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Play Guitar: The Power Chord

by dgrwriting (follow)
Photographer and writer.
Guitar (11)      Chords (2)     
The power chord is one of the most difficult chords for new players to learn because the chord forces a playerís fingers to stretch in a way that feel very unnatural at first. Donít worry, it becomes easier with time, and after a week or two of regular practice, feels completely normal.

Time: This lesson can be completed in five minutes

A Guitar


Power chords are an adaptation of the bar chord. Like the bar chord, it can be used almost anywhere on the fret board as long as long as the index finger is rooted on the low E string or the A string.

A power chord uses the index, ring and pinky fingers, leaving the middle free. Each note on the fret board has a corresponding power chord. Let me explain by example. Place your index finger on the second fret of the A string, then your ring finger on the fourth fret of the D string and your pinky finger on the fourth fret of the G string. It should look like this:

Guitar Power Chord

Your index finger is on the B note of the fret board, thus this is a B power chord. If you moved each finger up one fret so you index finger is on the third fret of the A string, and your ring and pinky fingers are on the 5th fret of the D and G string, the note changes. Now your index finger is on the C note of the A string, making this a C power chord.

When playing power chords, only three strings that are being engaged by your fret hand are strummed. A trick used by many guitarists when basing a power chord on the A string is to mute the low E string with the unused ring finger. This is done by resting the ring finger on the low E string so if it hit by accident an open note wonít be played.

Guitar Power Chord

All populate music uses power chord, but none so much as punk. To see power chords used to their fullest, check out punk bands like Green Day, NOFX and the Sex Pistols.


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