How to play the Em chord as a power chord?

Can someone let me know how to play the Em chord as a power chord. It was mentioned in on of JG’s but can’t work out how to play it!

Same as open E? Just hit thickest three strings?

If you mute the g string won’t be either major or minor but is that one of the point of power chords?

You just need to play the two fretted strings or the open E string and the fretted A string either will give you the chord but technically there is no such thing as an Em power chord, the power chord covers both Major and Minor.


You barre with your index finger A and D strings, leaving the E string open and just raising your index finger enough so that the remaining strings do not ring out just in case you’d hit them.

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Power chords are neither major nor minor as they lack the 3rd - they contain the root, 5th and optionally the octave.

If you play 022xxx, that will be an E5 power chord, the lowest you can get in standard tuning.


Thanks. So that means, in theory, you could play any song using power chords?


Call it musical interpretation.

Look at The Ramones covering 60s soul classics.

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Is the correct answer

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Was about to reply, and saw the answer in the thread. Yep an E power chord is neither major or minor, as it doesnt have a 3rd. it has the first and fifth notes in the scale so would work over an Em or E chord.

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Thanks but you have lost me with the scale reference. I thought a scale was a series of notes played one after the other and a chord was all the notes played at the same time.

No, a chord is some of the notes of the key/scale played at the same time, not all of them.

Usually for a major chord its the 1st ,3rd and 5th

For C thats C(1), D, E(3rd) , F, G (5th), A, B

@Stuartw I highly recommend you do the free lessons in Justin’s Practical Music Theory course. It will really help you understand chords and how they are made. It’s really easy once you understand how chords and scales relate to each other.