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Power Chords 1 (Guitar Lesson BC-172) Guitar for beginners Stage 7

November 12, 2019

How you doing? It’s Justin,
and we’re ready to rock now. We’re going to check out some powerchords. So, powerchords are very often used in rock guitar. But they also sound wicked on acoustic guitar. If you want some good examples of
acoustic guitar powerchords, then Nirvana Unplugged in New York is a fantastic record with loads of power chords all over, played on an acoustic guitar.
I really like the sound of them. But they totally work on electric guitar with a bit of distortion or just electric guitar clean. And they’re really, really cool sounding chords. It’s the first time that you’re going to
be able to deal with your like F# chords and C# chords and that kind of thing. So, sit tight. It’s gonna be a bit of a rush this one, we’ve got lots of stuff to do, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing these little puppies. So, the thing with powerchords that is really interesting is that there is only one chord shape, and we move it around. Because it’s all based through on this idea
called a root note. So, the chord that I gonna show you – we’ll move and go to a close-up in a minute, but the chord, I’ll gonna start off with this, this is chord G powerchord : G5. . . . And it’s really important that you realize this powerchord only has 3 notes
which is the thickest 3 strings … and the other 3 strings . . . are dead. They’re muted. And the reason, well they kind of. i’s like a bar, a kind of thing that we used for an F chord and we’re not pressing down on those strings. We’re just kind of leaving a bit loosely there. So we only have those 3 notes. Now, the cool thing with powerchords is that the one shape moves around. So, we don’t have to learn loads of
different powerchord shapes. In fact, G (plays)
Move it up one (plays) G#. Move it up again (plays) A.
Move it up again (plays) Bb. It’s really that simple! And there are so many songs
that use these powerchord shapes. You wouldn’t believe that,
the amount of tunes that you’ve got straight. As soon as you learn this, you’ve got some really really hipsounding
tunes you can play, right away. So, let’s go and have a look,
a close-up look now at this G chord, and I gonna explain a bit to you about
how it moves around the guitar neck. Ok, here we are looking at our G5, a G powerchord. Now, what we’ve got here,we’ve got : our first finger, here, this is the 3rd fret,
and this is the note G. This is where we get the name of our powerchord. This is a G powerchord, because that note, underneath that first finger,
is the note G. And that’s referred to as our root note.
Which is R.O.O.T. by the way, and that is where we get the name of our chord. Very important to realize that. And now, just that the rest of the finger is just laying down. That’s not trying to press down any of the other strings, what so ever. It’s just muting them all, it’s just touching them but without operating hard enough to actually make a note. Next thing we do: 3rd finger ‘s reaching up
to the 5th fret on the 5th string. You would find, or you probably will find,
that a little bit of a stretch, hopefully that’s part of your exercises,
that you’ve been doing, you should have been doing this as part
of your exercise, shouldn’t you? for the little finger stretch. So, if you’ve been doing that,
you shouldn’t have too much trouble going from your 1st finger to your 3rd finger there. And your little finger sneaks underneath your 3rd finger just setting down quite comfortably. Try and get the two of them locked together, so they’re kind of right on top of each other. That will help you move that chord around later on. So, what you’re really looking for there is making sure that you’ve got the 3 notes of the powerchord … and that the other 3 strings … at the top there, they’re muted by your 1st finger, the edge of your 1st finger. So, get that one together, and then let’s go back and look at moving it around the guitar neck. OK, now we’ve checked out our G powerchord. It’s really important that you’ve realized that you could move it right up and down the neck to get any other chord that you want. So the easiest way to do this, if you go to the website and look for this lesson,
which is BC-172 if you look that up on the website come to that page,
you’ll find there’s a big picture of the neck diagram with all of the notes on the 6th string. Because the root note
for our G5 powerchord is on the 6th string. So we had it as G, which was at the 3rd fret, with our first finger sitting on the note G. That’s the root note,
which is where we get the name for our chord. Now, if we wanted to play a G#,
we know the # is just up one fret, so if we move that whole shape up to the 4th fret, so 1st finger sitting in the 4th fret, we would have G# powerchord (plays). If we move it up again,
we’d have A powerchord (plays). If we move it up 2 frets (plays), we’d have B powerchord. And if we move it all way down to the 1st fret (plays). we’d have an F powerchord. So, it’s really, really simple actually
to find any chord that you want. So, I gonna just to explain to a couple
of really kind of cool progressions that you might want to experiment with. One of them – and I’m just gonna play them once – but I want you to go and use that diagram on the website to figure out where the notes are on the 6th string and then find these chords for yourself, that’s why I’m not going to show you a close up of this. But I will explain as I go,
really important knowing the notes on the 6th string, the thickest string,
and the 5th string. That’s like an essential, to finish the beginner’s course,
you need to have that. so you may wanna start on that now,
as you’re learning this stuff, trying to get those notes in your memory. So, just remember the right notes, right? Just remember F, G, A, B and C cause you don’t need to know the sharps and flats, cause they are the notes in between. So, a really good sequence that you might wanna try would be something, say F (plays) and then you might be going to Bb. Now Bb, you would find first of all B, which is on the 7th fret. and then move it down one semi-tone because, you know, flat makes it go lower (plays) See, you’re being on a Bb there then you might go to another chord, say Ab (plays) Now Ab, you would be going from A,
which is at the 5th fret, and then you flatten it and you end up being at Ab (plays) And now you might go to a chord like Db Now, Db, you’ll have to go all the way : there is A at the 5th fret, there is B at the 7th fret thre is C at the 8th fret you’ll have to go all the way to the 10th fret to find D and then Db with, of course, playing the 9th fret. So, nice little progression to work on, you’ll get a lot of practice in finding your flat’s there. we ‘re certainly like going F (plays) Bb (plays)
and then maybe to Ab (plays) and then Db (plays) Really, really nice chord sequence one that you may have heard before, somewhere very, very cool if you if you experiment it with the rhythm of that, you might find some other songs you recognized as well. So, that might be a cool little sequence to get going. Another really good one that’s quite popular
would be A, C, G, D so it’s going like A (plays) to C (plays)
G (plays) to D (plays) you get there and really have to move it around now A … C … G … to D … you can make it sure that you’ve got those top, those 3 thinest strings muted there. Otherwise it’s gonna sound really horrible. That’s the big deal, now. Starting to try to get that powerchord moving up and down, keeping those thinest strings muted so they don’t ring out. And then just experiment in with some different chord sequences. You could even try it playing some songs or chord sequences that you’ve used. They used open chords. So, just, if the original song with say G (plays) D (plays) to C (plays)
the song goes back to D again (plays) but you could go to a powerchord G … D … C … and back to D … You can really experiment a lot with these powerchords Say, it’s quite an interesting sound, you know, A cool thing would be maybe a friend’s playing some open chords strumming and you play some powerchords, that kind of thing. Lots of way of experimenting with it ! We gonna talk a little bit more of that using it later on, but for now,let’s just get you going with
that first powerchord shape, working on the stretch between your
1st finger and you 3rd finger, you know, making sure they get right up next to the fret where they should. Get used to the idea of moving them around, up and down. Just experiment, you know,
you see if you can walk from here to here. And try to remember the notes on the thickest string. That’s the key-task that you try to do. It’s quite a lot, but now, like I said before, we’re trying to progress now and to do some pretty cool stuff on the guitar, so, it might take a little bit more practice than the
other things, but it’s worth it, cause it means that you’re a lot better guitar player. Have fun with that ! I’ll see you for another
lesson very soon. Bye-bye.


  • Reply Verity McKeon June 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm


  • Reply Blothmath July 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

    My 1st finger is bitching on me…. i cant hold them like you …

  • Reply Koi August 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    actually what does the 5 in G5 mean?

  • Reply ProGuitarTuition September 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    All chords are built up of notes in relation to the major scale. Powerchords also known as 5th chords only have two notes in them. The root, which gives it its name, like G, and the 5th which means the 5th note of the G major scale. Hope that helps

  • Reply stymie662 September 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    You are a good teacher… Thanks!

  • Reply Guitarist Ivan77 October 4, 2012 at 4:50 am

    That helped alot

  • Reply Martin Ren October 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Best teacher ever!! Thank you a lot!!

  • Reply Zaxapia Skinner November 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    A bit scary this guy….but he is good!

  • Reply Mike Appleton December 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    great again thanks man , iv progressed faster now from using your website , i cant wait till after xmas so i can buy a few of the dvds from ur site .

  • Reply Shiny Singh December 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    thanx for such a wonderful learning;) now i can play power chords too… thanx again..

  • Reply TheCigrate December 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm


  • Reply loudrockacdc January 9, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I'm confused, are we supposed to strum the muted strings?

  • Reply david page January 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Excellent lesson

  • Reply DareTheKing January 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    WTF …I¨m going to get laid because of you !!! top man top game !

  • Reply Yoshi Galaxy Gaming January 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    You really do make this so much fun and so easy to pick up! Cheers again Justin!!

  • Reply Mohamed Alazhari February 7, 2013 at 7:09 am

    What about A A A – G G G?

  • Reply Highflyerone February 20, 2013 at 5:44 am

    The biggest problem I have with power chords is I tend to bend my wrist in an awkward way when making the power chord shape. Any tips on how to avoid this Justin?

  • Reply Bálint Molnár February 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    A C G D really seems to be Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz ^^

  • Reply CleverDjembe March 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Power chords are powerful like my penis!!

  • Reply al vhin March 22, 2013 at 8:35 am

    tnx a lot

  • Reply Akshit Kumar March 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Wow, you really had to say that.

  • Reply tenodogblu April 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Thx Justin, really useful lesson, working on them as we speak!!

  • Reply Bhawna03 May 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Yes, they are the same! 🙂

  • Reply multistriker10 May 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Ur really pleasant 🙂

  • Reply NormalLifeIsNotReal June 6, 2013 at 1:08 am

    lol, I play my power chords with 2 fingers, and someone was like, oh it sounds better with 3. I tried it and it sounded exactly the same. So why tire out my pinky if its unnecessary. I need my pinky for extended poer chords in drop D.

  • Reply mdluevand June 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    thank you great video

  • Reply Yujing Zou June 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Justin,u are amazing!!!

  • Reply Vishnu Vardhana June 24, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Those power chords are the intro of Smells Like Teen Spirit! 😀
    The other one is Boulevard of Broken Dream i think..

  • Reply Alex Eriksen June 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Hey will you guys go check out my page, I only have one cover vid ill out more tho, do check it out!

  • Reply andy edwards July 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    This is the best power chord lesson out there in my opinion. I tried others but they're not as good

  • Reply Shubham Shrivastav July 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm


  • Reply Khairul Ridzuan July 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    sounds like green day boulevard of broken dream…

  • Reply Mary Saab July 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Thank you, you make learning how to play the guitar so easy! 😀

  • Reply Sergio Mora Baquerizo September 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Que buena lección (Y) Excelente trabajo amigo llmll

  • Reply TheGuyFromHolland1 September 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    hahaha "one that you may have heard before"and then the wink

  • Reply Happy Tao September 12, 2013 at 1:27 am

    tank ya va mach… fao dat ahsahm pawa khads!!!

  • Reply justine valledor September 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

    dude thanks!

  • Reply Joseph Giese-Dinon October 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    The other also could be Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away

  • Reply asem October 31, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you bro! you the best

  • Reply Ishan 331 December 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    yep, the nirvana unplugged rocked!!

  • Reply michael rowshan January 14, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    cool man thx

  • Reply Dan Noteboom January 21, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Justin, just wanted to encourage you by saying that you have a gift for teaching! I teach guitar myself, and was looking for a video for my students to check out at home just to review what we covered in lessons — thanks for sharing these amazing resources with the world! Keep up the good work. 

  • Reply Eddie Rivera March 5, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Hey Thank you Justin.

  • Reply CoryOrcutt March 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    One of the chord progressions sounds like a song from Nirvana.

  • Reply kaitlyn maree April 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    You're a sweet teacher!

  • Reply Raul Garcia April 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Hey Justin, how many guitars do you have ?

  • Reply Alexander B May 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    thanks Justin!  Before seeing your video I was making a barre with my index finger on all 6 strings and my wrist was getting sore as hell. 

  • Reply VCADD May 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
    He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

  • Reply Ayush Sinha May 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

    this is easier than f chord why is this later 🙁

  • Reply Andrew Larsen June 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Why are all of these guitar tutorials by British people?

  • Reply 2inthepink 1inthestink July 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

    i dont have any friends! 🙁

  • Reply Ms Portley Rind November 16, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    All that winking 😉

  • Reply Walter Hernandez February 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you very much, sir. Very helpful

  • Reply Zaid Hikmet April 10, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    6:20 smells like a familiar song
    Wink wink

  • Reply StingVsOrton1 May 12, 2015 at 5:59 am

    any tips on how to keep the strings muted my finger doesn't seem to be muting them

  • Reply Bengali Gamer June 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    thank u…u ..

  • Reply TGF2user July 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    isn't this an E barre chord without the highest 3 string?

  • Reply Adam Johnson September 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm


  • Reply Connor Russell October 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks Justin was really struggling with the hand shape, believe it or not this was the last thing I had to learn, my friend says it's vital though

  • Reply Connor Russell October 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks Justin was really struggling with the hand shape, believe it or not this was the last thing I had to learn, my friend says it's vital though

  • Reply ReneeNme November 15, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Thank you for upping the horns in the correct manner. That backwards nonsense gets on my last nerve. Has to do with my OCD, I guess. lol

  • Reply Yoshizawa Shun November 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    thank you Justin you really help me.Thank you!

  • Reply Miguel Arango February 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    "Enjoy eez liel puppies" lol

  • Reply Deleter Of Worlds March 14, 2016 at 2:37 am

    😏 Lowkey Nirvana af

  • Reply Savage Samarth April 18, 2016 at 10:10 am


  • Reply Random Slaps May 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Dude tnx so simple and really well put across

  • Reply MingusTale June 2, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I have a weird problem that my whole 3rd finger locks straight when I do power chords so that all the pressure is on the last joint by the tip. And it hurts really fast.

  • Reply Ava H June 27, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Thank you so much! This really helped! I am just starting to learn power chords and couldn't quite get them…

  • Reply parsec studios June 30, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Gotta love that Nirvana at 6:18 😉

  • Reply UnfamousFreak July 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I keep muting all strings help.

  • Reply POPsongsADDICT July 14, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    My wrist hurts when I play power chords but it's fine when I play open chords. How exactly should I angle my wrist and position my thumb? I have small hands.

  • Reply Nick Hope September 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Man, I hate practicing these. Looks straightforward but the grip is really difficult. My power chords sound terrible. The middle of the 3 strings nearly buzzes.

  • Reply kahea2018 September 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    He's cute.

  • Reply Marcos Vinícius Petri November 1, 2016 at 2:10 am

    I was trying for ages trying to put my second and third finger… after 15 minutes of failure I realized you are suppose to use the third and fourth finger.

  • Reply tdunster2011 December 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I find Barr chords a lot easier than power chords. The reason is that muting is so much easier on Barre chords than it is with power chords. Is it wrong to play Barr chords instead of these power chords ?

  • Reply veronica klassen January 14, 2017 at 1:54 am

    been trying to do these power chords and it seems im doing everything right but the sound is coming out completely different, im not using an electric acoustic just an acoustic is that why maybe??

  • Reply stitch2k1 January 21, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    as Im learning the guitar it seems to me like power chords are the easy way to get past playing normal chords in rocknroll.

  • Reply Rendy Andrian March 9, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I know power chord for so long, but I don't know how to play it properly. Thanks for your lesson,, now I know that the index finger is also used for muting the strings below the little finger.

  • Reply Bence László Buka March 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Who the hell dislike this? One who gave up practicing guitar?

    Justin, you're the best, mate! 🙂

  • Reply Cren Ceolce June 20, 2017 at 5:44 am

    he has that face…. that kind of face 😐

  • Reply I'm Negan August 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

    do you have a lesson about how to do those nile rodgers power chords?

  • Reply Praise God August 19, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Excellent thanks

  • Reply Rathmor August 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Can't do a power chord. My fingers don't bend.

  • Reply Bolkohir January 13, 2018 at 12:09 am

    You sneaky beaky xD you just taught people Smells Like Teen Spirit xD

  • Reply allout1026 March 16, 2018 at 3:25 am

    I am a visual artist who is recently learning to play with a guitar. Your videos are good because you go slow enough to understand, without making me feel like a fool. respect from new england

  • Reply Niamh Gunn April 15, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Can’t get the D chord right I always have a flat string in most of my chords, vey annoying

  • Reply motodrummer July 31, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    You call it an F power chord but my local instructor told me it was a C7…exact same strings and fingering??

  • Reply ante canic October 25, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Do you have any advice for cramps in thumb

  • Reply jculi November 7, 2018 at 4:37 am

    If you've made it this far, you've clearly gotten something out of Justin's videos. If so, please consider donating! It took him hours of hard work to put all of these lessons and materials together, and I'm sure even a small donation would be appreciated. Visit to show your thanks to our bro Justin!

  • Reply David P November 29, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Smells like teen spirit

  • Reply salil pai February 17, 2019 at 1:13 am

    7:28 pearl jam 🙂

  • Reply ankit anand March 28, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    thnx cillian murphy

  • Reply surya May 12, 2019 at 6:58 am

    smells like teen spirit (sniffs)

  • Reply Phillip Landmeier June 3, 2019 at 5:28 am

    I knew I should have looked at your lesson on power chords first. Instead I went surfing around YouTube and did find interesting and useful stuff. However, nobody condensed it to the simple core of it like you do in this video. Thank you.

  • Reply ChannelUmptyThree June 6, 2019 at 6:31 am

    That way how he just CASUALLY dropped in the opening for one of the most famous songs ever… BOSS teacher! A real Mr Miyagi style of teaching there

  • Reply Obinna Blue June 24, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Taught people to barre chords, just to teach them to unbarre it

  • Reply choochoochooseyou June 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I keep hearing how easy power chords are. I'm struggling more with them than any other lesson so far.

  • Reply ash August 27, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Do I have to have my middle finger curled back like that? It feels more comfortable for me to kind of float it around

  • Reply AllOverAgain August 27, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Smells Like I've heard that one song before

  • Reply hussain shafqat September 8, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Do u have to mute the other strings?

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