Guitar Chords - Power Chords

Power chords, also known as root-fifth or fifth chords, are played by using the first, fifth and often the octave notes of the major scale.

Power chords can be played up and down the neck of the guitar, making them a very versatile guitar chord. Power chords do not use the 3rd note of the scale in the chord, so it is neither a major or minor chord.

Power Chord Forms

Power chord on 6th string
6th String
Power chord on 5th string
5th String
Power chord on 4th string
4th String
Power chord on 3rd string
3rd String

Power chords are frequently used in a variety of rock styles like metal, alternative, punk and other heavier sounding music genres that use more overdrive or distortion in their guitar tone.

Power Chord Guitar Tabs

Power Chords are labeled by their root note with the number 5

   D5        C5        G5                 
e|---------|---------|---------|---------|
B|---------|---------|---------|---------|
G|-7-7-7-7-|-5-5-5-5-|---------|---------|
D|-7-7-7-7-|-5-5-5-5-|-5-5-5-5-|-5-5-5-5-|
A|-5-5-5-5-|-3-3-3-3-|-5-5-5-5-|-5-5-5-5-|
E|---------|---------|-3-3-3-3-|-3-3-3-3-|

Some power chords can be played using an open string

   A5             D5 C5  A5             D5 C5 
e|---------------------|---------------------|
B|----------------3----|----------------3----|
G|-2-2--2-2--2-2--2--5-|-2-2--2-2--2-2--2--5-|
D|-2-2--2-2--2-2--0--5-|-2-2--2-2--2-2--0--5-|
A|-0-0--0-0--0-0-----3-|-0-0--0-0--0-0-----3-|
E|---------------------|---------------------|

Power Chords with root notes on the G or 3rd string and the D or 4th string:

   C5        G5        F5                 
e|-8-8-8-8-|---------|---------|---------|
B|-8-8-8-8-|-8-8-8-8-|-6-6-6-6-|-6-6-6-6-|
G|-5-5-5-5-|-7-7-7-7-|-5-5-5-5-|-5-5-5-5-|
D|---------|-5-5-5-5-|-3-3-3-3-|-3-3-3-3-|
A|---------|---------|---------|---------|
E|---------|---------|---------|---------|