Power Chords Lesson on JustinGuitar

Learn how to play power chords on the guitar! Get ready to rock with the Root 5 Shape and Root 6 Shape.

View the full lesson at Power Chords | JustinGuitar

I didn’t think I was “new” to power chords, I learnt them when I was a teenager in the 90s. But I learnt them Kurt Cobain style, with the ring finger covering two strings for a 3 string power chord. This fingering is new to me.

With the three finger power chord, what do you do when things get squishy down around the 10th fret onwards? Switch to a two note chord, switch to Kurt Cobain style? It’s the 5th that seems to not ring out properly for me further down the neck if I try a 3 finger grip as its further back in the fret.

That’s the way I learnt them as well back in the 70’s.
I’d never seen anyone play them with three fingers until Justin’s
lesson. I see no advantage to using 3 fingers. I also play my
A Bar chords with 2 fingers. I can bend my ring finger so the
e string can ring out but it’s not necessary to play the e


Justin, you rock. Thank you.

I’m working through Beginner Grade 2. Great introduction to power cords, all new stuff to me. I’m an acoustic player, but still relevant. My question: Where should I place the palm of my fretting hand? Should it be away from the back of the neck, like Justin shows in the intro to the lesson (first 15 seconds in the video), or touching the back of the neck? The latter feels more comfortable to me, but perhaps just because this is a new technique for me. Don’t want to create any bad habits. Thanks in advance.

Is there anything wrong with using my 3 third finger to hold down the bottom 2 strings? Seems to be easier and I find my fingers automatically find their way to the correct fret.

Lots of good questions, basically the same, but no answers???

I believe Stitch’s response has explained it well enough.


Hi Bryan. Look at these screenshots and you can clearly see a dropped wrist, fretting fingers somewhat straightened out, not roundly arched, and a palm away from the neck. That is what you are aiming for. Given that we all have different anatomy it might be you end up with something slightly different. But power chords definitely do not want a rounded grip like you’re holding a baseball bat.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

At nearly 61, I’m brand new to power chords. Fantastic fun! Now I think I need a Justin video on relaxation and breathing - find myself tensing up and also holding my breath.


I find it much easier to use two fingers for the 3 string power chord rather than 3 fingers. Finger 1 is on the root and finger 3 barres for the next two strings instead of using fingers 3 & 4. Is that a problem?

Don’t think so. I think Justin says you can play it either way

to quote myself

This’ll probably sound like a total noobie question, but if I’m leaning more towards learning country-style acoustic guitar, is it really necessary to take the time to learn power chords? I don’t think I’ll ever buy or own an electric guitar, and I can’t think of acoustic-style country music that uses them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

If your into Country Acoustic then power chords won’t be a big part of it so
you can either skip them and come back to the lessons if you find you need them
or learn them just to help learn the fret board. You will learn the root notes on
the E and A strings. Which you should learn.

I agree that if you have a certain focus and genre in mind and pretty much know you will rule out playing outside of that territore, power chords may not be something you use a lot.
That said, I would encourage you to play outside of your comfort zone and embrace other styles - even on acoustic power chords can be a great way to change the dynamics and feel of a song when swicthing between then and open / barre chords.

Also …

This is important.
Every 6th-string root power chord whose root note you learn on string 6 has an octave root note on the D string 2 frets higher.
Every 5th-string root power chord whose root note you learn on string 5 has an octave root note on the G string 2 frets higher.
By learning the power chords and their roots you can learn to find the location of notes on strings 4 and 3 also.

Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Approved Teacher


Another reason to learn power chords is they can sometimes be an easier option for chords you have not mastered yet, such as F and B barre chords.

Might let you play a song that you really want to learn earlier, rather than learning the more complicated chords first.

Thanks to you all for the advice. I guess I’ll bite the bullet and learn them. I’m already having the same kind of feeling with the blues guitar sections of the next module… I’m not a huge fan of the blues, although I recognize their huge influence on a lot of my country favorites.

I seem to have gotten over the hump with the F barre chord. I can get it sounding great most of the time now, and am even managing to work it into some simpler tunes. I feel pretty damn pumped about that, after weeks of struggle! :smiley: Yay for me!

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To be honest, I never really got into the blues lessons either, and had no interest in playing any of the blues songs from the app.

However, I did watch all the videos, and dabbled with some of the exercises, and feel I got some value from that.