Playing Power Chords

If you’re into guitar music with a harder/heavier sound such as hard rock, punk and metal you’ll definitely need to learn how to play power chords.

Here we’ll look at how to play simple 2 string power chords on the guitar. The great thing about power chords is that there is only just one basic shape to learn. They’re called power chords as they have a powerful clear sound that works well with a loud distorted electric guitar. They’re also sometimes called 5 or 5th chords as the only use the root and 5th of the chord. This eliminates the minor or major 3rd making them sound clear and simple.

Watch the power chords video lesson.

Wild Tune

We will look a the song called “Wild Tune” to start playing power chords. To play the A power chord place finger 1 on the 5th fret of the 6th string and finger 3 on the 7th fret of the 5th string.

A Power ChordA Power Chord

Muting Unwanted Strings

The trick with power chords is to ensure that you only strum the 2 strings that your fingers are holding down. You can make things a little easier by muting the other 4 strings by lightly touching them with the side of the 1st finger so if you accidentally strum them they won’t ring out.

Muting strings when playing power chords

To play the D power chord we will simply move the same shape over one string to the 5th and 4th strings. Again muting the other strings can help preventing unwanted strings ringing out when you strum. You can also try muting the 6th string with the top edge of finger 1.

D Power ChordD Power Chord

The last power chord is E which is played by sliding the shape up 2 frets with finger 1 on the 7th fret and the finger 3 on the 9th fret.

e_power_chord5E Power Chord

Once you get all 3 chords working well with muting and/or just strumming the 2 strings connect them together to play Wild Tune as shown in the sheet music below.


 Mp3 Track

Wild Tune Power Chords | Download
Listen to the audio of Wild Tune being played using power chords.

This is a small sample from the book Learning To Play The Guitar – An Absolute Beginners Guide now available at

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