Left Handed Power Chords
Power to Lefties!
Left Handed Power Chords have finally entered the building! There have been a number of requests for these charts and they are finally here. First, we need to look at a little theory.
Power chords are written as 5 chords ... a chord name followed by the number 5, e.g., A5, B5, C5 etc., They consist of the 1st (root) and 5th notes of any given major scale with a chord formula of 1-5.
Whenever you see a 5 chord, it is a Power Chord. They can also be played with the inclusion of an octave above the root note or 5th note depending on the sound you are after.
Here are some examples of how these chords are constructed:
|C5||C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C||1-5||C - G|
|A5||A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G# - A||1-5||A - E|
|B5||B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B||1-5||B - F#|
|F5||F- G - A - B♭ - C - D - E - F||1-5||F - C|
|E♭5||E♭ - F - G - A♭ - B♭ - C - D - E♭||1-5||E♭ - B♭|
Featured Practice Song for this session... Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
Power chords are neither major or minor because the 3rd interval is missing.
Both major and minor chords require a 3rd interval, as that is part of their structure, i.e. Major chord formula: 1-3- 5 ... Minor chord formula: 1-♭3-5. This means you can play a power chord over a major or minor chord belonging to the same family without having any effect on its individual sound characteristics. If you play C5 over a C Major chord, it will still sound like C major. If you play C5 over a C Minor chord, it will still sound like C minor.
Power chords are most often used by guitarists who like playing with distortion. Because the sound has overwhelming tendencies, it can be 'too much' when played over an entire chord. However when played using power chords over 2 or 3 notes, it strengthens the sound rather than drowning it out.
Most guitarists play these chords using a down-stroke leading with the bass note, enhancing the fullness and chunkiness of the chord. They are also played with fingers - generally the thumb and 1st and/or second fingers depending on whether you are playing a 2-note or 3-note chord.
The 2 most commonly used types of power chords are the 2-note and 3-note chords.
- 2-note chords - use the 1-5 (root - 5th) OR 5-1 finger positions (5th - octave above the root)
- 3-note chords use the 1 - 5 - 1 finger positions (root - 5th - octave above the root)
In the following charts, we will be using 3 note power chords with a 1-5-1 pattern. You can change these to 2-note chords very easily by simply removing the highest or lowest note, depending on the sound you want. The most important thing is that you have a root and a 5th note.