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okay I got this chord book and its got hundreds of chords and variations of chords and I could try to memorize them all, but that seems rediculous. What are the most important/popular/useful, whatever you want to call it, chords? And what are the power chords, cause they aren't in there, or their called something else if they are. What are power chords anyhow, what makes them so powerful?
Muchos Gracias
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Re: Chords

2/7/2001 7:14 PM

John Schell (6102) wrote:

Ok. You don't have to learn the 1000 chords. Yet. Start here instead.
The CAGED System. Thats a great lesson to begin with.

You don't want to hear my definition of power chords, it'll only mess you up...


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Re: Chords

2/14/2001 5:15 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

A power chord is just the root and the 5th it is neither major or minor as it does not have the 3rd.
Alot of metal bands and rock bands use power chords.

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Re: Chords

2/7/2001 7:36 PM

Tim Floto (6151) wrote:

It's hard to tell you what's most important of chords to learn it depends on your style and skill level. You should learn all the movable forms. These are covered in the caged system. As far as power chords go, these are chords that have only the root and the fifth sounded. So they're two note chords Everybody from Chuck Berry to Metallica use them AC/DC has made an art form out of them: Here are some simplest examples:
Alternately, for any of the above you can play them like C5th below, you're just putting a root on either side of the 5th.

How's that?


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Re: Chords

2/8/2001 5:13 PM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Start with the triads in the commonest keys - AFAIK this is what the CAGED system is all about.

Common keys (for guitar music): C G D A E

Those keys have six main chords each, all of which occur in 3 different keys - so the total number isn't that great.
You should also learn the "7" (dominant 7th) variation of major triads.
That gives you this list:

Key C: C F G Am Dm Em G7
Key G: G C D Em Am Bm D7
Key D: D G A Bm Em F#m A7
Key A: A D E F#m Bm C#m E7
Key E: E A B C#m F#m G#m B7

In alphabetical order, that's:
A Am A7 B Bm B7 C C#m D Dm D7 E Em E7 F F#m G G7 G#m = 19 chords.
You should maybe add C7 Gm and Cm (from the key of F) to that list. Still only 22.

Those are the real basics, but you'll be amazed how far that lot'll take you.

Power chords sound powerful because of distortion. Distortion enhances harmonics in the sound, which fill out the chord with "pure" overtones.
Playing a triad or fuller chord with distortion sounds "muddy", because the overtones clash with one another.
Sometimes this "muddiness" is what you want, of course :-)


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Re: Chords

2/9/2001 12:44 PM

Antonio Rosa (6847) wrote:

Relationship beetwen chords will also help. Lets say you play a C chord. Then play a G7. You will notice that the G7 asks for a resolution that comes if you play C again. For now, say C is the tonic and G7 the dominant. There's hundreds of songs only with these two chords in popular music.
Then try to learn the same relationship you have for C as the tonic, with A,G,E,and D.
Also learn minor chords, specially Am, Em and Dm that are the easiest.
If you play an Am followed by an E7, you have the same tonic-dominant relationship.
Then try G-C-G-D7. In this sequence, C is the subdominant.
Its more important to know how chords relate to each others than having an huge vocabulary in every key.
With these relationships, you can play thousands (and i mean thousands) of songs.
Good luck!

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Re: Chords

2/9/2001 4:09 PM

Jim Kangas (1957) wrote:

My suggestion would be to spend some time to learn how to "spell" chords. For example, if I asked you the notes that are in a major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, or half-diminished chord, could you do that?

If you:

1. can spell chords
2. know the notes on the fretboard

you can create all of this information for yourself (power chords included).


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Re: Chords

2/15/2001 10:10 AM

Ward Moeller (4849) wrote:

i would probably start with major, minor, 7th, m7 chords. maybe learn them in at least two fingerings each. make sure you got your bar-, and double-bar chords down. then you've got the bascis down.

power chords (as described elsewhere here) are also "power chords" because you're keying on the bass notes of the chord. when played through a powerful amp, maybe with distortion, it gives a deep heavy sound. add some drop-tuning to that (lowering the pitch of the strings) and it can get real haevy.

plus since you only have to pund away at the lower 2-3 strings; its easy to smash away at the strings, and not have to worry about complex fingerings.

there are plenty of power chord lessons on this site.

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Re: Chords

2/15/2001 11:25 AM

Paul Stelzmann (340) wrote:

I agree. Memorizing chords from one of those gonzo chord-encycopedias is ridiculous and just not that much fun. My approach has been to learn chords as you go by learning the songs that you would really like to play. This way you learn the chords, the transitions, and in the end you have a new song in your repertoire.

Good luck. Paul