Advanced guitar Power Chords
As you know by now, power chords are easy! So when we talk about advanced power chords for guitar, we really just mean the next stage in learning for a beginner! If you start off with the Basic Power Chords tab of this site, then progress to this page when you've learnt the basics, you'll pretty much know all there is about guitar power chords!
Three Note Power Chords
Although a power chord consists of only two different notes that are always five steps apart, such as A–E or C–G, the actual chord that you play may involve more than two strings on your guitar, because you may be doubling-up on the root note. Playing three-string (or three-note) power chords gives a fuller sound than the simpler two-note versions.
Try playing the F5 Power Chord described in Basic Power Chords, then add your fourth finger (pinky) on the 4th string, at the 4th fret. This adds a second F note to your chord, an octave above the root F note. Now strumming the three fretted strings still gives a Power Chord of F5, but with the notes F-C-F, giving a fuller sound than the two-note version. Using the Power Chord Trainer helps to stabilise your first and third fingers in the correct place, leaving you free to place the fourth finger more easily.
You can, of course, now move your E-root, three-note
Power Chord up and down the neck of your guitar to play different chords. Just remember that your pinky will always be on the fourth string, on the same fret as your third finger.
"A Root" Power Chords
In Basic Power Chords and in Three Note Power Chords, we've concentrated on E-root moveable chords. But you can also play "A root" power chords, simply using the same finger spacing but with the first finger playing the root note on the A (fifth) string instead of the E (sixth) string. Although A shape power chords are just as easy to fret, they are more difficult to strum as it is important that the E string is not played. The best way to silence the E string is to "damp" it be gently placing a spare finger on the string - some people also do this using their thumb, wrapping it around the top of the neck, a technique that is easier with big hands or a slim guitar neck!
Playing a combination of E and A rooted is excellent way of utilising Power Chords and is also a great introduction to the principles of playing barre chords.
Try playing a standard 12 bar blues pattern in G, using E and A-string rooted Power Chords.
Play the G5 chord rooted on the 6th string, 3rd fret
Play the C5 chord rooted on the 5th string, 3rd fret
Play the D5 chord rooted on the 5th string, 5th fret
G G G G - G G G G - G G G G - G G G G
C C C C - C C C C - G G G G - G G G G
D D D D - C C C C - G G G G - D D D D
Palm muting is simply resting your palm (gently, meaning light pressure but with decent force) upon the bridge part of the strings, chunky sound. Palm muting adds the effect of dampening the notes and reducing the sustain. Now, since your palm is resting near the higher pitch tone of the strings it’s a good idea to have your pickup selected to the bridge pickup. This will pick up the area around your palm than the flabby strings in the neck position, though I’m not saying to not mess around with tonality, that’s how you get more sounds! Keep your palm directly on the area where the strings go into the bridge.
Palm muting also, aside from chunkiness, adds a nice percussive sound to metal, rock, and even blues. Blues players use palm muting and to get a bassier sound and ii is a technique that even works on acoustic guitars.
Good strumming technique is an important factor when playing Power Chords. In most palm muting you want to strum down because you’re usually strumming only the two (or three) notes in the power chord.