I was showing a song I wrote to a buddy of mine that just started guitar. He asked a question about a power chord I was using and he got me thinking is it really a power chord??? Or does it have a name?? I came across this chord years ago and I always use it but never thought twice about it. Does it actually have a name?

Just like any power chord you can move the same shape around.
e [--------------]
b [--------------]
g [---5----7----]
d [---x----x----]
a [---3----5----]
e [--------------]

Also what about reverse power chords?

e [-------------]
b [-------------]
g [-------------]
d [---3---5---]
a [---5---7---]
e [------------]

Do either if these chords have names? I search the threads for alternate power chords, unusual power chords and I have found nothing on these 2. Just curious if these have ever been named or is there a formula to name them?
E.L.Minneman

Shredtohell.com
The first example is just octaves, I.e. the same notes just different frequencies. The second example is minor thirds.
To avoid possible misinterpretation by OP, the power chord has a root and an interval of a perfect 5th above it (i.e 7 semitones). Some scales don't have an interval of a perfect 5th above the scale root.
Power chords are diads meaning that they are comprised of 2 notes (the root note and the 5th). The 5th meaning the 5th notes in the major scale for a particular root note. So for example, if you want to play a C power chord starting from the 5th string then your index finger would go on the third fret. Since the C major scale is made up of the following notes (C D E F G A B C D) Then the 5th note in that sequence would be G (i.e. the second note). That's why power chords are also sometimes called C5 for example. The first example you showed is simply playing the same note only 1 octave higher (i.e. not really a power chord).

As mentioned, the "reverse power chord" you described is a minor third (i.e. the D string notes are 3 half steps from the root note on the A string).

I actually wrote a complete guide to power chords if you'd like to check that out further and learn more. (removed, don't advertise here)
You will need to learn some theory to get a better grasp on it. The C major and minor scale (for example) is:

``````
Major Scale
C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

Natural Minor Scale
C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
1 2 3  4 5 6  7  1
``````

You see the 5th note in each scale is the same, G. Therefore a power chord (which always contains the root and 5th note) can be used over a major or minor chord progression. As a side note, you'll see the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes are flattened in the minor scale (this means they are 1 fret lower than their major counterpart). That is why, you'll notice, you move one finger down a fret in a Dmin compared to a Dmaj chord, or an Amin compared to an Amaj chord. That finger you are moving down is on the 3rd note, hence we flatten that third note (move the finger down one) to get a minor 3rd note, and hence a minor chord (major chords are made from the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes - minor are made from the 1st, flattened 3rd and 5th notes).
Last edited by gweddle.nz at Aug 14, 2016,