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Introduction to Power Chords and Palm Muting – Lesson 18

Lesson by: SynGates.com

SynGates.com

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In this lesson we introduce the Power Chord and concentrate on the right hand technique called Palm Muting.
 

David Deatherage

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I've always used my fist and fourth fingers for power chords. Switching to the first and third is a stretch for me and cramps lol. Is there a downside to using the fourth instead of the third?
 

Dominik Gräber

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    I've always used my fist and fourth fingers for power chords. Switching to the first and third is a stretch for me and cramps lol. Is there a downside to using the fourth instead of the third?
    Well you have to use your third and fourth Finger when you do those 3 notes Power chords (sorry, theory noob myself)
    So it might be a good Idea to get at least comfortable with playing them Like this as well. Having Said that, I primarily use the 1st and 4th Finger as Well. :)
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    I've always used my fist and fourth fingers for power chords. Switching to the first and third is a stretch for me and cramps lol. Is there a downside to using the fourth instead of the third?
    Honestly, I've been using first and third finger for years but when I wanted to learn the intro of Layla I had to switch to first and fourth because that made playing it that much easier. I think it solely depends on the situation, for example In Layla using your fourth finger instead of the third makes it just a little bit easier to play but if you want to use your third finger it works just the same
     
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    David Deatherage

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    Thanks for the good info guys! I was just making sure I wasn’t doing any bad habits that will hurt down the road. Much appreciated!!
     

    Kai C

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    @David Deatherage like everyone else said it's a comfort based decision so whatever works works. Using the 3rd simply opens up the 4th to add shit in as you go. But as far as cramping goes, make sure you're stretching, have proper hand/wrist position, and the tension on your guitar is balanced. I had the same issue and thought I was just a weak bitch...but my teacher adjusted the tension rod and it's been so light ever since that I haven't cramped up yet.
     

    David Deatherage

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    @David Deatherage like everyone else said it's a comfort based decision so whatever works works. Using the 3rd simply opens up the 4th to add shit in as you go. But as far as cramping goes, make sure you're stretching, have proper hand/wrist position, and the tension on your guitar is balanced. I had the same issue and thought I was just a weak bitch...but my teacher adjusted the tension rod and it's been so light ever since that I haven't cramped up yet.
    I'll give that a try it might be positioning. Thanks!
     

    Kai C

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    I'll give that a try it might be positioning. Thanks!

    Yeah man, let me know how it goes. I can't preach those things I said enough because I have multiple injuries to various joints. Starting to practice and play longer hurt like hell and I was scared I might not be able to do this. Then it all got fixed with just a few things.
     
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    David Deatherage

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    Yeah man, let me know how it goes. I can't preach those things I said enough because I have multiple injuries to various joints. Starting to practice and play longer hurt like hell and I was scared I might not be able to do this. Then it all got fixed with just a few things.
    Yup like u said I tried different holding positions and actually found one that it’s no problem to do this. So great idea brother and should’ve known better!!
     
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    Mathmilam

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    Ive always found the Ramones to be the best intro to applying power chords and learning songs by ear. They use almost exclusively power chords so just figure the notes and rhythm out and your set.
     
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    Conor Mason

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    I started out learning power chords using my index and ring finger. After watching Hetfield play, I really got into using my pinky instead and use my ring finger when using an octave powerchord. Basically, what I mean is, hitting the root and 5th with your 1st and 3rd, then the octave of the root with your pinky underneath your 3rd to fill out the sound in the chord. I really recommend using all of your fingers and gradually stretching out your reach. That will come with time, but any exercises you see that work that helps. Cheers folks
     

    hypertensao

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    I seem to hit, a lot, the 6th string while doing the D powerchord and have to really focus and look at my strumming hand while strumming to avoid hitting and playing it.
    Should that string be muted with the 2nd finger/thumb or is it just practice?
     

    Ed Seith

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    I seem to hit, a lot, the 6th string while doing the D powerchord and have to really focus and look at my strumming hand while strumming to avoid hitting and playing it.
    Should that string be muted with the 2nd finger/thumb or is it just practice?

    When using 5th string power chords like the D, your best practice is to get used to placing the index finger so that it barely touches, but DOES NOT PRESS down on, that 6th string. That will effectively mute it when you strike it.

    The unsung hero of rock rhythm playing of any kind is getting yourself to a place where you subconsciously mute everything you don't want to ring out. It's best achieved by learning assorted ways to mute various strings with either or both hands and just making it a part of everything you do.
     

    hypertensao

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    When using 5th string power chords like the D, your best practice is to get used to placing the index finger so that it barely touches, but DOES NOT PRESS down on, that 6th string. That will effectively mute it when you strike it.

    The unsung hero of rock rhythm playing of any kind is getting yourself to a place where you subconsciously mute everything you don't want to ring out. It's best achieved by learning assorted ways to mute various strings with either or both hands and just making it a part of everything you do.

    Thanks Ed! I tried to copy Haner Sr. but it seemed to me that he was not muting it with the second finger, but I will definitely try that.
    The more i play, the more I understand that for loud rock and roll/metal you need to mute a lot :)
     
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    chris_is_cool

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    Using the 2nd finger to mute the 6th string is also a common technique, it's what my teacher taught me. For me it took a couple of weeks to really get used to it, but now it's second nature and I don't need to think about it anymore. But you can also try to mute with the index finger, as long as you are muting cleanly and are able to switch chords quickly, it's a matter of personal taste.