learning a whole new world right now.
#2
90% of metal is going to use power chords because they use the least dissonant intervals (an interval as in the difference between the pitch in the notes) and the "distortion" that makes a guitar sound "metal" as opposed to "clean" will amplify the dissonance in chords with other intervals which results in what most people would consider a displeasing sound.

at some point it's nice to start learning chords with more and more different intervals in them, you see a lot of different chords used in softer clean or acoustic sections played as nice sounding arpeggios to contrast heavy riffs (think fade to black) or played high up on the neck with a sweeping motion in the picking hand in solos.
#3
Power chords are very common in metal alongside riffing, but I would learn power chords in conjunction with learning the basic "open" chords. Learning to switch between the basic chords is an essential thing every guitarist should know how to do, regardless of genre. As the user above mentioned, power chords take out the intervals of the chord (namely the major or minor 3rd from the root note of the chord) to get rid of any muddiness from the distortion. In cleaner/acoustic sections of metal songs, they use the basic chords. Good examples include Nothing Else Matters and Fade to Black, both by Metallica.

Remember: There are basics that every guitarist should do, regardless of genre. That includes being able to switch between basic chords, playing barre chords, and power chords.As you begin to develop some skill, learn some (easy) metal songs that you enjoy.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#4
Start with learning open chords and get a few simple songs under your belt - it's the quickest way to get comfortable with the guitar and get your hands used to the feel of it. The thing is, once you've learned open chords and barre chords you've actually also learned power chords by default as they're just the lowest couple of notes of a regular chord - it's far easier to understand powerchords by removing notes from an open chord you already know than it is to try and understand open chords by adding notes to a powerchord.

Learning to play the guitar is hard work and takes time and effort - if there's a path of least resistance you can follow that means you'll learn the most stuff in the shortest amount of time it's always advisable to follow it.Regardless of what's inspired you you're not "learning to play metal", you're "learning to play the guitar" and like aerosmithfan95 says there's certain fundamentals that you need to have a handle on regardless of genre. It's like wanting to be a racing driver - you still need to know how to steer and change gear before you getting into the details of stuff like tyre pressures and downforce.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 18, 2016,