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Tip on how to get more "colorful" powerchords

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yoyo286
(@yoyo286)
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Alright, first of all, this is just my opinion, and this could be going against the basis of music theory or whatever, I don't know. But when I want to add some "color" to my powerchords, I usually leave out the octave and add the third.

Thus an example (a normal powerchord):
| E---------------------|
l B---------------------|
| G---------------------|
| D---7-----------------|
| A---7-----------------|
| E---5------------------|

And my "colorful" powerchord:
| e---------------------|
| B---------------------|
| G----6----------------|
| D----x----------------|
| A----7----------------|
| E----5-----------------|

Hope this helps, and the tab turns out okay! :lol:

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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Which, depending on the third, makes it a major or minor triad and not a powerchord at all.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Posts: 5349
 

Hehe, great one. Rumors go that some people add even more color to their powerchords with 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and more such weird stuff. ;)

Seriously: your chord is basically quite like a barre but then without playing all notes:

[5 7 7 6 5 5] A E A C# E A = A major
[5 7 x 6 x x] A E C# = A major

Play around with adding other notes, for example:

[5 7 x 7 x x] A E D = Asus4
[5 7 x 5 x x] A E C = A minor
[5 7 x 4 x x] A E B = Asus2
[5 7 5 6 x x] A E G C# = A7

Etc etc, you catch the drift.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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I usually just put the full barre chord on and hit however many strings the mood takes me.....

But I usually use the bottom 3 strings on an E shape power chord, bottom 4 for an A shape PC.....

Get used to those shapes, you'll need them if you ever decide to do a blues shuffle....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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yoyo286
(@yoyo286)
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Topic starter  

Which, depending on the third, makes it a major or minor triad and not a powerchord at all.

Thus the reason I stated that it could be going against the basis of music theory... :lol:

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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hbriem
(@hbriem)
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This has to be one of the funniest threads ever.

Here's a chord: 1-3-5

Subtract the 3rd to get a cleaner sound for use with maximum distortion and you get:

a powerchord: 1-5

Put the 3rd back to get

"a more colorful powerchord": 1-3-5

Hmmmm.......

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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A very popular and colorful chord in Rock today is the sus2 which Arjen showed. But it is more commonly fretted;


Asus2

e-------------
b-------------
g-------------
d---9p--------
a---7m--------
e---5i--------

One of my favorite chords for sure. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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martin-6
(@martin-6)
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I always re-add the 3rds when playing a "powerchord song". I need to be able to hear whether the chords are major or minor in order to know what key I'm playing in. (Also I usually overstrum and hit the next string down, so it's important to make sure it's a 3 or a b3 as appropriate). The last time I checked, it wasn't a crime to play like this.


   
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hbriem
(@hbriem)
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The last time I checked, it wasn't a crime to play like this.

Not at all. I often do the same. It's just that then they're not powerchords anymore.

I find powerchords rather flat and boring sounding unless you have a lot of volume and distortion.

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
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What about the chords in 'Crazy Train' by ozzy.

I find those chords quite colourful and major :twisted:

Rahul


   
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hbriem
(@hbriem)
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Never heard it nor of it. Don't like metal much.

I had a quick look through a tab:

This gets repeated quite often:
e -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
B ------------5--------------5--------------3---------------------------------
G ------------6--------------4--------------2--------------2------------2----
D ------------7--------------6--------------4--------------2------------2----
A 0---00----------000------------000-------------000-------0-----------0--
E -------------------------------------------------------------------3~--------

The chords there are A major, E major, D major and an A powerchord.

So yes, mostly key of A major.

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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Wes Inman
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The meaning of power chords has changed over the years. This term was first ascribed to Pete Townshend of The Who in the 60's. The Who were famous for playing at ear-splitting volume levels, for years they were listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the loudest Rock Band ever, measured at over 130 decibels live.

That is about the same volume as a jet airliner with it's engines cranked taking off. :D

Pete Townshend was always famous for his chord work. He would often play leads using chords and not single note runs that most players used at the time.

But Pete also liked to hit full chords and let the chord sustain. Some good examples of this are Won't Be Fooled Again and Teenage Wasteland. He would often strum all 6 strings.

Pete in action

Pete hitting a power chord in the early days

Still crazy after all these years, and power chords too

This is where the term "Power Chord" came from.

Now, everybody calls a 5 chord a power chord. But that was not true in the beginning.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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yoyo286
(@yoyo286)
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Topic starter  

This is where the term "Power Chord" came from.

Now, everybody calls a 5 chord a power chord. But that was not true in the beginning.

I thought another due invented the powerchord... I can't remember his name, but he passed away very recently...

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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yoyo286
(@yoyo286)
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Posts: 1681
Topic starter  

This has to be one of the funniest threads ever.

Here's a chord: 1-3-5

Subtract the 3rd to get a cleaner sound for use with maximum distortion and you get:

a powerchord: 1-5

Put the 3rd back to get

"a more colorful powerchord": 1-3-5

Hmmmm.......

Its all about voiceings, man (Did I spell that right? :lol: ). It's different from a normal a chord because you are subtracting the octave, thus making it more "colorful". 8)

Just trying to help, no need to get grumpy about it. :)

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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reasonableman
(@reasonableman)
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I'm interested in the technique people use to play the OP's suggest chord.

I'm never sure what to do when there is a x between two played strings. Do you mute the non played string with a spare finger. Or is there some technique to not play it at all?


   
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