Over the last three weeks, you learned some classic rock guitar chord progressions using the open A, D, E, & G chords. This week, you’ll learn the most mighty chord shape of all: the power chord! Buckle up because this rides about to get bumpy!
What’s a Power Chord?
What’s a power chord you wonder? Ha! Power chords are only the single mightiest and most useful guitar chord of all. In fact, if you could learn just one chord shape, then you would be well-served to make it the power chord! Why? Well, power chords—which consists of just two notes: the root and the fifth—are the most efficient chords in the world! With just one shape, you can cover any major or minor chord progression.
Why can I Replace Major & Minor Chords with Power Chords?
Think about it this way, there are 12 tones in Western music. On account of that, you have twelve corresponding major and minor chords. That’s a total of 24 chords of various shapes. Each of which, takes time, energy, and effort to master. Since power chords are neither major or minor—it’s the missing third that makes them so mighty—they can replace either major or minor chords. This leaves us with some very simple math: 1 Power Chord Shape = 24 Major & Minor Chord Shapes.
How Do I Play Power Chords on the Guitar?
The diagram below features the G power chord. Musicians use the number 5 to communicate power chords. Whenever you see a chord with the number five next to it, that’s a power chord. Power chords are named after the root note featured in red. In this case, you would place your index finger on the third fret of the low E-string and your ring finger on the fifth fret of the A-string. Bonus points, if you can add your pinky on the fifth fret of the D-string. If you can manage that, then you’re still playing just two notes—G & D—but you have just added the octave, which is G.
The great thing about this chord shape is it’s a moveable chord shape. That means, you can move it up one fret to play a G#5, two frets to play an A5, or anywhere else on the fretboard. For that reason, it’s essential that you learn the names of the notes on at least the low E-string and the A-string!
Remember, the virtuous circle of guitar: the more you practice, the better you get. The better you get, the more you practice. You can contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page if you have any questions!
Free Backing Track Provided by Band-in-a-Box
Click on the play button below to jam along with the free guitar backing track. This guitar backing track for kids is provided by Band-in-a-Box, an incredibly powerful backing track generator! Learn more at Band-in-a-Box.
GET A BLACK BELT IN ROCK!
The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.