How To Write Songs On Guitar Using Cooler Power Chords

by Tom Hess

Power chords are an essential element used in the songwriting of tons of badass rock and metal musicians.


There are way more ways to use power chords than you might think.

Learning them makes your songwriting more expressive, creative and interesting.

Sound good?


Here are three ways to make your power chords more interesting while writing songs for guitar:

1. Use The 5th Of The Power Chord In The Bass (As The Lowest Note)

The most common way to play power chords is to use the root note in the bass.

For example: A B5 power chord that uses the 7th fret of the E string, the 9th fret of the A string and the 9th fret of the D string.

Using the 5th in the bass instead of the root gives the power chord a heavier, more badass sound.

Watch this video at 3:05 to see a demonstration of what this sounds like:

2. Harmonize Power Chords Using Thirds With A Second Guitar

The notes of power chords come from the scale degrees in whichever key you are playing in. Knowing this gives you the power to play some really cool sounding riffs in your songs!

Watch the video above from the beginning to see how cool it sounds to play thirds with distortion.

Record thirds (as seen in the video) together with regular power chords to create an awesome, thick musical texture that is sure to make your riffs sound badass.

3. Explore Higher Fretboard Positions

Power chords don't always have to be played in the lower fretboard positions or lower strings of the guitar.

Using the same notes of power chords (root + 5th) on the thinner strings and in higher fretboard positions sounds really cool too!

Try this out for yourself by moving any power chord riff you know up an octave (or more) to see how it sounds.

Like these songwriting ideas and want more to help you become a killer songwriter? No problem! Get more powerful tips to write cool songs with by reading this songwriting article.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

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