Power Chords

There are sooooo many legendary rock guitar songs built, largely, and even entirely, on power chords.

If you are new to power chords you are about to discover something wonderful, not that everything should be a power chord but, truly, power chords can be, well, POWERFUL. To understand power chords we need to look back to our basic lesson on chord construction. You will recall that when we construct a major chord that we build our chord around the 1, the 3 and the 5 notes. The 1 note is the root note, or tonic note, the most critical note to the chord as it defines the chord. The next most important note is the 5th note, also called the dominant. The 5th is a strong note and combining just the 1st and 5th notes we create a power chord.

Now for the sweetness of the power chord. The power chord form, see below, is easily formed with the first finger on the root (tonic) or 1st note with the first finger and the 5th note two frets below and one string down. Also, there is another root note two frets down and two strings down (see the chord charted below). This form moves up and down and all around with the first finger's note naming the chord. Power chords are written as C5, for a C power chord, etc.

Great example of Power Chords = Greenday's Boulevard of Broken Dreams

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