3 Power Chords

Power Chords

This lesson is dedicated to all of the rockers out there! The next chord we’re going to learn is the infamous “Power Chord”. This chord has been in millions of songs, and has a very distinctive sound. Usually played with distortion, this chord sounds thick, full, and awesome! Here are some power chords in action.

So how do I play it? Good question! It’s a lot easier than you think. Firstly, do you remember the notes on the fret board? If you need to re-cap, click here, as this is essential to learning where and how to play power chords.

So the way we play a power chord is made up of 2 notes. The ‘Root’ (which is the first one we play and what the chord name is called) and the ‘fifth’ (which is the fifth degree of the scale of the particular note we chose). We will go into more depth with these terms in the next section, but for now, just familiarise yourself with the names.

So let’s make a power chord. We’ll choose a note, let’s say A. Power chords are generally played on the two thickest strings, the E and the A string. If we look at out fret board with not names, we can see that fret 5 on the E, and an Open A are the note A. Once we know this, we can then add the 5th (which would be E) and it gives us this shape.

Some guitarists also include the ‘Octave’ which is the same as the ‘Root’ note, but 12 semi-tones higher. This can be done by pressing both strings with one finger or by using another finger for the octave. This will then give us this shape.