I Never Knew Guitar Chords Could be So Easy
Are you struggling with learning guitar chords? The sheer number of them is enough to put many would be guitarists off altogether. Too many times I’ve heard people complain that they gave up learning the guitar because they “just couldn’t get that F Chord”, or their fingers just didn’t have the required dexterity, or their hands were too small.
That’s all nonsense – anyone who is prepared to put in the practice can become proficient on the guitar. But, if you’re really struggling to see any progress, it can be hard to keep going.
I’ve got to say that I went through a similar phase shortly after I began learning guitar. I really struggled with some of those tricky chords. I was really fed up and felt that my playing wasn’t improving despite many hours of practice every week. I was on the verge of giving my guitar away to a friend, when that same friend introduced me to a type of chord that set me on my course to being a guitarist.
The chords he showed me were power chords.
Learning Guitar Chords the Easy Way
Power chords are fantastically versatile and their simplicity means that they are brilliantly easy to learn. Simply put, a power chord is a chord that contains only the root note and the fifth; they are often written in notation with a 5. So the E power chord would be written E5.
Playing them on the guitar is easy and, once you’ve learned the basic shape, you can play them up and down the guitar fretboard to achieve any pitch.
How to Play Power Chords
So how do you play these wonderful chords? Well, lets take the E power chord (or E5) referred to above. This bad boy is probably the easiest chord ever because you only need to use one finger of your left hand.
You play the 6th and 5th strings only (don’t play any of the other strings) whilst holding down the 2nd fret of the 5th string (see diagram). Sometimes you can add the octave of the root note, which in this case would simply mean playing the 2nd fret of the 4th string to get an E an octave higher than the note being played on the open 6th string. This changes the character of the note slightly and can produce a slightly fuller sound.
Now you’ve played an open power chord, simply move it up the fretboard using your first and third fingers on your left hand. This is a pretty easy shape to manage with your left hand so most beginners don’t have too much trouble with it. You would play the shape on the third fret of the 6th string (first finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string and third finger on the 5th fret of the 5th string) to produce a G power chord and so on up the neck.
Power chords are really easy to play and can be used with pretty much any scale if chosen judiciously. They have saved many a budding guitarist from the demotivating struggles of learning guitar chords and provide the satisfaction and sense of “I’m getting somewhere” that spurs you on the greater achievements further down the line.
So, if you’re interested in learning guitar chords, get practising these power chords today.