Using Power Chords For Beginners

Learn how to use power chords. For the people that always wonder, what are power chords and people that don't know how to get that punk or metal sound.

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Power chords are the easiest things you will ever come across. When using power chords you must keep you hand in the same structure. Try doing this.
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|---7---7---7---7---7--------------------------------------------------------|
A|---7---7---7---7---7--------------------------------------------------------| 
E|---5---5---5---5---5--------------------------------------------------------|
When you play make sure your fingers are in the right spot. For the 5 use your pointing finger(index). For the first 7 up use your ring finger and for the last 7 use your pinky. It should somewhat look like what it looks like in this link. Now that you know how to use the power chord. The next step is getting used using the structure. When I first started using power chords I practiced green day songs. Try doing the intro of this slow song called brain stew. Remember keep the same form!
|------------------------|--------------------------------
|------------------------|--------------------------------
|------------------------|--------------------------------
|-7-7--5-5--4-4--3-3-2-2-|-7-7--5-5--4-4--3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-
|-7-7--5-5--4-4--3-3-2-2-|-7-7--5-5--4-4--3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-
|-5-5--3-3--2-2--1-1-0-0-|-5-5--3-3--2-2--1-1-1-1-0-0-0-0-
Keep practicing from slow songs to fast! For a medium song try this song. This song is called waiting. INTRO: Guitar 1-no bass-clean guitar.
e|----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-------------6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-|
D|-6-6-6-6-6--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6--8-8-8-8-8--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-|x2
A|-6-6-6-6-6--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--8-8-8-8-8--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
E|-4-4-4-4-4-----------------------6-6-6-6-6----------------------|
I've been waiting a long time for this moment to come I'm Destined for anything at al Riff VESE-distorted-bass and guitar 2 enter.
e|----------|------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------|------------------------------------------------------|
G|-6--6--6--|----------6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-------------6-6-6-6-6-|
D|-6--6--6--|6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6--8-8-8-8-8--6-6-6-6-6-|
A|-4--4--4--|6-6-6-6-6-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--8-8-8-8-8--4-4-4-4-4-|
E|----------|4-4-4-4-4------------------------6-6-6-6-6------------|
Downtown lights will be shining on me like a new diamond Ring out under the midnight houuuuuurrrrrrrrr
e|----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-------------6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-|
D|-6-6-6-6-6--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6--8-8-8-8-8--6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-|
A|-6-6-6-6-6--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--8-8-8-8-8--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
E|-4-4-4-4-4-----------------------6-6-6-6-6----------------------|
No one can touch me and I can't turn my back its Too late ready or not at aaaaaaall Now I know a really famous song that will teach you to go up and down frets fast it's the very famous song american idiot.
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|---------6-6-6-------6------|
|--6-6-6--6-6-6--4-4--6-6-4--|
|--6-6-6--4-4-4--4-4--4-6-4--|
|--4-4-4---------2-2----4-2--|
That's almost all you really need to know! Sorry if I didn't help you that well but at least I gave you the feel of a power chord. Oh and one more thing before I finish this lesson. There is one more style power chord you must know! In this one you place your middle finger back on the furthest fret away. It should look allot like this.
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---6-----6-----6-----6------------------------------------------------------|
D|---7-----7-----7-----7------------------------------------------------------|
A|---7-----7-----7-----7------------------------------------------------------|
E|---5-----5-----5-----5------------------------------------------------------|
Keep practicing using this one to. If you master this one you master the power chord.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    jakestib8r
    thank you so much for this lesson... it has really helped me with playing the guitar... ive only been playing for the last month and i was sorta stuck on wat to learn and i found this lesson... i am still srta suck so if anyone would like to help me pls sendme a message... sorry if this dont make much sense
    ezza61
    i just use my index and my ring finger for my power chords.. i find it esier.
    ptguitarman
    good lesson, but when I started playing a while back I kinda figured this out on my own. By the way, you should also mention that the portion of "Brainstew" in the lesson is half a step down(Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Bb,eb) and it is much easier to play it in drop d (D,A,D,G,B,e) just play d|--6-6--4-4--3-3--2-2-1-1--| A|--6-6--4-4--3-3--2-2- 1-1--| D|--6-6--4-4--3-3--2-2-1-1--| this is just the top 3 strings
    Blas3
    not bad, some grammar mistakes here and there but not annoying. One thing only to mention: there can be more kind of power chords used. Not just the 5-7-7 formula (5th on the E, 7th on A and D strings), but it can be 4-7-6 style as well, it is used by Green day in wake me up when september ends ... but quite good lesson for beginners
    NearlyPrescient
    very good lesson. great recommendations. another recommended intermediate song: Polly by Nirvana. Four power chords in that main verse.
    texzephyr
    not a bad lesson... i think waiting's barre's not power chords though. lol i learnt brain stew as my first song ever 9 months ago... might go learn all of waiting and warning now...
    -Blue-
    Yeah, that's just 4 strings of the E major barre chord... Not a power chord. And for regular power chords, you can just lay your index finger across the fretboard like a barre chord and lay your pinky across 2 frets below, but not touching the lowest string.
    sucay
    - - 6 7 7 5 is a chord, not a 'styled' powerchord it has 3 different notes in it
    jtbull
    For some reason I still play with just two strings and have not had problems but this is a good lesson and topic
    SaiNt adEL #13
    thx man, and yeah, green day uses power chords ALL the time. btw, a great song for power chord practicing is the first three parts of Jesus of Suburbia (green day).
    aryansengupta222
    The first one that you gave was Brain Stew...A bit of Jaded can build speed in power chords..And you also got nice guys finish last to help you out..!