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What Chords can you use to play over Power chords?

Jak Angelescu

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  • Sep 24, 2019
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    Well, I think you'd be able to play the full chord, right?

    Like A5 would have an Am or A7 underneath it. I always like striking a power chord, letting it ring and arpeggiating the full chord underneath it. Is that what you mean?
     

    Adin Shepherd

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    Yeah, I would agree with Jak.

    A power chord is just the I and V of your chord anyway, so any major, minor, sus2, sus4 etc should work fine (not sure about chords that move the V though?). You don't even need to play the full chord, even just part of it can be enough.

    Someone who is a little more well versed in theory could probably explain it better than me though.

    Paging Dr Ids.
     
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    Ezequiel Romanko

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    Yeah i was hearing a lot of music where it happens to add more to the part for example if you have saw the The Stage breakdown, in the chorus there are some chords on a clean guitar with a bit of arpeggio and strumming over the power chords and the leads, so i was thinking if any chord can be used or just some
     

    Calvin Phillips

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    If you use a chord of any kind I'd imagine you could use that same chord in the same spot even if it's a different position.
     

    Ids Schiere

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    What a power chord really is is just the root and the fifth of a chord. This means that you can really play any chord you want over it as long as it has that root note and it's fifth in it.

    This is in general, what should be noted is that a lot of the times minor and major are implied a little bit by the chord progression you're playing( D5 C5 Bb5 tends to be D minor for example) but in the end you're pretty free to do whatever you want, just don't go crazy and do m7b5 and things like that.
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    Yeah, I would agree with Jak.

    A power chord is just the I and V of your chord anyway, so any major, minor, sus2, sus4 etc should work fine (not sure about chords that move the V though?). You don't even need to play the full chord, even just part of it can be enough.

    Someone who is a little more well versed in theory could probably explain it better than me though.

    Paging Dr Ids.
    Just a small heads up about the use of Roman numerals. Roman numerals are used to denote chords(upper case major, lower case minor). When you want to say something about an interval you should just use regular numbers like root and fifth and stuff like that. Just so there's no confusion there
     

    Dominik Gräber

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    I do have a question here. If I want to make a powerchord a full chord, to know what I can add between the root and the fifth I need to know what key or scale I am/want to be in and and which notes appear in that scale, right? Otherwise I could throw in any note and it might sound worse than before. Or should I just experiment which notes to add to make the chord sound good to my ear?
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    I do have a question here. If I want to make a powerchord a full chord, to know what I can add between the root and the fifth I need to know what key or scale I am/want to be in and and which notes appear in that scale, right? Otherwise I could throw in any note and it might sound worse than before. Or should I just experiment which notes to add to make the chord sound good to my ear?
    The note you want to consider adding in is third because that determines whether it's minor or major. You can also just add the 4th or the second which make It a sus chord. when you add a minor seventh and a major third that instantly implies the key you're in since that is a V chord.

    So now you can't just add any note, it need to be one of the intervals(2 3 4 6 7) of the root note you're playing.
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    How do I know what is the third, second etc? Is it just going through the cromatic scale? I have no idea how minors and majors work here 😅
    And what is a V chord?
    It's the notes from the major scale. Minor is when you flat all of them (except the fourth and fifth they are perfect). V chord is the chord build around the fifth note of the major scale.
     
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    Firsty Lasty

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    One thing that can be really fun to do is record a basic power chord progression and use "brute force" to find some things which sound cool and flavorful over it. By that I mean completely ignore music theory and try every power chord and complete chord that you know over it. Like literally every major and minor triad, every kind of seventh chord, all of it. Just write down what grabs your ear and go from there. This probably sounds like a strange thing to do, but I find it super inspiring.

    I should probably also give a more specific answer to the question. Sus 2. Hitting that second interval above fat power chords sounds great.

    Of course you can also get bigger power chords by adding notes to the bottom. A favorite chord type of mine is to take a power chord and add the sixth beneath it, which magically transforms it into a kind of seventh chord without the fifth. That was probably confusing, let me explain better. Look at these two chords:
    x6578x
    x5356x

    They're both just power chords with an extra note on bottom. In the first case the intervals of the chord are:
    1
    major 3rd
    major seventh
    octave of the major 3rd

    The second one is:
    1
    minor 3rd
    minor 7th
    octave of the minor 3rd
     
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    Adin Shepherd

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    Yea
    Just a small heads up about the use of Roman numerals. Roman numerals are used to denote chords(upper case major, lower case minor). When you want to say something about an interval you should just use regular numbers like root and fifth and stuff like that. Just so there's no confusion there

    Ahh, good point, I'll remember that for the future. Just to clarify it in my own head, are the notes for building chords, for eg. the 1, 3 and 5 for a major, the interval numbers or are they scale degrees? Or is that kinda the same thing?
     
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    Ezequiel Romanko

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    Yea


    Ahh, good point, I'll remember that for the future. Just to clarify it in my own head, are the notes for building chords, for eg. the 1, 3 and 5 for a major, the interval numbers or are they scale degrees? Or is that kinda the same thing?
    Well for eg. If you are in the key of C Major and you're making the C major chord wich haves C(root) E(Third) G(fifth) they are actually the interval numbers and the scale degree but if you're making the G chord of that C major scale its only the interval numbers cuz you have G (root of the Gmaj chord and Fifth degree of C major scale) B ( third of Gmaj chord and 7th degree of C major scale) and D ( fifth of Gmaj Chord and second degree of C major scale).
     

    Adin Shepherd

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    Well for eg. If you are in the key of C Major and you're making the C major chord wich haves C(root) E(Third) G(fifth) they are actually the interval numbers and the scale degree but if you're making the G chord of that C major scale its only the interval numbers cuz you have G (root of the Gmaj chord and Fifth degree of C major scale) B ( third of Gmaj chord and 7th degree of C major scale) and D ( fifth of Gmaj Chord and second degree of C major scale).

    Ok, I think I see what you are saying. A C major chord built from the C major scale would be in scale degree terms, 1 3 5 and in interval terms R M3 and P5? Likewise C minor would be 1 b3 and 5 or R m3 and P5?
     
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    Ezequiel Romanko

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    Ok, I think I see what you are saying. A C major chord built from the C major scale would be in scale degree terms, 1 3 5 and in interval terms R M3 and P5? Likewise C minor would be 1 b3 and 5 or R m3 and P5?
    Yes R m3 and P5, in fact you can call the Root of a Chord its the note that gives the name to the chord eg, but the 3 and the 5 will be counted from that root of the chord.
     
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