#1
When listening to a song, how do you tell if the chords being played are power chords or regular chords? I listen to alot of Boston, and even on the distorted electric guitars, open/barre chords are sometimes used alongside power chords. How do you distinguish between the two? Thanks
#2
Quote by rockadoodle
When listening to a song, how do you tell if the chords being played are power chords or regular chords? I listen to alot of Boston, and even on the distorted electric guitars, open/barre chords are sometimes used alongside power chords. How do you distinguish between the two? Thanks



Its simply a matter of experience. the longer you play, and the more chords you know, the more you will recognize them when you hear them played.

Tip:

learn alot of songs / riffs
#3
I find that power chords are generally lower and quiter than the open notes, but there are exceptions I suppose
#4
you can tell by full bar chords having a 3rd or flattened 3rd, which makes it minor. also, theres the fullness of it. a full chord will sound better than just a powerchord
#5
Quote by GuitarMunky
Its simply a matter of experience. the longer you play, and the more chords you know, the more you will recognize them when you hear them played.

Tip:

learn alot of songs / riffs


Agreed. It's a funny thing actually. I have perfect pitch on some chords but not recognising the pitch but the tone. Maybe I have 'perfect tone' but yeah, also - what seems logical - you would rarely make an 8 fret chordal jump would you? Yeah just experience.
#6
listen. when you here it, does it sound full, or like half a chord. I agree with guitarmonkey...learn a lot of riffs, licks, chords, scales and get used to the sound they make. then you'll be able to "see" a piece on guitar when you listen to it.
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#7
i just figured recently (i might be wrong) but chances are, if a guitar player has a lot of distortion in his sound, then he is playing power chords. but if it's light distortion, or a clean sound, then he is playing open chords or bar chords

just my thought.
#9
Generally a bar chord you'll hear the root,5th ,root then the 3rd/b3rd an octive higher.

if it's pedaling..mostly it's a bar chord.

You can also play power chords using the root and 3rd, root and b6, root and b3rd.....etc
Songs such as runing with the devil or let me put my luv into ya, are examples.

most of the rythem for AC/DC arn't bar chords becuase the sounds are fuller,
or you'll hear the 7th or b7th more.

Open chords has a ring sound.
Last edited by Ordinary at May 29, 2008,
#10
Power chords don't have any tonality because of the lack of a third so if you hear a minor sound it will be a full.

Although this also works to a certain extent with hearing a major sound, major bar chords and power chords are a lot harder to distinguish (because the brain assumes the chord will be major, maybe?) so this doesn't work aswell.

However, most songs don't switch between power chords and full chords that often, and most songs also have minor chords in them, therefore if you hear a minor sound you can kind of guess that they will all be full chords.