Power Chord Grip

Just wondering if my grip for power chords looks correct? Right now I can’t play through an entire song because my hand between the muscle and index finger is killing me consistently ever with stretches to warm up. This and palm muting are killing me right now

Hi Josh,

What sticks out to me is that your index finger/first finger seems to be quite curved at the moment and almost making a “c” shape. Are you able to straighten it at all? Some slight curve is ok, but I suspect (and the teachers can correct me if I’m wrong) that yours may be slightly too curved. In Justin’s power chord lesson, you can see a very slight curve to his finger, but he is mostly lined up straight along the fret. That way the base of your first finger can mute strings 1-3.

I tried to to replicate what I see in your photo on my own and I can see why you may be feeling some strain. It’s almost like you’re making a pinching motion if that makes sense because of the curve of your finger. I think if you are able to straighten your finger at all, it may help ease the strain.

Playing barre chords for a long time before you’ve worked the muscle in the base of your thumb can be tiring, but power chords shouldn’t be painful.

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Thats some angle

Raise the headstock and push your elbow out

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In addition to needing to change your forearm angle mentioned by others, it looks like you’re using ALOT of fretting pressure. Experiment to find a grip position that allows minimal pressure to fret the strings.

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Others have the same comments:

My finger 1 doesn’t roll over on its side nearly as far as yours. I can’t really say it is right or wrong, just not what I see. Are you just muting strings 1,2,3 not fretting them?

Also, I fatigue doing the 3-finger power chords, but ok doing 2-finger. Angles are just different enough. I notice I am usually holding too tight when that happens. Your thumb looks like a lot of pressure on it, so may be holding a little too hard?

What is the trouble with palm muting you mention? It takes timing and learning where to place the palm to get that sounding right.

Well, perhaps unhelpfully, I’m going to say that I don’t think this looks extreme for an F. As you go further up the fingerboard the angle will reduce I presume. Everyone’s hands are different of course and it’s difficult to be sure from the camera angles, but it doesn’t look too different from this …

There is some good advice above about reducing pressure, you really want the least pressure that let’s the note ring out. Again, hard to tell from the photos, but worth looking at if you are finding it tiring. Also worth noting that if you are new to power chords / barre chords then it will take a while to build up the strength in your hands.


Yeah, I curve it more to mute the low E string at the top. The only way I was really having luck getting the bottom strings and top E string muted with the curve, but I will attempt to straighten it out and see if it helps. When it comes to palm muting, to be honest, I am not even sure what I am even looking for. I can mute the strings just fine with my palm, but I don’t know what too much muting is or not enough. That is the only downside with all online lessons, just not sure if it is actually correct or what even is correct when doing it.

When I grab a power chord with the root on string 5, I will mute string 6 with the tip of finger 1, mute string 2 with finger 4 sitting a little flat, and mute string 1 with the base of finger 1, near the first knuckle. I find this pretty easy to grab quickly.

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I am doing about the same thing, but it is really hard not to curve my finger to play the chord. If I straighten out my fingertips, it puts a workout on my forearm. Which might just be needed. I am used to working out biceps, not sure how strong my forearms really are, but they get a workout.

You’ll know when you hear it. Too much muting is a dead note. Not enough the note rings out. Experiment with moving your palm along the strings starting from over the bridge and going forward and back.

Try the “farmer’s walk”… Thank me later. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Hi @JROB623

Pretty much what Lefteris said, you’ll hear the ‘right’ palm mute. you have a couple things to fiddle with, I get the most control over my position relative to the fixed points on the strings. Scooting left and right there gives you a lot of sound variation. You can also fiddle with pressure, but I find it subtle and difficult to get consistency. I use that with something kind of fast. A good example would the signature riff on Barracuda where I needed to go light touch and let it slide a bit across the strings (up/down) or I couldn’t make the speed.

Hey @lefteris - this is a bit of a sidestp from topic, but what with the farmer’s walk? I’m taking this as simply walking with a couple heavy things held with each hand (like a dumbbell)? Works on hand grip strength?

Yeah, the farmers walk thing was my question too. I will do whatever is needed to get my hand strength and dexterity where it needs to be.

The muting only barely works for me (I think) when I am right on top of the bridge maybe an inch or 2 at most from the bridge closer to the sound hole/pickups. I can kind of get something to sound right, but I am not certain I will know it is even right when I hear it myself doing it myself if that makes sense. None of this stuff is easy I tell you that much. Just waiting for the day I actually find something I can do easily on this instrument :rofl:

Have you watched this:

Justin goes into some detail about how to find the right position (and he notes that the position will vary depending on various factors) . You will generally be quite close to the bridge. I can typically feel the bridge when I’m in palm muting position.

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Hi Michael @sequences, hi Josh @JROB623 sorry for the late reply, long day.
So, you got this right. You grab two heavy dumbells and walk 50 meters…
It’s really good for grip strength, core, back (upper traps) and much more.
Heavy is whatever feels heavy for you as long as it’s challenging to your grip and traps.

Better pull out the 100-pound dumbbells to starting walking with then :slight_smile:

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Yep, sure did and basically all of what Justin does is great, this one has slipped for me. If it was that big of a deal, I figured it would be covered a bit more or maybe it isn’t possible to be covered more and you just have to “figure it out” but yeah, I watched it and when I go to practice, I honestly still have no idea what I am supposed to be looking for when I practice it. Like maybe if I did it correctly once and then someone said yeah that is how it is supposed to sound, I would be able to practice getting back to that sound of when it was right, but as of right now I am in the dark, not sure what it is supposed to sound like or if I am doing it right or not.