Power Chord Variations

by Darius Wave

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  • Welcome to the Power Chords Variations lesson!

    Once you get your electric guitar for the first time, one of most common things to do, is to play some strummed chords with distortion turned on. That's what most of us did at the beginning. First thing to notice is that the more gain, the worse sound we get - our regular chords become to sound weird, with a kind of flattering effect. That's why power chords have been "invented". Some players at the beginning of modern high-gain period, realized that to keep the sound smooth, we need to remove some of chord ingredients. In each step of this lesson I'll lead you through most common forms of power chords, being used in both - modern and vintage rock and metal music.

    Make sure to use bridge pickup position. It's recommended to have humbucker pickup - it handles more distortion with less noise and it's much more tight/focused in the midrange.

    Proper amount of gain (only as much as necessary) will be crucial to keep things clear and tight. Too much gain will destroy good separation between notes, and will make the whole riffing more blurry. Too much gain can cause less effort from player himself, and will affect the overall profit, that could have been taken from the lesson.

    In the main lesson video, guitar has been recorded twice (doubled). This is how we get this specific, powerfull sound in recordings. It is also a great way to verify our recording precision.

    Gear used (in order of connection chain placement):

    1. SX SST57 upgraded/moded guitar
    2. Presonus Inspire 1394 firewire audio interface (input gain 25%)
    3. Poulin Legion plug-in:
    - Channel - green
    - Mode - Lead
    - All knobs (eq, drive, input etc.) - 50%
    4. Kefir impulse loader (mix 100%)
    5. Impulse - Catharsis 2off_preshigh
    6. Cubase 7.5 equalizer:
    - 4.46 kHz - 4,9 dB Q=9.3
    - 11.47 kHz - 3.5 dB Q=2.5 Low Pass II mode

    Tuning - Standard E

    Backing track progression:

    4/4 Em | Em | G | G | Am | G Bm | Em | Em |
    G/B | D/F# | Em/G | C/E | G | F#dim | Em | Em |
    C | Bm | Em | Em | C | Bm | Em | Em |
    Csus9 | Dsus9 | Esus9 | Em | C | D | Em | Em ||

    Tempo: Main song tempo is 120 bpm. There are also backing tracks available at 60, 75, 90, 105 and 120 bpm.

    Time signature: 4/4

    Scales used in this lesson:

    E-minor scale

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