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How to Play Heavy Metal Power Chords

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to play heavy metal power chords in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Power chords are quite simple when you break them down. All you really need is the low note and the fifth, two strings. You can move that around, sliding. Sometimes, you can play three strings. A lot of guys do that. What I don't want is the third, the major third. I don't want this. I want this. Big difference.

So far, I'm playing all these power chords open. I could also play them closed and muffled, in which case, this part of the hand covers the strings, and then I do the pick. Alright, so that's a little more, like, modern, Metallica, player style. If I play the E up an octave, I can do this. Alright, now, I can move that chord around. Check it out. And I have this low E string to play. That's why so many hard rock and metal songs are in E. But, I could also play in A, right?

So, a normal A chord that you learn when you're first starting out is this. Alright? But if you just take that root, fifth, and root. You get this. If you have a good guitar, it just lasts forever. So you can mix this up with other chords. That last chord was an E chord all the way across the strings. No thirds, just roots and fifths. Alright, I hope you've enjoyed this lesson on heavy metal power chords.

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