how to play power chords???

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by Sumanovo razor, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    what are the fundamentals of power chords???
  2. harmonizer

    harmonizer The Son of the Moon

    as we all know, there are 12 notes that are used to create any type of music....

    a basic powerchord is formed when a note with its 5th or 7th note is played together...

    on notations :

    C1 C# D D# E (F) F# G G# A A# B (C2)

    here, the notes in the brackets () are together forming F powerchord
    C2 is the 7th note from F and F is the 5th note from C....but combination of C1 and F will make a C powerchord....

    in a guitar with standard EADGBE are the powerchords....

    D |-----------------------
    A |------7--9--10---------
    E |------5--7--8----------

    these are some basic powerchords A B C respectively

    u can add an octave of the 1st note to have a rich sounding powerchord..

    D |------7--9--10---------
    A |------7--9--10---------
    E |------5--7--8----------

    hope this is useful....will try to help u more :)
  3. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    ow this the correct funda
    suppose we play a barre chord let say Amajor then for playing power chord we will have to play only the last 3 strings of the A major barre chord...
    Do we use 1st 3 strings for playing power chords ???

    how the power chords are named as in do we say major minor or something else...
  4. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Power chords are just 5 chords. For example in your case, A5 will consist of A(Root) and E(5th). As this does not have a minor or major tonality, you can specify them as simply the root chord viz. 'A Power Chord' or 'A5 Chord'.

    You can play these anywhere on the neck like other chords but depending on the style you play, you might want to play them in specific octaves. Again, these are not hard rules and your creativity determines where you can go with it. For funk and reggae in which the song runs on a bass groove and the rhythm just adds spice to the music, the power chords are usually played on the higher octaves. In metal and rock where the guitars and bass double each other, the rhythm is played in lower octaves. For pop and jazz styles, its usually used somewhere in the middle.
  5. horsesmouth

    horsesmouth Active Member

    Power chords can't be major or minor as they lack the 'third' note of their scale.
    From any note, pick the 1st and 5th note of its major scale, it becomes its power chord.
    For eg., a G power chord can be of any of these three forms:
    D--5--------(root of higher octave)
    G--13--------(root of higher octave)
    e---3-------(root of higher octave
    You can construct any power chord from these forms, up or down the fretboard.
    Still, the first two forms are prevalent, maybe because they sound more bassy.
    It probably sounds too simple to be true, even I was surprised when I looked up for the same.
  6. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    they mostly consist of only 2 notes but we can add another note
    they are neither happy sounding as major chords nor sad sounding as minor chords
    u cant really describe their sound
  7. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    Power chords are the 5 chords...A5, B5, C5. While they themselves cannot be classified as major or minor, they do represent the major/minor of the scale they are in. A5 F5 G5 in C would represent Am, F major and G major even though they themselves are not.

    Also, you normally play just two notes in a power chord. There is also the inverted power chord where you play 5 and 1(8) instead of 1 and is done in smoke on the water.

  8. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    so is it compulsory to add the 5th note from the scale..,??? Cant we use any other note except the 5th with the root...

    i've heard that power chords are dyads which means playing 2 notes at a time...

    in C A5 G5 F5 will represent Aminor Gmajor and Fmajor
    didnt get it?
    Is that a power 'chord progression'
    then in that case D5 and E5 will be Dminor and Eminor
    am i correct?
  9. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    Assuming that the key is C major or A minor, yes. If you add another note instead of the 5th, it's no longer a "power chord".
  10. wylder

    wylder New Member

    That's the chord formula... You can use any number of notes and inversions of the 2 notes in the chord :p

    If you remove the fifth you would be playing in octaves, not chords. hence it is the most minimalistic chord possible.

    C A5 G5 F5 is a very common chord progression. If you need an example, listen to "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors.

    Yup, D5 and E5 can be used Dm and Em (or EMaj if you are using the harmonic/melodic minor key). Just be careful with the dim chord i.e., B as the 5th in B (F#) may not always work on key. You may be better off with B + G (augmented 5th).
  11. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    u can try different notes in 2 note combination
    though it may sound good
    it isnt a power chord
  12. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    why it is named as power chord???

    ya i've heard of the song two princess but never tried it

    the 5th note is according to chromatics or scales in
    if we take the root as C
    then chromatic wise CE
    AND scale wise 5th note would be CG

    If a chord is not a 5th or power chord then what it is called ??? 'powerless' chord ;)

    as far as i know melodic and harmonic minors are different...
  13. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    these are the combinations u can get

    4 -----7----6----8-----5--5---
    5 -----5----5----5-----7--6---
    6 ----------------------------
  14. horsesmouth

    horsesmouth Active Member

    There's too much confusion on a relatively simple topic.
    Power chords, as I take it, were called so, because of the form of music they are usually found in; Rock, mostly with/sometimes without distortion. Power stance, for rock guitarists, comes with a feeling, as do power chords.

    The fifth is not chromatic, its the fifth note in the major scale of the root note.

    A chord can have the first, third and fifth note (and its augmented, or diminished form). There's no other variations possible for the fifth. There's names for each of those types.
    If it has only first and fifth (no third), its called a power chord.
    If there's further additions like the 7th, 9th or 11th, its a different topic and not related to power chords.
  15. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Dude, no offence meant but aren't you the same guy who posted in the below thread?

    Check up with your physics teacher why the six quarks are named up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom ;)

    When you have your chordal theory down so much, why would you ask such ignorant questions as that? You know that all chord formulae use tone intervals and not semi-tones?

    Yes, they are but the beauty of scales is that you can switch between them in a solo if you know what you are doing. In both harmonic and melodic forms (ascending melodic only if you use natural minor mode during descend) of a minor key, the Major 7th note is used. In such cases a major 5 chord fits best. Eg: In C major or A minor when you use G# note in a minor context, E major chord works better in the background rather than a E minor.
  16. horsesmouth

    horsesmouth Active Member

    People can either be self-taught or have too many questions or vague thoughts. Not both. Its dangerous !
  17. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    OMG so much of discussion over somthing as simple and basic as "power chords".

    Now I wonder if there would be so much discussion had I created a thread about Playing the Perfect 5th or 4th Interval.
  18. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    ya i was bit confused when i saw harmonizer's post...thats it...okay i understood

  19. Sumanovo razor

    Sumanovo razor New Member

    dont worry wylder i didnt give any wrong information in the complex chords thread...
    Its just that i dont use power chords and was bit confused and wanted some clarifications... :)
  20. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    Accumulation of information is always a good thing...I hope you use some of it too.

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