12 Awesome Power Chords You Need to Know

What are Power Chords?

Rock genre uses Power chords.

The reason is that these chords produce more massive sound than regular chords.

These chords are A5, F5, G5, etc.

basic power chords

You don’t need to go deep into this theory, but it is essentially like this; Two to three chords make up power chords, usually the root and fifth note (root-fifth chords). Thus the chord name A5 (A as the root and five as the 5th note). They’re neither considered as a major nor a minor chord. It’s like they are classified as their own.

Power chords are not only root-fifth chords. There are also different types like fifth on the bottom, inverted power chord, minor 6th, etc. For the sake of this article, I will only be teaching the so-called basic root-fifth chords.

power chords blog

Guitar Power Chords Chart

If you want to be in the rock genre, here are the basic power chords which you must learn:

12 Power Chords

Since these power chords should only have two or three strings playing, you must mute the rest of the strings.

There are two ways to achieve this: using your index finger, mute the higher sounding strings.

Since there are power chords in 4th string and below such as Eb5 (as shown above), you have to use a technique called palm muting. To mute the lower sounding strings, you have to rest your palm on the low-E string.

Playability

The chords above are not the only way to play it. I just chose the easiest way to fret the chords, which can be movable and easy to reach. 

Example, A5 is played by fretting the 6th string, 5th fret, and 5th string, 7th fret (as shown above). Instead of reaching to the 7th fret it can be played like this:

A5 chord (alternative)
5th string open, 4th and 3rd string on the second fret

The positioning of these chords will depend on the piece you’re playing, and whichever is easier for you to reach.

Final Words of Advice

Rock genres generally use the power chords for they produce heavier sounds. These chords are mostly played with 2-3 strings, which are composed of the root and fifth notes, thus the name root-fifth power chords.

Power chords and as well as barre chords are movable chords because instead of shifting to different strings, you can stay in the same strings and move a few frets to get to the next chord.

When playing power chords, you have to mute some strings which can be done in two ways:

  • Using the index fingers to mute the higher sounding strings just like a barre chord. Instead of applying pressure to the rest of the strings, you need to lightly touch the strings so that they won’t produce any sound.
  • If the chord is in the higher strings, like 3rd and 2nd strings, your index finger won’t be able to mute the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings. That’s where the palm muting comes in. You can do this by resting your palm above the strings that need to be played.
  • Example, using the Eb5 (as shown above) power chord:
    • Eb5 (4th string on 1st fret, 3rd string on the 3rd fret and the rest are muted).
    • You can mute the 2nd and the 1st strings by lightly touching those strings using your index finger that is pressing the 4th string.
    • You can use palm muting in order to mute the 5th and 6th strings by resting your palm in those strings while playing; or
    • You could also slightly touch the 5th string with the tip of your index finger and mute the 6th string using your thumb.

What are you waiting for? Start Rocking!

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