Understanding Power Chords

author: naguenyong vinx date: 11/12/2013 category: guitar chords

Sign up to get weekly digest with top stories from UG. Ads free, only news.

Thanks for subscribing! Check your email soon for some great stories from UG

rating: 7.4
votes: 47
views: 130,829
vote for this lesson:
Understanding Power Chords
In guitar music, a power chord is a chord that consists of the root note and the fifth interval. Power chords are played on amplified guitars, especially on electric guitar with distortion. Power chords are a key element of many styles of rock music. Power Chords are sometimes labeled by their root note with the number 5 to identify them: C5, D5, etc. The power chords below will show you how to play a chord progression using power chords on the 5th and 6th guitar strings. Let's try a G power chord - G5:
e|-----|
b|-----|
g|-----|
d|-----|
a|-5---|
e|-3---|
Use your index- and ring finger, or index and little finger. If you move it up two frets, it becomes an A power chord - A5.
e|-----|
b|-----|
g|-----|
d|-----|
a|-7---|
e|-5---|

     D5             C5            G5                            
e||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
B||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
G||--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--------------|--------------||
D||--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
A||--5--5--5--5--|--3--3--3--3--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
E||--------------|--------------|--3--3--3--3--|--3--3--3--3--||
Some power chords can be played using an open string such as the A5 power chord and the D5 power chord used in the guitar tab below:
     A5                   D5 C5    A5                   D5 C5   
e||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
B||-----------------------3-----|-----------------------3-----||
G||--2--2---2--2----2--2--2--5--|--2--2---2--2----2--2--2--5--||
D||--2--2---2--2----2--2--0--5--|--2--2---2--2----2--2--0--5--||
A||--0--0---0--0----0--0-----3--|--0--0---0--0----0--0-----3--||
E||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
You can also play the guitar tab above this way:
    A5                    D5 C5    A5                    D5 C5    
e||------------------------------|------------------------------||
B||------------------------------|------------------------------||
G||--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--|--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--||
D||--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--|--2--2----2--2----2--2--7--5--||
A||--0--0----0--0----0--0--5--3--|--0--0----0--0----0--0--5--3--||
E||------------------------------|------------------------------||
Power Chords with root notes on the G or 3rd string and the D or 4th string:
     C5             G5             F5                           
e||--8--8--8--8--|--------------|--------------|--------------||
B||--8--8--8--8--|--8--8--8--8--|--6--6--6--6--|--6--6--6--6--||
G||--5--5--5--5--|--7--7--7--7--|--5--5--5--5--|--5--5--5--5--||
D||--------------|--5--5--5--5--|--3--3--3--3--|--3--3--3--3--||
A||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
E||--------------|--------------|--------------|--------------||
I hope this lesson helps you to understand what a power chord is.
Comments
BIU:)
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear