Power Chords
Power chords are played are played without any Open strings and only contain the Root and the Fifth notes of the Chord.   The name, "Power Chord" is a slang term for a chord that has only 2-3 notes since you can also play just the top 2 notes of a Power Chord instead of all 3. Two of the 3 notes are the same, just an Octave apart in pitch.

These are the easiest chords to learn since there are only 2 of them and they are moveable chord forms allowing you play up and down the Guitar Neck.

To use them effectively you should get to know the Note names of the 6th & 5th Strings of the Fretboard.

The Power Chord symbol is usually represented by the number 5, such as;
G5 - C5 - D5 and so on.

Power Chord
Root on the 6th String
The Root of the G Power Chord is located on the 3rd fret of the 6th string.  


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Power Chord
Root on the 5th String
The Root of the C Power Chord is located on the 3rd fret of the 5th string.  



Power Chord
Root on the 5th String
The Root of the D Power Chord is located on the 5th fret of the 5th string.  

This is the same as the C Power Chord played 2 frets higher as shown.


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I - IV - V  Chord Progression

By combining Power Chords played off the 6th and 5th strings, a simple solution with the least amount of hand movement (within 3 Frets), allows you to play the most common Chord Progression used in most styles of Music,
the  I - IV - V Chord Progression.

In the Key of G Major the Power chords would be G5 - C5 - D5 as seen below. Remember that Power Chords are moveable patterns so to play a song in any Key, all you need to do is find the Starting note of the 1st Chord on the 6th string and use the pattern shown on the Fretboard below.

For more info on Chord Progressions, see our Theory Lesson on Chord Scales
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