#1
How do you know when it would be better to use a power chord instead of an open chord, or an open chord instead of a powerchord? I know its music and you can do what you want, but in general is there a little rule or something you try to stick to on whether you should play an open chord or power chord? Thanks
#2
Generally speaking, power chords are most suited to rock or metal wheras open chords are more for clean
#3
Quote by Horlicks
Generally speaking, power chords are most suited to rock or metal wheras open chords are more for clean

+1

Distortion = Power chords
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#4
I agree ^

Open chords are real chords, there's a lot going on. When distorted is can become a bit messy. Power chords aren't really full chords. They are a root, 5th and sometimes and 8th (octave). So you are really only playing two different notes.
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#5
Quote by SoccerRM1
+1

Distortion = Power chords


agreed, generally speaking of course. that doesn't mean you cant experiment though. just follow your ear.
#6
Dude, it's not a dichotomy. Generally, on electrics it sound better playing fewer notes at one time. If you're playing in a band as an electric, stick to power chords, triads and single note riffs. It may sound a little empty on your own without root notes, but that's why you have a bass player. If you want an open chord sound then break them up.
If you're on an acoustic, then the more stings, especially open strings, you play, the more the sound will resonate.
#7
I generally agree with everyone above me saying acoustic/clean for full chords and distortion for powerchords, but it depends how much distortion you have...
AC/DC sound awesome and they use open chords, and rhythm guitarists quite often use a little less distortion, tone, and volume in order to use bigger chords without making a messy sound.
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#8
Quote by handlerb
I agree ^

Open chords are real chords, there's a lot going on. When distorted is can become a bit messy. Power chords aren't really full chords. They are a root, 5th and sometimes and 8th (octave). So you are really only playing two different notes.



well actually they are
#9
There's also the fact that you can add minor, 7th, sus, whatever on your full open chords, which you can't wiht powerchords.
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#10
Ok thanks for the replies. The reason I ask is that it seems that alot of people don't seem to be friendly towards powerchords. They seem to think of em as some sort of any easy way to play guitar i guess. At least this is what seems to be the case with most people. So I guess powerchords are completely acceptable tools to use with guitar huh?
#11
Open chords can sound really muddy with distortion so I like to use simple variations on powerchords from time to time

|---------------|
|---------------|
|-4---6-------4-|
|-4---4---4---1-|
|-2---2---2---2-|
|---------2-----|


From left to right:
1. The normal powerchord.
2. Replacing the octave with a 2nd.
3. Normal powerchord but adding the next octave down of the 5th.
4. Using a 3rd instead of the 5th.

EDIT:
Quote by rockadoodle
The reason I ask is that it seems that alot of people don't seem to be friendly towards powerchords.


The way I look at it, powerchords are an amazing tool allowing you to play some really good riffs very easily. Some people do overuse them but as long as it fits their music then I don't really mind too much.

I'm more annoyed when people unneccesarily overcomplicate their music because they think that a hard song to play is always a good song.
Last edited by UncleCthulhu at Apr 25, 2008,