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Power Chords

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(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

I guess these have a time and a place.

I guess if you soley concentrated on playing power chords, you'd be pretty limited?


   
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(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 726
 

I guess these have a time and a place.

I guess if you soley concentrated on playing power chords, you'd be pretty limited?
True, but if you play a lot of metal with tons of distortion, they are well suited.

Excerpt from a book I have;
The term 'power chord' refers to the sonic effect caused by the combination of two notes separated by the interval of a perfect fifth (or its inversion, a perfect fourth) when distorted usually through an overdriven amplifier.

A 'Power Chord' though the name suggests, is not an actual chord, as it only consists of two notes, the octave and perfect fifth.

Rock/Metal guitarists use the power chord because it allows for much greater levels of distortion without causing the dissonance (unstable. sound) associated with other chords that include the interval of a third played at similarly high distortion levels. The power chord preserves the chord's diatonic functionality and produces a distinct sonic effect.

Rock on! :)


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Yes.

Think of chords as the vocabulary of music. The bigger your vocabulary, the easier it is to express exactly what you mean.

That doesn't mean you can't succeed with a small vocabulary. Dr. Suess didn't use big words - and Green Day doesn't use complex chords. They both do/did fine.

It also doesn't mean that having a big vocabulary is a guarantee of success - not that many people read John Milton's poems... when I struggled through "Paradise Lost" I made dozens of trips to the dictionary, and cramming a composition with complex harmony will confuse listeners the same way.

But it's nice to have options. Sometimes you want to say "gleam", sometimes you want to say "sparkle" - the musical equivalents might be major triads and major sevenths. Having only power chords under your belt would force you to use "shiny" no matter what you meant to say.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

I dont like Metal, so I wont be playing that lol.

Main reason i ask is that i find 5th's easier to play, and obviously im able to move quicker with them.

I still struggle with chord progression speeds and STILL with Dmaj... lol


   
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(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 726
 

Yes.

Think of chords as the vocabulary of music. The bigger your vocabulary, the easier it is to express exactly what you mean.

That doesn't mean you can't succeed with a small vocabulary. Dr. Suess didn't use big words - and Green Day doesn't use complex chords. They both do/did fine.

It also doesn't mean that having a big vocabulary is a guarantee of success - not that many people read John Milton's poems... when I struggled through "Paradise Lost" I made dozens of trips to the dictionary, and cramming a composition with complex harmony will confuse listeners the same way.

But it's nice to have options. Sometimes you want to say "gleam", sometimes you want to say "sparkle" - the musical equivalents might be major triads and major sevenths. Having only power chords under your belt would force you to use "shiny" no matter what you meant to say.
Well said, NoteBoat! I like your analogy. I have small hands/fingers, & some of the barre chords are really tough, so I have to "fake" it at times, or find another way to play it.

Bmaj7, B minor, Eb chords are somewhat nasty for me...

That's where a "power chord" can come in handy for a few strums! (But I'm still trying!) :)


   
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(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Yes.

Think of chords as the vocabulary of music. The bigger your vocabulary, the easier it is to express exactly what you mean.

That doesn't mean you can't succeed with a small vocabulary. Dr. Suess didn't use big words - and Green Day doesn't use complex chords. They both do/did fine.

It also doesn't mean that having a big vocabulary is a guarantee of success - not that many people read John Milton's poems... when I struggled through "Paradise Lost" I made dozens of trips to the dictionary, and cramming a composition with complex harmony will confuse listeners the same way.

But it's nice to have options. Sometimes you want to say "gleam", sometimes you want to say "sparkle" - the musical equivalents might be major triads and major sevenths. Having only power chords under your belt would force you to use "shiny" no matter what you meant to say.
Well said, NoteBoat! I like your analogy. I have small hands/fingers, & some of the barre chords are really tough, so I have to "fake" it at times, or find another way to play it.

Bmaj7, B minor, Eb chords are somewhat nasty for me...

That's where a "power chord" can come in handy for a few strums! (But I'm still trying!) :)

i have small hands too, so certain chords are out of my reach - full barres especially.

infact, even power chords i tend to have to play with 1 and 4th fingers!


   
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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

Knowledge of various types of chords will always help, so don't restrict yourself to only power chords.

And keep playing those power chords. No punk music exists without 'em. :twisted:


   
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(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Knowledge of various types of chords will always help, so don't restrict yourself to only power chords.

And keep playing those power chords. No punk music exists without 'em. :twisted:

im trying out barre chords as well, but this is proving painful lol


   
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(@falcon1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 176
 

Mike - stick with it! Once you get barre chords, they are a blast...they make it really easy to add in little percussion strums, but that may just be me - I have never found quick palm mutes while strumming easy...

As for the power chords, they are good to know, and come in handy in lots of music, and are definitely worth learning, but don't limit yourself to just those.


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

i have small hands too, so certain chords are out of my reach - full barres especially.

infact, even power chords i tend to have to play with 1 and 4th fingers!

For now.
As with everytthing, the more you try, the better things will get.

Have you checked how much your fretting hand can spread compared to your picking hand?
Hold your hands palm-to-palm. Line up your thumbs and index fingers, then spread your hands as far as you can...

A non player should see that both hands spread about the same. a guitar player (or bass, banjo, mandolin....) who has been playing for more than a couple of months should see that their fretting hand has a greater reach.
The more you practice the further that reach becomes (obviously there's a limit, but...).

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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