Many popular rock songs use power chords extensively. David explains how power chords are formed and provides you with their basic fretboard shapes.
Taught by David MacKenzie in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 10:12Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
The E5 Chord
The first power chord presented in the lesson is E5. Simply place your first finger on the 2nd fret of the A string and play the open E (6th) string. Strum only these two notes. Do not accidentally hit any of the other strings. Notice that this is the E5 chord, and the first note we play is the open E string.
The A5 Chord
The second chord Dave demonstrates is the A5 power chord. The visual fretboard shape of this chord is quite similar to E5. Take your first finger and place it on the 2nd fret of the D string (or 4th string). This power chord only uses two strings - the open A and the 2nd fret on the D string. Simply strum these two notes. Notice the rich, powerful sound that comes out of your guitar with the distortion cranked up.
Practice playing this chord until you have the position memorized before moving on.
The D5 Chord
Up next is the D5 chord. As Dave explains, this chord is fingered by moving your finger down to the second fret of the G string. This leaves the D string open. Play only the G and D strings and these two notes will give you a D5 power chord.
Are you noticing a pattern yet? We are simply going down the neck of the guitar each time. The open string note names the power chord.
The G5 Chord
The G5 power chord is a bit different from the others. Instead of placing your finger on the 2nd fret, you will place it on the 3rd. This chord is fingered by playing the open G String (names the chord) and the D note located at the 3rd fret of the B string. The next chord will move back to the second fret, so remember, G5 on the 3rd fret, the rest on the second.
The B5 Chord
One of the last power chords for today's lesson is B5. To play B5, simply finger the 2nd fret of the high E, or first string and play the open B string.
The chords that were taught above are frequently referred to as "open" power chords since they each contain an open string. They are not necessarily used as much as the closed position power chord, which is discussed next. However, they are very useful to know and easy to play.Closed Position Chords
The closed position power chord is called "closed position" because it does not use any open strings. The major advantage of using a closed position power chord is that it can be moved up and down the entire fretboard. For instance, the G5 closed position power chord starts on the 3rd fret. If you move it up to the fourth fret, you now have a G#5 Power chord.
The G5 Power Chord
This is the G5 power chord. As you can see, it is played in a closed position, because it uses no open strings. To play this chord, simply place your first finger on the 3rd fret of the low E or 6th string, and place your thirdrd finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string. Play the two strings that you have fretted. As mentioned above, this chord can be moved up and down the neck, with each fret creating a new power chord. Try experimenting with this concept. Move the chord shape to the 8th fret, the 6th, then up to the 12th and see how things sound. This demonstrates the power of closed shapes, and why they are used so often.
This has been a very short lesson that contains much information. Do not worry if you do not yet fully understand what a power chord is, or how it is used. Simply play around with the chord shapes in this lesson and have some fun. See how things sound and feel. Playing around on your guitar is just as important as learning and playing exercises. David will explain more about what chords are in future lessons. He covers how they can be used in a practical musical context.
In his Phase 1 series, David MacKenzie will walk you through the basics of rock guitar.
David discusses the parts of the guitar. He also gives you some basic techniques to get you started.Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
In this lesson, David introduces basic power chords. Great fun for beginners!Length: 10:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
David introduces some basic chords and chord progressions.Length: 14:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
David provides a brief explanation of what notes, chords, power chords, and arpeggios are.Length: 8:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
This lesson is all about increasing your speed and coordination. David demonstrates basic picking exercises.Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
David MacKenzie presents a mysterious sounding chord exercise. This exerices is designed to improve right hand technique.Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
In this short lesson David talks about practice, discipline, and how you should apply yourself when learning and mastering the guitar.Length: 6:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Double stops can bring new life to your rhythm and lead playing. David provides a short tutorial on what double stops are and how they can be used.Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David covers the basic major chord shapes. Every guitarist must learn these basic chords.Length: 18:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie walks you through the basic minor chords. Expand your knowledge of chords with this fun-filled lesson.Length: 8:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major scales are an essential component of all styles of music. They can also be used as a great way to orient yourself with the fretboard.Length: 32:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie explains how to practice the major scales along with a fun backing track.Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David MacKenzie proceeds to an in-depth discussion of the minor scales.Length: 15:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie shows you how to play the natural minor scale over a rockin' JamTrack.Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David demonstrates an excellent one-string exercise in this lesson. This exercise will improve your dexterity and knowledge of the fretboard.Length: 16:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Hammer-ons and pull-offs are techniques that enable you to play with a smooth, legato feel.Length: 8:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie gives a crash course on bending in this lesson. Bends can add a lot of soul to your playing.Length: 16:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie teaches two rock licks inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David returns to the world of hammer-ons with a fun new exercise. This lesson includes a JamTrack.Length: 13:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David returns to the world of pull-offs with a new exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie returns to bending technique in this lesson. This lesson features a backing track that is designed for bending practice.Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Integrating vibrato into your guitar playing is a great way to add emotion and soul. David MacKenzie explains the basics of vibrato in this lesson.Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces the pentatonic scale.Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson.Length: 4:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie explains a two octave pattern of the major scale.Length: 11:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces a two octave natural minor scale pattern.Length: 12:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David teaches a two octave pattern of the major pentatonic scale.Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie teaches a two octave version of the minor pentatonic scale.Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie teaches several licks based on common arpeggio patterns. This lesson also includes a backing track to jam with.Length: 20:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces some important rhythm basics in this lesson. This lesson also includes a backing track exercise.Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie explains various power chord voicings. By simply moving a finger or two, new power chords can be formed.Length: 18:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces some new amazing licks.Length: 29:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
David MacKenzie teaches another amazing tapping exercise.Length: 13:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The third tapping lesson elaborates on the previous lesson by adding open strings.Length: 12:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The fourth lesson in Dave's tapping series deals with a monster diminished lick.Length: 11:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In lesson five of his tapping mini-series, DMac provides backing tracks that you can tap over.Length: 8:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
In lesson 38, DMac demonstrates some tremolo techniques to add to your repertoire.Length: 13:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
DMac returns to his tapping instruction with more advanced techniques.Length: 19:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In lesson 40, DMac teaches you how to play various D chords all the way up the neck.Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
In lesson 41, David discusses the octave and its uses while playing.Length: 17:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
About David MacKenzie
View Full Biography
Dave MacKenzie has been playing guitar for 30 of his 45 years on this earth. Starting back when he was 14 years old, Dave picked up the guitar and started to learn from his oldest brother, who had played some guitar as well. Dave was hooked, and couldn't learn fast enough! Everything from the Beatles, Chicago, Ted Nugent, The Eagles, you name it, Dave was trying to play it.
Then as with a lot of players out there, Eddie Van Halen came along and changed the way guitar was played! Dave has been influenced by anyone he has heard play guitar, literally! Always keeping an open mind and a humbleness about him has helped him to keep learning new things on, and about the guitar.
Dave has mostly played in top 40 rock, country, and pop bands. He is most recently playing guitar and keyboards in a 80's metal band called Open Fire. They have opened for Warrant, Firehouse, Winger, and LA Guns within the 3 and a half years they have been together, and are now jumping into original music.
Dave believes you should have internal motivation, and passion to play guitar, and most definitely, it should be fun!
As with his playing, Dave will find new ways to show you how to get the most out of your time learning guitar!
Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.
JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...Free LessonSeries Details
Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.Free LessonSeries Details
Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.Free LessonSeries Details
Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.Free LessonSeries Details
Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...Free LessonSeries Details
Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo talks about basic song structure in this lesson, covering the verse, chorus and bridge. He uses his original song,...Free LessonSeries Details
Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.
Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...Free LessonSeries Details
Berklee College of Music Professor Danny "Mo" Morris brings a unique balance of music theory and creative thinking to the...Free LessonSeries Details
Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.Free LessonSeries Details
Stuart delves into all the different aspects of how R&B guitar has had an impact within reggae music.Free LessonSeries Details
James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.Free LessonSeries Details
This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.Free LessonSeries Details
Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...Free LessonSeries Details
Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.Free LessonSeries Details
While we have attempted to provide you with an accurate rendition of our video lesson experience, there are some features which
require a membership with us!
At JamPlay, we give you the ability to monitor your own progress for any lesson! If you watch one of our lessons and feel as though you understand around half of it, mark your progress at 50%. This adds the lesson to your customized Progress Report, and gives you an incredible ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.
With thousands of lessons at your fingertips, JamPlay can be a touch intimidating to a first-time user. With Progressive Bookmarking, we give you the ability to systematically bookmark sections of any lessons you are working on to quickly access later. After all, what is the point of all this content if it isn't easy to use?
JamPlay also gives you the ability to leave notes for yourself on any lesson. Just like in any educational system, taking your own notes while learning gives you the ability to highlight the instruction that is important to you. Leave your notes, and we store them in our database for you to reference each and everytime you come back to the lesson.