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Tips on Playing Guitar Power Chords

Apr 11, 2008
Power Chords are an important aspect of playing lead guitar and lies somewhere between basic and intermediate guitar playing. Mostly used in classic rock music, power chords can be used in progressive, metal and other forms of rock music.

The power chords sound great on stage in a live gig but it is not something that you can learn overnight. You have to practice. The one good thing about power chords is that they can make your lead guitar scream..real loud! They are easy and great to play around with.

Most guitarists don't consider power chords as real chords as it doesn't have 3 notes or more. Power chords normally have around 2 different types of notes. Some of the music players especially those who are good at playing lead guitar call it the power intervals as a result of the 2 different notes it contains. Generally you will find that a power chord consists of a root, which is a perfect 5th interval. The root note gets doubled at a rather high pitch and is called an octave. So if you're thinking of using power chords for playing lead guitar then you will be playing a perfect 5th interval.

One of the reasons why power chords are used for playing lead guitar is because you can play them anywhere on the neck and they will help you to render a harmonic texture to any song. Power chords never have any minor or major third intervals. They mostly consist of the 1, 5 and maybe another 1, which is an octave higher. Power chords are played on the bottom 2 or 3 strings of your lead guitar and are used mainly for distortion.

The best example of power chords is the intro of Dreamtheather's Pull me Under.Another reason why power chords are used in lead guitar is because when you try to play a lead using distortion, strumming on a full chord will definitely create a high level of dissonance. Apart from that if there is a fast chord change then it is easier and better to use power chords for playing fast.The two notes that are used in power chords on a lead guitar are the 1 and 5 degrees.

So we will need to start with 2 notes on power chords that have the root on the E-string. The power chord on the E string is the E5, which will also be called the E5. This two note power chord will use only the root chord and the fifth chord, which will be E and B.

One of the most popular guitarists who have played the power chord successfully on his lead guitar is Pete Townshend. According to some of the guitar magazines like the Free-lance Star, the man who invented the power chord is Link Wray of the Link Ray and his Ray men. Bet you didn't know that!
About the Author
E Walker is the founder of Planet of Rock. For Free Guitar Lessons and to get tips on how to play lead guitar, visit Planet Of Rock today - Your #1 Lead Guitarist Resource
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