Register   Login
  Browse    Private Lessons    
Lyle Ronglien >> Beginning Guitar III - Simple Chords >>

Beginning Guitar III - Lesson 5

Power Chords - Part 2

Lyle: Last lesson you worked on power chords using the big 6th string as the root note. This lesson you'll work on power chords that use the 5th string as the root note. Here's the natural notes up the 5th string to refresh your memory with. Click on the TAB and play it back so you can "see and hear it" on the virtual fretboard:

natural notes on the 5th string

Lyle: The hard part about playing a power chord using the 5th string as the bass/root note is muting all the other strings.

power chord off the 5th string


Lyle: Use the tip of your index finger to touch the 6th string so it gets muted. You don't need to palm mute the 6th string. Learn to mute it with the tip of your index finger. Here's a close-up video clip of this:

playing power chords off the 5th string

Lyle: Let's try a chord progression using just power chords off the 5th string. Here's the chord chart:

exercise 1

Lyle: Here's the TAB so you know where to play them. Use your index and 3rd fingers:

exercise 1

exercise 1

Lyle: In this exercise you are striking the power chord on beat 1 of each measure. When playing the open A5 power chord, try muting the 6th string with the thumb of your fretting hand.

Lyle: Remember to click on the TAB file, load the media, and play it back so you can "see and hear it" on the virtual fretboard.

misterflub: Dumb question, but isn't it just easier to precisely hit the chord only on the 5th and 4th strings, avoiding the 6th?

Lyle: Yes, but what if you're running across the stage and doing a dive off the drum riser and have to hit that open A5 power chord?, you'll want to have the 6th string muted. It's just a precaution to mute the other strings so you don't have to be so darn carefull with the picking/strumming hand.

Lyle: Once you feel you have a good idea how to play the exercise 1 all the way through, try playing along to this looping jam track:

Jam Track - exercise 1

Bigtx: I noticed you wiggle or shake the strings slightly?

Lyle: When I hold out notes and even some chords, I might give them a little wiggle/vibrato to help them sustain a bit. It alsot sounds good most of the time to add a little vibrato.

Bigtx: It looks cool..

Lyle: It's fun, try it!

Al: Okay, I'm new at this. Should you slide your fingers down the string or pick them up and move them between chords?

Lyle: Very good question! Slide your fingers to the next position since they are going to be on the same strings and power chord shape.

Bigtx: Should we mix in what we learned last week on the 6th string?

Lyle: No, not here, not yet. Focus on just power chords off the 5th string for this lesson.

Bill: What should we be doing next?

Lyle: Let's try another progression. Here's the chord chart:

exercise 2

Lyle: Here's where you should play these chords off the 5th string:

exercise 2

exercise 2

Lyle: Just like in exercise 1, hit each power chord on beat 1 of each measure. Be sure to listen to the TAB file so you get this right. This is pretty easy, a descending chord progression, going down the neck. It has a heavy rock sound to it.

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track you should practice playing along with:

Jam Track - exercise 2

Bigtx: Is the 5th note of the scale that makes up the chord?

Lyle: Yes, the 1st and 5th note of the scale, played together, make the power chord. Now let's try a variation of that last exercise. Here's the same 4 chords but in a different order:

exercise 3

Lyle: In a true rock rhythm fashion, I want you to hit the power chord 8 times per measure like this:

exercise 3

exercise 3

Joel: Ooh... for those about to rock we salute you! getting into Angus Young mode. :)

Lyle: Exactly, AC/DC style uses power chords all the time.

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track for exercise 3:

Jam Track - exercise 3

smitty: Lyle if we add the one note from the 4th (G) string, is this still a power chord?

Lyle: Yes, it would still be a power chord. You're only adding an octave of the root note on top, making it louder and fuller sounding.

Lyle: Next is a power chord test. I'll give you a chord chart and a jam track and you need to figure out where to play all the power chords using only the 5th string as your root, like you've been doing. I'll put the answer in TAB at the bottom of this lesson.

power chord test

Jam Track - power chord test

Scroll down for answers to the power chord test

smitty: This is pretty cool gang, not only are we learning power chords, but also the notes on each string as we go along...

Bigtx: What Riff CD-ROM would compliment this lesson?

Lyle: Bigtx, you might try  Angus Young - AC/DC Style CD.

Lyle: You are right smitty, and you should try to memorize the names of the notes on the 5th string.

Lyle: Your goal for this lesson is to be able to play along to all the jam tracks for ex. 1, 2, 3, and the power chord test. Then review the previous lesson about power chords on the 6th string again (Lesson 4 of this series).

Any questions before we take a break?

Bigtx: Power chords......are they on the 4th string as well?

Lyle: Yes, but we don't play them there too much.

Joel: So they're mostly 6 and 5th strings?

Lyle: Yes Joel, mostly off the 6th and 5th strings because they're heavier sounding for....POWER!!

misterflub: I think I may be a candidate for private online lessons. This is an incredible tool you have here, but I think I may need to be in the next level. It really is the best tool I've seen yet.

Lyle: Thanks, let me know, I can make a custom lesson for you. Email me at

Lyle: That's about it for this lesson. Thanks everyone for coming and with your questions. In the next CD, Beginning Guitar IV, you'll be learning bar chords, the moveable chords you can play anywhere on the neck.

Lyle: Here's the answer to the power chord test:

power chord test

Lyle: Thanks again, see you soon! Stay tuned! - Lyle

<< load notation from left
<< load audio from left
<< load audio from left

There are no ratings yet
Support    About Us    Join the Mailing List    Teachers Wanted
Copyright (c) 2024 Riff Interactive   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement