Power Chords!

Power Chords Rock

You’re going to learn one of my favorite types of chords now — the power chord! There are many reasons I love power chords, and I’ve listed a couple key reasons below. Aside from power chords sounding sweet, they are easy to play because once you memorize the shape of a power chord, you can move it around the guitar neck and play a power chord anywhere you want to. Typically, power chords are played on the bottom E and A strings, as well as the A and D strings. The shape in the TAB image to the right is an example of a G power chord, because the bottom note is a G. You can take this shape and move it around to play different power chords. Try it!


To really get the full effect of power chords, it’s best to try playing them using distortion. Distortion, which is achieved by turning up the gain setting on an amp is a guitar effect that should sound pretty familiar to you. Most guitar amplifiers have a distortion channel and a clean channel, so if your amp has a distortion channel, go ahead and switch it on for the next couple of chapters. If you don’t have a distortion channel, or you’re playing an acoustic guitar, that’s no problem. These lessons will still apply to you, as power chords are important, with or without distortion. 

If the distortion or gain settings on your amp aren’t quite what you’re looking for, I highly recommend checking out the BOSS DS-1X Distortion pedal.

We’re going to move on to play the same melodies from another lesson, only this time, we’re going to play them using power chords. 

Power Chord Example #1 — Smoke on the Water

Power Chord Example #2 — Seven Nation Army

Power Chord Example #3 — 007 Theme