Power chords guitar tutorial

January 30, 2014 by Jeremy Casey Leave a Comment Power Chords are a basic guitar technique using just two notes.
Because there is no 3rd present in this chord, it is neither major or minor, therefore you can play it over a major or minor chord without affecting the sound.
These chords are generally played using a down stroke, playing the bass note first which adds to the fullness and chunkiness of the chord. Once you have fingers in the proper chord position try playing each string individually to see if all the strings are ringing. If you find a string that isn't ringing check to make sure that your finger is just behind the fret and not on top of the fret. They are used extensively in heavy rock and heavy metal music where a lot of distortion is used.

When played with a major chord, it will sound like a major chord and when played with a minor chord it will sound like a minor chord.
If you want to use a 2 note chord, just remove the highest or lowest note, depending on the sound you want.
I started looking around the web at other charts and found them confusing, I also just wasn't that familiar with power chords, so this is our stab at it.
If you use distortion over a whole chord it can sound very 'muddy', but played using 2 or 3 notes can sound very clean and effective. It's entirely up to you, but the more you play, the more you will tend to use the barre method. It's quick and efficient as you only need to worry about 1 finger placement instead of two.

For more basic instruction and examples of how to use these shapes, check out our free Power Chords and 2 Note Inversion Riffs video lessons.
This chart is a little different in that it is trying to show how the power chord is played instead of just a chart of positions.

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