Guitar Power Chords
Guitar power chords are used extensively in all forms of rock music. They consist only of the 1, 5 and possibly another 1 an octave higher. Power chords are in fact the 2 or 3 bottom strings of guitar bar chords, but they are much easier to play compared to bar chords.
Most of the time power chords are used with distortion.
Let's start with 2 note power chords with the root on the E string:
This chord is an E power chord or E5. The 2 note power chord uses only the root and the fifth (E and B in this case).
Play only the 2 lowest strings and use only down strokes (strum the strings with your right hand going down from the fat E).
If we slide this power chord 1 fret further, like we did with the bar chords, we get an F power chord:
If we go 2 frets further from here we get a G power chord:
I think you got the picture by now. Here's the guitar neck with all the notes from the E string:
Besides 2 note guitar power chords there are also 3 note power chords. They use the root, fifth and again the root but one octave higher and they look like this:
The same principle as with bar chords and 2 note power chords goes for 3 note power chords: slide it up the neck to get other chords.
If we slide 1 fret further we get an F power chord:
And this goes on, look at the guitar neck above for reference.
There's an alternative way to fret 3 note power chords: instead of using finger 3 and 4, use your little finger to fret 2 strings at once.
This example is an F power chord fretted in the alternative way:
Let's have a look at 2 note power chords with the root on the A string:
Play only strings 4 and 5, don't play the low E and other open strings.
We can slide this up 2 frets, what gives us a B power chord:
One fret further gives us a C power chord:
There are also 3 note power chord with the root on A:
Slide this up and we have a B:
Here's the guitar neck with all the notes of the A string for easy reference:
That was it, now plug in you axe, turn on the distortion, turn that volume up and start banging those guitar power chords!
All guitar chord charts © 2010 Dirk Laukens