Power chords

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Power chords

LisaS

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Joined: 06/25/20

Posts: 2

I am learning the power chords with Lisa. 2 things. 1. She teaches these lessons on an electric which seems like a longer neck than my zager parlor guitar. When she teaches A5 and goes to E5 at the 12th fret, it seems impossible to wrap my fingers around (feels like my hand has to claw around). Very akward positioning. Any tips?

2. I find I get a lot of "twanging" on my strums with these chords? No matter how much I fidget with finger placement, i'm getting the string twang. txs :)

#1

I am learning the power chords with Lisa. 2 things. 1. She teaches these lessons on an electric which seems like a longer neck than my zager parlor guitar. When she teaches A5 and goes to E5 at the 12th fret, it seems impossible to wrap my fingers around (feels like my hand has to claw around). Very akward positioning. Any tips?

2. I find I get a lot of "twanging" on my strums with these chords? No matter how much I fidget with finger placement, i'm getting the string twang. txs :)

ddiddler

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Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 123

I have both electric and an acoustic.

The electric is way easier.

More finger stretching all round using the acoustic.

Even making a d minor is a stretch on my concert acoustic.

It's just all different in the playing

#2

I have both electric and an acoustic.

The electric is way easier.

More finger stretching all round using the acoustic.

Even making a d minor is a stretch on my concert acoustic.

It's just all different in the playing

JeffS65

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Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1406

Originally Posted by: LisaS

1. I am learning the power chords with Lisa. 2 things. 1. She teaches these lessons on an electric which seems like a longer neck than my zager parlor guitar. When she teaches A5 and goes to E5 at the 12th fret, it seems impossible to wrap my fingers around (feels like my hand has to claw around). Very akward positioning. Any tips?

Don't really worry about it. A parlor sized guitar won't really allow you to get that far up. The idea is to apply the skill and with power chords, how for up you're able to go on the neck doesn't actually matter if you're doing fine on the lower frets. You're learning the shape of a power chord and applying it. If your guitar has a physical limitation for fret reach, don't sweat it.

Originally Posted by: LisaS

2. I find I get a lot of "twanging" on my strums with these chords? No matter how much I fidget with finger placement, i'm getting the string twang. txs :)

Keeping in mind that the idea with power chords is that your aren't strumming all the strings, are you just strumming the three strings of the power chord?

In this example of a C5 power chord rooted on the third fret of the fifth string, you're only striking the strings 5, 4 and 3.

1 ------X----------

2 ------X----------

3 ------5----------

4 ------5----------

5 ------3----------

6 ------X----------

Power chords are by their nature only 'striking what you are holding'. Many folks think of power chords as 'cheater' barre chords since they're easier to fret than a whole barred chord. This is why I wanted to call out that you only need strum the held strings.

Not sure if that helps.

#3

Originally Posted by: LisaS

1. I am learning the power chords with Lisa. 2 things. 1. She teaches these lessons on an electric which seems like a longer neck than my zager parlor guitar. When she teaches A5 and goes to E5 at the 12th fret, it seems impossible to wrap my fingers around (feels like my hand has to claw around). Very akward positioning. Any tips?

Don't really worry about it. A parlor sized guitar won't really allow you to get that far up. The idea is to apply the skill and with power chords, how for up you're able to go on the neck doesn't actually matter if you're doing fine on the lower frets. You're learning the shape of a power chord and applying it. If your guitar has a physical limitation for fret reach, don't sweat it.

Originally Posted by: LisaS

2. I find I get a lot of "twanging" on my strums with these chords? No matter how much I fidget with finger placement, i'm getting the string twang. txs :)

Keeping in mind that the idea with power chords is that your aren't strumming all the strings, are you just strumming the three strings of the power chord?

In this example of a C5 power chord rooted on the third fret of the fifth string, you're only striking the strings 5, 4 and 3.

1 ------X----------

2 ------X----------

3 ------5----------

4 ------5----------

5 ------3----------

6 ------X----------

Power chords are by their nature only 'striking what you are holding'. Many folks think of power chords as 'cheater' barre chords since they're easier to fret than a whole barred chord. This is why I wanted to call out that you only need strum the held strings.

Not sure if that helps.

LisaS

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Joined: 06/25/20

Posts: 2

Thanks for the replies!!!

JeffS65 that was super helpful response :) Yes, I was strumming only the held strings, but maybe I need to work on my finger placement and strength to avoid the "twang". And thank you for letting me know about not stressing on my E5 power chord.

#4

Thanks for the replies!!!

JeffS65 that was super helpful response :) Yes, I was strumming only the held strings, but maybe I need to work on my finger placement and strength to avoid the "twang". And thank you for letting me know about not stressing on my E5 power chord.