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Power Chord Progressions

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(@nirvgas)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 171
Topic starter  

I know there are millions of power chord progressions, but I just wanted to see what some peoples' favorite progressions are. Also, I've worked on some Nirvana, RHCP, and System of a Down songs, but I'm looking for other bands to study. Any power-chord-band suggestions?

Life is my friend
Rake it up to take it in
Wrap me in your cinnamon
Especially in Michigan
...well I could be your friend- RHCP


   
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(@artlutherie)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1157
 

One of my favorite is G D E C. Very your strumming repeat ad finitum.

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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 406
 

Try some Deep Purple, like Speed King or Bloodsucker.


   
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(@jeremyd)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 131
 

define power chord ;]


   
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(@jeremyd)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 131
 

i just realized my question was in the wrong forum but hey i didnt make the post te he! the question still stands though ;]


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
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A power chord is the root and the fifth. So to get a G power chord (labeled G5) you take the root and the 5th of the G major scale (G-A-B-C-D-E-F#) and you end up with the notes G and D. Though it's not technically a chord because it does not consist of three different notes, it's called one.

To form a major chord, you take the 1, 3rd and 5th . So to make the G major chord, you take the 1-3-5 of the G major scale (G-A-B-C-D-E-F#) and you end up with G, B and D.


   
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(@nirvgas)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 171
Topic starter  

Aww, ya beat me to it Mike! Thanks for posting that answer though, you defined it better than I could have!

Life is my friend
Rake it up to take it in
Wrap me in your cinnamon
Especially in Michigan
...well I could be your friend- RHCP


   
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(@chilly-well-water)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10
 

Black Sabbath!! I highly recommend Master of Reality and Paranoid for power chord inspiration.


   
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(@mimifox)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 13
 

I read in a music theory book that progressions of consecutive power chords should be avoided because it creates "parallel fifths". What's the crack with that? :)

Mimi


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

I read in a music theory book that progressions of consecutive power chords should be avoided because it creates "parallel fifths". What's the crack with that? :)

Not true - Read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_chord
Section on "The consecutive fifths criticism"

Basically it's saying that consecutive fifths is only a problem in 'voice leading'. That is, independent parts coming together in harmony. Power chords aren't formed as a result of independent parts, so no rule of harmony is broken.


   
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(@timezone)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 205
 

Theory stuff beyond me....

But I like the power chord riffs of Rock You Like a Hurricane by the Scorpions, and Cocaine by Cream. Go google for 'em I'm too lazy to type it out here... They're pretty easy to play.

TZ


   
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(@nirvgas)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 171
Topic starter  

Black Sabbath!! I highly recommend Master of Reality and Paranoid for power chord inspiration.

Sweet, thanks! I'm not too familiar with Black Sabbath :oops: , but I'll give it a shot. Always looking for variety. I've found that a lot of Green Day songs are good practice for power chords and finger strength, but they get such a bad rep cause their songs are so simply constructed. Easy songs are the best. lol :P

I checked out the Wikipedia power chord article. Most of it's way above my head :( , but it did say that the inversion of the interval of a perfect fifth is a perfect fourth. How does that work? What do they mean by the inversion of the interval? :shock:

Life is my friend
Rake it up to take it in
Wrap me in your cinnamon
Especially in Michigan
...well I could be your friend- RHCP


   
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(@fretsource)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

To invert an interval, you just raise the lower note an octave so that it's now the higher note.
For example the power chord consisting of 2 notes G (Str 6 fret3) and D (str 5 fret5) is a fifth because it includes 5 scale degrees (letters) G A B C & D.
If, instead of playing G on str 6 we move it up to str 4 fret 5, now we have a fourth because if you count up from D to G (intervals are always counted low to high) we have only 4 letters: D E F & G.
35XXX inverts to X55XXX
Deep Purple's famous power chord riff in "Smoke on the water" uses FOURTHS.

All intervals can be inverted and a quick way to do it is simply to subtract the number from 9
5ths invert to 4ths (9 -5 = 4)
3rds invert to 6ths (9 - 3 = 6)

Just for completeness, when we invert any interval:
Major intervals become minor and vice versa
Diminished intervals become augmented and vice versa
Perfect intervals remain perfect.


   
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(@nirvgas)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks Fretsource, that explains a lot! That being said, I assume an inverted chord would sound horrible when played immediately after its original because you're going from a major interval to a minor one (or vice versa)

Life is my friend
Rake it up to take it in
Wrap me in your cinnamon
Especially in Michigan
...well I could be your friend- RHCP


   
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(@misanthrope)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261
 

Thanks Fretsource, that explains a lot! That being said, I assume an inverted chord would sound horrible when played immediately after its original because you're going from a major interval to a minor one (or vice versa)
Not at all - you're playing the same notes after all. Remember that you're changing the root note by inverting.

There's quite a few songs where changing from a minor to a major chord of the same root note fits well too, but I'm not sure of the theory behind it and of course I can only think of one example now I've mentioned it - Delilah.

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


   
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