In Depth Guitar Lessons and Expert Help


March 12, 2013

Guitar Power Chords

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Written by: Mike Abbott

A Power Chord
is a two or three-note chord that’s easy, fun, and POWERFUL!!

  1. Start with a 2-note power chord. When you get good at
    that, switch to the three-note power chord
  2. Angle the finger on the 5th string to mute out the 4th
    string(See Picture)
  3. Use a quick, wristy strum – listen carefully to the audio
  4. Practice switching to and from all three power chords.
Check out these songs which use the power chord:
Blink 182 – “Damn It”, “All the Small Things”
Many Metallica songs
Soundgarden – “My Wave”
A picture of a two-note power chord


The 2-Note Power Chord

(G5 and A5 can be played with 1st and 4th finger if it is easier)

Learn the two-note power chord

Having trouble reading these guitar chord grids? Click

The 3-Note Power Chord

On the E5, flatten your 1st finger over the 2nd fret on only
those two strings

Learn the three-note power chord

Power Chord Ex. 1

An easy power chord exercise

Strumming with the power chord

  1. Play the exercises with all down strums
  2. Practice switching between the E5, G5, and A5 power chord.
  3. When you are confident with switching, play exercises 2 and
    3 slowly.
  4. In exercise 3, strum only the sixth string
    on the last strum of each measure.
  5. Now try exercises 2 and 3 with palm muting.
  6. Now try exercises 2 and 3 alternating palm muting for one measure,
    no palm muting the next.

Use all Down Strums

2 power chord exercises for rock guitar



  • Practice these Exercises with the metronome set to somewhere
    between 40 and 100.


About the Author

Mike Abbott
Mike is a pro guitarist and music educator.  He has performed with such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones Horns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Burt Bacharach.   After spending much of his music career in New York City, He now is a very busy guitarist in the Denver area, performing and teaching extensively. Mike's latest work is a book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, published by Harper Collins and released in December 2012.



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