Guitar Power Chords For Beginners

What Are Power Chords?

Power chords are used quite often in rock and heavy metal music on electric guitars, but you can also hear them in other types of music. Technically speaking, power chords are not true chords. A chord is made up of 3 or more notes. Power chords are only made up of 2 different notes.

 

Before you can fully understand what a power chord is, let us take a look at a true major chord. A major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of its corresponding major scale.

For example, let us look at the C Major Scale. The C Major Scale is made up of the following notes:

C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

To play a C Major Chord, we will need to play the 1st , 3rd and 5th notes of the C Scale, which are: C E & G

As you can see from this diagram the C Major Chord is only made up of the notes C E & G

The C Major Guitar Chord

Let’s do one more. Let’s take a look at the A Major Scale.

The notes of the A Major Scale are:

A
B
C#
D
E
F#
G#
A
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

To play the A Major Chord, we will need to play the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of this scale, which are: A C# & E

As you can see from the diagram below the A Major Chord only uses the notes A C# & E

A Major Chord

 

Now to play Power Chords, you only play the 1st and 5th notes of the scale. Let’s look at both a Major Chord and a Power Chord side by side to help illustrate this point.

C Major Power Chord

We know that a C Major Chord is made up of the notes C, E and G, so to play a C Power chord, we would only play the notes C and G as C is the 1st note of the C Major Scale and G is the 5th note of the C Major Scale.

Be careful with power chords.  They are enjoyable and easy to play, but because they are so easy to play, beginners often get too caught up in them and neglect learning the real chords. Don’t do this! Learning real chords is very important to your growth as a guitar player.

Power Chords Chart

Below you will find side by side comparisons of true chords vs.  power chords so that you can see the difference.

A Major Chord A Power Chord
B Power Chord
C Power Chord
D Power Chord
E Major Chord E Power Chord
F Power Chord
G Major Chord G Power Chord

Video Lessons

So now that you have read over my little introduction and looked over the diagrams, I thought perhaps a few video lessons from YouTube would help strengthen your understanding .

Video 1: Power Chords Part 1 JustinGuitar.Com

Learn how to play Power Chords in this two part lesson. This part covers Power Chords with a 6th string root note. You will learn about muting the strings and about root notes too.

Video 2: Power Chords Part 2 JustinGuitar.com

Learn how to play Power Chords in this two part lesson. This part covers Power Chords with a 5th string root note. You will learn about muting the 6th string and more about root notes too.

These videos were created by one of my favorite guitar teachers on YouTube, Justin Sandercoe. Justin is an excellent teacher.

I highly recommend you visit Justin’s YouTube Profile for more awesome video lessons like the ones below:

===> Click here to visit Justin’s YouTube Profile.

Be sure to also check out his website by following the link below. On Justin’s site you can learn more about him as well as find more great lessons!

===> Click here to visit his site

Comments

17 Comments on "Guitar Power Chords For Beginners"

  1. Anonymous on Tue, 17th Feb 2009 9:01 am 

    I love your chords charts they are great. This is a cool site!!

    Thanks for sharing you knowledge

  2. Dylan on Sun, 15th Mar 2009 2:57 am 

    Thanks. This was incredibly helpful!

  3. gohan on Thu, 18th Jun 2009 9:40 am 

    hey!!!
    this was totally cool.
    i learned a lot!!
    and in just a little time.
    thanks!!!

  4. MikeZ on Wed, 24th Jun 2009 2:10 am 

    I really learned a lot from that.. thanx, man.. you’re great..

  5. shashi on Thu, 2nd Jul 2009 12:58 pm 

    wow thanks dude its so easy to understand

  6. hyoid on Sat, 24th Oct 2009 12:29 am 

    so much to learn, so little time. You are one of the Greatest. IMMHO. thanks

  7. nigel on Sat, 20th Feb 2010 8:54 am 

    I really learned a lot from that.. thanx, man.. you’re great..

  8. Barry on Sat, 27th Feb 2010 1:58 am 

    Great teaching.Much better than most of the DVD’s on lessons.Your heads up in my book.

  9. Barry on Sat, 27th Feb 2010 2:00 am 

    Great guitar site.I’ve learned more in the last half hour than I have in the past week.Thanx much,Just keep on keeping on.

  10. seth on Sat, 23rd Oct 2010 8:18 am 

    that was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. jimbo on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 7:07 am 

    keep it up Guys … it is more helpful when you compare to the other website of guitar lessons … rOckin roLlin ….

  12. soham chakraborty on Sun, 27th Mar 2011 8:25 am 

    thanks man. i think you’r the best guitar teacher in the net.

  13. Raghav on Sun, 29th May 2011 2:45 pm 

    thanks mate, you saved my soul, really great help
    thanks a lot, and yeah i love these chord charts… :)

  14. leo s robles on Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 8:09 am 

    Thanks Bro it helps me a lot …^-^

  15. ben on Tue, 6th Sep 2011 6:22 pm 

    I love you!!! haha thx sooo much!

  16. yookarin on Sat, 17th Nov 2012 1:03 pm 

    I actually learned to play the guitar!!!! great crash course!

  17. ROGER DAVIS on Mon, 18th Nov 2013 6:21 pm 

    This is easiest guitar training I have ever t’ri end, and have been trying to learn guitar to 40 years. Thank you Justin. I will continue following your method. Roger Davis

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