Power chords, also known as fifth chords, are musical intervals consisting of the root note of the chord and the fifth. Power chords typically feature the electronic distortion that comes from being played on an electric guitar and through an amplifier. Power chords are common in rock music.

According to its definition in traditional music theory, a chord must contain at least three degrees of a scale. This means that power chords, which contain two, are not chords in the strict sense of the term. A more appropriate term might be "dyad" which refers to the two degrees of a power chord. Power chords are sometimes also known as "power ranges".

Information on playing power chords and techniques is all found in the beginner's course on my website Gooroo Courses. Power Chords - How to Play Guitar: Chords, Lesson 8

However, for many rock and pop musicians, any grouping of notes is considered a chord, and power chords are among them. The name "power chord" comes from the powerful sound created by the harmonics of the two notes played simultaneously. These relatively simple note collections are easy to play but produce a resonant sound that can greatly enhance a piece of music.

In standard musical notation and tablature, power chords are referred to by the root note name and the number 5, indicating the fifth note that should also be played. For example, a "B5" notation will refer to a power chord composed of the B note and the F note. Because there is no third note played in a power chord (in this case, there is no D), there cannot be major or minor chords versions of the power chords.

The term "power chord" is rarely used in traditional music theory. It is a highly specialized term in rock music, and as such its lack of adherence to a strict interpretation of academic vocabulary is not important. Power chords most often refer to those played on a guitar, and the instrument in question rarely needs to be specified. However, other instruments frequently used in rock, such as keyboards, are also capable of playing power chords.

Power chords are relatively easy to play, mainly due to the need to simply finger two strings on the neck. Power chords are often played with the addition of a third note that is one octave above the root note. This is known as an IVI setup and is the most common type of power chord. The V-I'-V 'configuration is also used, consisting of the root note, a note that is a fourth below the root note, and a third note that is a fifth above the root note. This type of power chord is also known as a fourth chord. When the guitar is tuned differently, other types of power chords become available.

Power chords are easier to play than barre chords and can be played anywhere on the guitar's neck. This also makes it easier to integrate into music that is played quickly or features quick chord changes.

Most power chords are played with strong distortion. This is largely due to the styles of music that commonly feature power chords: heavy rock and heavy metal. It also derives from the simplicity of power chords in terms of the number of notes played. If an entire chord was played with the same level of distortion used with power chords, the result could be very dissonant and unpleasant. Power chords are musically simple enough to go through distortion and remain recognizable.

A large number of power chord patterns exist and allow guitarists to make progressions between chords using a single guitar string. However, it is generally thought that the power chords themselves are too simple to make up the majority of a song. Instead, they generally work best as a supplement to traditional chords like suspended chords.

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A power chord is a two-note chord, with no major or minor quality to it. This is because power chords are just made up of the root and the fifth of the chord.