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Movable Power Chords (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Brennan

Movable Power Chords

Mark explains how to finger power chords and how they can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. He also shows an exercise that will help you remember the name of each power chord.

Taught by Mark Brennan in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 16:28Difficulty: 1.5 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

LSCalgaryLSCalgary replied on June 29th, 2018

Awesome lessons Mark!! :)

kernahan5kernahan5 replied on January 19th, 2015

Supper lesson again mark.....thanks for your patience and passion

uffe55uffe55 replied on November 7th, 2014

Hej Mark! Jag vill lära mig spela gitarr som dom spelar i det är klippet Mvh Ulf Mossberg

dj91557dj91557 replied on March 2nd, 2014

Mark: Really have been enjoying the lessons. Your the greatest! What is the advantage of a power chord over a bar cord?

ssijohn223ssijohn223 replied on December 27th, 2013

Great Lessons. Question? If you were to call out for me to do say, B5 Power Chord what would determine specifying 7th fret 6th string root vs say 2nd fret 5th string Root?

bbowiebbowie replied on December 2nd, 2012

Hey Mark im really getting alot from your lessons,You are a great teacher. Just a quick question is there an exercise to help strengthen my left wrist for playing these power chords?

dusty hilldusty hill replied on November 5th, 2012

the riff sounds a little like tools schism.

RochetRochet replied on August 11th, 2015

I was thinking I can hear a bit of Tool in there as I was watching the lesson too!

mpaynempayne replied on October 28th, 2012

Just wanted to say thanks. This has really illuminated some of the things I have always wanted to do with blues and electric. Awesome!!! Lessons are great only suggestion is more screen shots of where notes lie on the guitar neckboard...i make screen shots so I got it covered :).

tk3300tk3300 replied on June 8th, 2012

Mark, If I'm playing a song with open cords , lik e "a" ..E...D...& G could I use "power cords " in their place & would it sound good to do that ? or do you just use"power cords" when called for ?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on June 10th, 2012

Power chords are generally used in rock song riffs, but can easily be used as a substitute for regular "full chords" if they "work"....let your ear be the judge. You'll need to make a determination what works best in the arrangement and feel you're trying to get......power chords will definitely give it a rock vibe.

slamdogslamdog replied on October 18th, 2011

After reviewing this lesson..I can see where I need to learn something about chord construction and what minor 5ths, etc mean. Could you lead me to some previous lessons or instructors who spend some time on this? Thanx

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on June 10th, 2012

Hey slamdog....sorry for the late reply...trying to get caught up on the comments......check out Chris Liepe"s beginner series....he has several lessons on chord construction.

emolso0emolso0 replied on October 7th, 2011

Great Lesson but...having a problem with root 4 power chords E5 & F5 and to some extent with G5 because my pinky is barely able to touch the proper fret/string. Any suggestions?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on June 10th, 2012

The root 4 power chords using the 3 string form need a finger stretch between the third and fourth fingers.....the pinky is one fret higher than the ring finger on the 2nd string. This should start to feel more comfortable and natural with practice...good luck..Mark

fallenfallen replied on February 24th, 2011

Mark - Joined Jamplay about a month ago and found your lesson series from the start. I really enjoy yor relaxed yet through stlye of instruction. Am a raw beginner at age 58 but feel I am beginning to put some things together and making small but steady progress. I hope you are going to keep adding lessons like this. They are challanging , yet extremely motivating! Thanks!

bridgesibridgesi replied on September 18th, 2010

I'm been using Jam Play for about 1 Year. I found Mark Brennan to be the best teacher for me so far. I am making good progress.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on September 18th, 2010

Great to hear! Keep it rollin.....

sargeysargey replied on September 13th, 2010

great lesson mark, thanks very much.. Is there any chance of some pink floyd lessons such as coming back to life..please

eamaroeamaro replied on September 4th, 2010

One of the best lessons of the series. Great material.

joephaserjoephaser replied on March 28th, 2010

Thank you Mark, I am really enjoying your lessons!

pekkapekka replied on January 1st, 2010

Great ideas about how to learn the fret board. I have played classical guitar for years but never learnt the board beyond the fifth fret. Now I think I will finally learn the rest also...

mastodanmastodan replied on November 24th, 2009

ahaha .. I just about lost it when Mark said "say as you play!" and then started cracking up ...

larazarlarazar replied on October 30th, 2009

Mark, I love your lessons, you are the best for beginners. Your lessons are simply ingeniously constracted. No frustration, just real progress, confidence and building a solid base. The exersises in this lesson are another great discovery. I learned notes on 4 strings out of 6 in no time (cause 6th and 1st are both E strings). And some time ago I realized that the power chords are a great training tool for practicing rythm, strengthening the left hand and moving along the neck. Because they are quite simple to fret, yet you move your hand quite a bit. My technique greatly improved after taking lessons on power chords from your series and Dennis' metal series. Thanks again.

lexzbuddylexzbuddy replied on October 16th, 2009

Of all the lecturers you seem to be the best. You have a knack for being concise yet seeming to instruct others in an arbitrary manner. In doing so, you have imparted knowledge with ease & given the students the impression of ease. You are a master of many arts & I must commend you in your artful delivery. Truly fantastic coverage of material. I have too many questions & you too much life left to lead to cover it. In short, thank you so much for your help & guidance. I’ve played for 22 years & you have managed to plug so many holes I almost cried. No thanks is enough

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on October 20th, 2009

9i totally accree.

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on October 20th, 2009

after practicing it a bit it looks like the second, is that correct?? oh ya saw your floyd, U ROCK!!!1

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on October 20th, 2009

hey on what postion of the minor pentotonic go with the D shape bar chord?? I know the E is the first and the A is the fourth,but do'nt know the D?? thanx and u rock.

meganmegan replied on October 19th, 2009

Good lesson Mark. As always, you make everything meaningful and interesting - OK fun! These days, I sure am getting lots of "power" lessons with the greats, such as you, having returned for some more teaching - plus a new star (Emil) on the scene. Hope your wife will be back, as well, to inspire us.

brano62brano62 replied on October 17th, 2009

God bless you Mark....You are # 1

larazarlarazar replied on October 16th, 2009

Me too. It took a long while since the last lesson. I wonder when we'll see the next one.

martin.baylymartin.bayly replied on October 16th, 2009

Yay!!! Welcome back Mark! Been looking forward to this next lesson ...

Basic Electric Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Mark's Phase 1 series will take you through the basics of playing electric guitar.

Lesson 1

Series Intro - Guitar Parts and Tuning

Mark introduces his Phase 1 series and covers some fundamental electric guitar basics.

Length: 30:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2


Mark provides a detailed overview of amplification. This lesson has some great info for any electric player.

Length: 33:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Using Tablature and Learning the Fretboard

Before we start rocking, Mark goes over some tools and training necessary to every beginning guitarist.

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Right Hand Technique

It's time to get some sound out of your guitar. Mark begins with picking hand technique.

Length: 31:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Left Hand Technique

Mark explains proper left hand technique from the ground up.

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Natural Notes in the 1st Position

Mark teaches you all of the natural notes played in first position. He uses two classic melodies to supplement this information.

Length: 25:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

The C Major Scale - 1st Position

It's time to learn your first scale - the C major scale in first position. Mark also explains how the major scale is constructed.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Chords in C major - Part 1

Mark covers 7 basic chords in the key of C major.

Length: 35:14 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Chords in C major - Part 2

Mark expands on chords in C major by showing full forms of the chords you learned in Part 1. He also teaches you the chord progression to a familiar tune.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Power Chord Primer

It's time to start making some noise by using power chords and palm muting. Mark gives you the framework to start rocking with the 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 36:43 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Open Position Minor Pentatonic

Take your knowledge of the notes in the first position and start jamming on a simple pentatonic riff.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Lesson 12

Blues Scale Basics with Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Vibrato

Let's build on lesson 11 with an extended discussion of the pentatonic scale. For lesson 12, we'll simply add one note to the minor pentatonic scale to give us the famous minor blues scale. We'll also...

Length: 36:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Movable Power Chords

Mark explains how to finger power chords and how they can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. He also shows an exercise that will help you remember the name of each power chord.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythmic Notation Part 1

Mark Brennan explains rhythmic notation, tempos, time signatures, note values, and more in this lesson.

Length: 32:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

The Key of G Major

Mark explores the key of G major in this lesson. He covers the first position pattern of the scale and explains how it can be harmonized in thirds.

Length: 33:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Chords of G Major

Mark teaches the basic chords of G major as well as some other exercises to get you acquainted with this key.

Length: 34:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

The Key of D Major

Mark explains the basics of D major.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Chords in D Major

Mark takes you through the chords of D major and explains some new ones that you haven't encountered yet.

Length: 35:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

More Movable Power Chords & the Circle of Fifths

Mark continues his discussion of power chords. This time around, he explains the circle of 5ths and demonstrates some power chord progressions that illustrate this concept.

Length: 33:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

The Movable Minor Pentatonic Scale

Mark teaches the 1st box of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 32:31 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

The Minor Blues Scale Transposed to A

Mark explains how you can transpose the pentatonic pattern covered in lesson 20 to the key of A minor. He also shows the "lower extension box" and "home plate box."

Length: 26:09 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Blues Boogie Shuffle

Mark teaches the difference between straight eighth notes and the shuffle feel.

Length: 42:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Amplification Part Two

In response to member requests, Mark added another amplification lesson to his growing phase 1 series. In this lesson, he compares 3 classes of amps from entry level models all the way to a Mesa Mark V.

Length: 40:45 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Introduction To Improvisation

In this lesson, Mark teaches some blues licks that can be used when improvising over a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 24:01 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

The Key of A Minor

Mark covers the key of A minor.

Length: 29:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Two Movable Major Chord Forms

Mark teaches two movable major chord forms and gives many examples of how to practice playing them.

Length: 26:10 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

I-IV-V Progression Revisited

Mark Brennan shows you how to apply the chord forms learned in lesson 26 to a I-IV-V progression.

Length: 21:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Movable Dominant 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan continues his teachings on movable chord forms. In this lesson he shows the dominant 7th chords and how to use them in a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Movable Minor and Minor 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan teaches these minor chord forms and how they are movable up and down the fretboard. He also shows how to use these chords in common progressions.

Length: 21:29 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only

About Mark Brennan View Full Biography Mark Brennan, born August 12th, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, began playing guitar at the age of 10. His first influences were from the Ventures and the British Invasion, especially the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Shortly afterwards he was playing in rock bands with his brother on drums, developing his ear by learning songs straight from records. Playing in a band became a passion.

In high school, he grew to love acoustic and classical guitar. He spent time playing acoustic music, influenced by The Eagles, CSN, Dan Folgelberg, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, etc. In the 70's, he headed a very popular Cleveland band, The Brennan-Cosma Band, which played a variety of acoustic and rock music, along with originals. He also took up classicalguitar, and began developing his fingerstyle technique.

Mark is a graduate of Cleveland State University (1980), with a Bachelor of Music in Classical guitar performance. He also studied Music Composition, and took many Music Education classes. After graduation, he began his private teaching career, teaching electric, acoustic, and classical guitar, along with music theory. He taught in various studios and guitar shops throughout his career, and currently has a private practice at his home in Fairview Park, Ohio.

In the 80's Mark took an affection to Progressive rock. With his band Polyphony, he was influenced by the music of Yes, Genesis, Kansas, ELP, Styx, along with a set of prog rock originals.

Currently, Mark is in the regionally successful Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here. The band performs faithful renderings of the Floyd classics spanning their entire catalog, along with a strong visual stage show. Here, Mark displays his command of the David Gilmour style.

Mark is excited to be part of's fine roster of teachers. He's looking forward to extending his 35 years of performing and teaching experience to the JamPlay members. His philosophy is about developing a passion for guitar and being the best musician you can be; being true to yourself and developing a personal style, and truly expressing your heart through your music.

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