Supplemental Material for Page 19 (Chapter 2)
Power Chords ("5 Chords")
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Page 19 presents the fourth form "power chords". If you are not familiar with power chords, please review page 17, and see the supplememntal material here.
Naming the power chords
For the fourth form power chords, the root is on the fifth string. (Notice that the root is often circled in chord diagrams.) This means that the name of the chord will be derived from whatever note is being played on the fifth string. Therefore, a fourth-form power chord played on the third fret is a C power chord. It's called "C five" and written "C5". So, in a "chord symbol" (the way a chord is written on a page), "5" means "power chord". For example, the chord symbol "D" would mean to play the chord presented on page 2, while for "D5" you could play the fourth-form power chord with 1st finger on the fifth fret.
Playing the power chords
As with the first form, I recommend using the two-note version of the power chord at first (the first, bigger diagram on the page), because it's easier to play, but the 3-note version is also commonly used. (Even though the second version contains three notes, it only contains two different notes; the notes on strings five and three are the same note, an octave apart. That's why the note on the third string is optional/unnecessary.)
If your third finger has trouble reaching, you may prefer to use your pinky on the 4th string.
Using both the first and fourth forms
Now that you know two ways to play power chords (the first and fourth forms), you'll often switch from one form to another to avoid moving large distances up or down the neck of the guitar. For example, for playing G5 to C5, you can stay right in third position (using first form G5, fourth form C5), rather than shift from third position up to the eighth, as you'd have to do if sticking to the first form power chords.
For exercises 1-3, the book asks for two ways of practicing each. Use the forms indicated directly below the exercises first. Once that's reasonably mastered, practice the with the alternate form choices, as indicated in the shaded areas. For exercise 4, there's really only one "best" option.
For exercise 2, use the open-position first-form E5 (as you did on pg 16), and the open position fourth-form A5.
As with pg 16, be careful with the "harmonic rhythm" (the timing of the chord changes) in the examples. In exercise four, the second measure is two beats of Eb5, with Ab5 and Bb5 getting just one beat each (on beats three & four).
Also, remember to experiment with rhythm (play these in both quarter notes and eighth notes, and perhaps try mixing the two), and varying degrees of palm muting.
Another word about forms
As far as power chords are concerned, the concept of first form and fourth form is simple: first form power chords have the root played by 1st finger on the sixth string. Fourth form power chords have the root played by the 1st finger on the fifth string. (Whether we're dealing with power chords, larger chords, or scales: first form goes by sixth string, fourth form goes by fifth string.)
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