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Power Chords - Great for Rock and Metal🤘

Updated: Mar 18

Power chords are mostly used in Rock and Metal music but do get used in other styles.

A power chord is just 2 notes, The root and the 5th. They have no 3rd in there which would make the chord major or minor. So power chords have no “colour” 

This is one reason they are great for rock and metal, when using lots of distortion on the guitar, a 3rd in a chord can be a bit messy. Power chords give a good clear and “powerful” sounding chord.

Looking at a G major scale here, I've highlighted the Root and 5th (also the upper octave root note) So you can see the shape of the power chord within the scale shape.

G major scale 1 octave guitar - G Power Chord


So here now we can see the G power chord on it's own

G5 G power chord guitar explained

As a power chord is only the root and 5th of a chord, they are written with 5 after them for example G5, C5, E5, A5.


These chords can also be played on the 5th string with the same shape. Here is C5

C5 C power chord. power chords explained


They can also be played in the open position here are E5 and A5

E5 power chord. Guitar chord
A5 power chord. Guitar chord

Guitar players often just use one finger to play these chords


As power chords aren't major or minor, it's very easy to come up with riffs and songs using them, just experiment with moving them around the guitar and see what you can come up with.

Here are the root notes on the E and A string so you can work out what chords you are playing.

Notes on the Guitar


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