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House Of Guitar
Lesson 1: Power Chords
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Before You Start Pg 2
Lesson 0: Tabs
Lesson 1: Power Chords
Lesson 2: Easy Songs

You are ready to start your first free lesson! Good luck!

*Background knowledge: A chord is 3 or more notes played at the same time. A power chord is 2 notes played at the same time. A power chord is usually short-hand marked as *5 (i.e. D5, F5, F#5).
 
Power Chords are the basis for rock and roll. Power chords are easy to move around quickly and are easier to shape then regular chords.
 
Power Chords should only be strummed downwards. They occur across 2 neighboring strings.
 
Let's try a power chord. If you need help on reading tab, please see the How To Read Tabs page on the navigation panel.
 
Basic "E" Power Chord (E5)
e----
b----
g----
d----
a--2-
E--0-
 
For the "E" power chord, you play the lowest two strings with  the second string fretted at the second fret.
 
Basic "C" Power Chord (C5)
 
e----
b----
g----
d--5-
a--3-
E----
 
In the C5 chord, you strum string 5 and 4.
 
Basic "D" Power Chord (D5)
 
e----
b----
g----
d--7-
a--5-
e----
 
Let's put these power chords to a basic rhythm. If you have a metronome, set it to 65bpm. All rhythms are listed below.
 
e-----------|-----------|---------|---------
b-----------|-----------|---------|---------
g-----------|-----------|---------|---------
b-----------|-----------|---------|---------
a----2-5-7--|--2-5-8-7--|--2-5-7--|--5-2----
E----0-3-5--|--0-3-6-5--|--0-3-5--|--3-0----
     1,2,34 |  1,2,3,4  |  1,2,34 |  1 234
 
This is one of the most recognizable power chord runs, Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple.
 
Play it slowly at first and steadily speed up to a faster pace. Never go too fast at first, always go at a speed you're comfortable at.
 
 
Now we are going to learn how to palm mute. Palm muting is a technique found mainly in puck and alternative music, though it is used occasionaly in classic rock and metal. To palm mute, you must gently rest the side of your right palm on the strings close to the bridge. Resting to far from the bridge or with too much pressure causes "dead" strings. This takes a lot of practice!!! Palm muting is marked by an "x" in both notation and tablature. Let's try a palm muting exercise. Set your metronome at 70bpm. The rhythm for this exercise is eighth-notes.
 
    F5
e-----------------|
b-----------------|
g-----------------|
d-----------------|
a--3-x-x-x-x-x-x--|
E--1-x-x-x-x-x-x--|
   1 + 2 + 3 + 4+
 
Now, let's try a palm muting exercise in the style of punk. In this exercise, the first you play 1 beat of quarter notes (regular) and 3 beats of eight notes (muted). Instead of using tablature, we have simplified everything. You play G5 for 1 measure, C5 for 1 measure, D5 for one measure, and G5 again for one measure. Follow the rhythm.
 
G5            C5
/ x x x x x x / x x x x x x
1 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 2 + 3 + 4 +
 
D5            G5
/ x x x x x x / x x x x x x
1 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 2 + 3 + 4 +
 

Practice Schedule:
  • 10 minutes practicing Smoke On Water.
  • 10 minutes practicing palm muting.
  • Practice both until you can get them up to speed at 105bpm clean and smoothly.

You are now ready to move onto Lesson 2: Easy Songs.

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