SOS - Struggling with power chords!

Hi Josh @JROB623,

I feel your pain with power chords. When I first encountered the lesson with power chords and palm muting, I was surprised how bad I was (especially because I’d heard power chords were “easy”!). I worked on it for a month or so, then set it aside to move on. I’m now working on a song that forces me to revisit both power chords and PM, and have these experiences: I’m surprised how quickly that muscle between my thumb and index finger fatigues (this is 2.5 years into my guitar journey). My palm muting is getting better - now almost mediocre. :rofl: My song has a riff that leads into a power chord - I have trouble making the change smoothly! I’ve realized that these are three separate skills, and so I’ve been practicing them individually and not practicing each piece for more than 5 minutes (and sometimes less). My progress accelerated once I broke things down, though I still have a long way to go. What I’ve learned: be patient with yourself, and you’ll get there!


Hey Judi,

For sure! I took your advice on the F chord and it has really made a difference. No more than 5 minutes a day, but to make sure you get ion 5 minutes on it is huge. I can for sure see the difference it is making.

Power chords and palm muting is for the birds though. I also heard it was easy and you will pick it up in no time, like yeah right. I think there needs to be a whole grade on just this stuff at this point.

Just have to go see someone in person that can help me figure it out one of these days. Just got to keep grinding in the mean time.

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I’m not having a great time with power chords either and the palm muting is also iffy. I’ve been ignoring them both lately by trying to get used to my new acoustic guitar, no need for power chords there! :grin: (But now my F chord which has become easy on my electric is pretty impossible on the acoustic!) I’m starting to think maybe I should go back to the electric and those power chords.

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I was struggling (still am, just less so) with the E-shape barre chord (like the F barre) because my hand would get exhausted so quickly, even on an electric guitar. So, I decided to practice power chords in order to give my hand a bit of a workout. It really helped!

I worked through all the lessons in Justin’s old “Master Rock Power Chords” module. Here’s the link:

The techniques you learn in this module are all very applicable to barre chords as well, especially in a rhythm context.


Hey Luna,

I know your pain all too well! I found, as crappy as this is going to sound, that practicing with a high action, heavy gauge acoustic guitar was the best thing for my F-Chord. When I went back to my low action acoustic, I was playing the F-Chord much better. The first step is getting the technique right (curling the index finger over to the bone part, making sure strings aren’t muted, etc.) then working on that strength of the muscle between the thumb and index.

Once those come together (which the high action and heavy gauge of the strings is what helped a bit with my F-Chord) with the 1-minute changes, it gets a bit better.

I still don’t believe I have an answer for the power chords and palm muting though and the bad part is those are supposed to eb the simpler things to figure out.

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