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Power Chords

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Steve_in_Hull
(@steve_in_hull)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Hi guys,

Can anyone give me some information on power chords please?

What are they?
What kind of music are they used for?
and Where can I find example of them please?

Thanks in advance.

Steve.


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

Hi Steve

This article may help you a bit as an introduction to power chords. I'll be writing one up for Guitar Noise (with both chord charts and audio examples) in the very near future.

http://guitar.answers.com/chords/playing-power-chords-on-guitar

To answer your questions in brief:

What are they?

They are simply two notes of a chord - the root note and the fifth of any given major scale. Since the C major scale, for example, is C, D, E, F, G, A, and B, a C power chord (also written as "C5") is made up of the notes C and G. Power chords sound kind of like the droning made by a bagpipe.

What kind of music are they used for?

They can be found in almost all kinds of music but are used primarily in rock (particularly punk and metal).

Where can I find example of them please?

Pick almost any Green Day song or Blink 182, for starters. Fall Out Boy and Sum 41 songs are also mostly power chords.

Hope this helps. And a belated welcome to Guitar Noise, by the way. I look forward to seeing you around on the Forum pages.

Peace


   
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Steve_in_Hull
(@steve_in_hull)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Thanks hugely for the reply! I am sure the link you have given will prove very useful.

Can be a bit daunting this guitar lark, especially when you are trying to learn alone!


   
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Steve_in_Hull
(@steve_in_hull)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I've had a look through the link you have me. Really enjoyed reading it!

Curious to know now if there are any written/tabbed examplesi could look at?

Thanks again.


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

Hi again, Steve

You can see some chord diagrams in the first section ("Taking the Fifth") of this article:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/building-additions-and-suspensions/

And you can also see (and hear) a different use of the E5 power chord in this lesson:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/where-did-you-sleep-last-night/

As mentioned, we're hoping to have a short article dealing with this topic up soon. If all goes well, you should find it on our main page early next week.

Hope this helps.

Peace


   
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Jagolsch
(@jagolsch)
Active Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 9
 

dhodge gave you a great answer. Another thing I'd like to point out is that they're incredibly easy--if you play in dropped tuning like drop D (bottom string tuned down to D instead of E), you can play them with just one finger. You can play whole songs that way.

If you still want help with power chords, they're the main focus of my website at the moment. Our first power chords lesson can be found here, but you might want to go to the homepage first to get help with things like tuning to drop D and proper strumming technique if you're just getting started.

Pinnacle Guitar: Guitar lessons for beginners and gear and software reviews.


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

dhodge gave you a great answer. Another thing I'd like to point out is that they're incredibly easy--if you play in dropped tuning like drop D (bottom string tuned down to D instead of E), you can play them with just one finger. You can play whole songs that way.

Yep, both points above... great answer as usual from dhodge, and sliding up and down the fretboard in Drop D. And because 5th chords are neither major nor minor they work great as both. I love the song Jackie Blue, but the way it's written the chords are just too out-there for me. So I Drop D and slide up and down the fretboard. :D It gives a nice chunky thumpy sound too.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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