powerchords


merker
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merker
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06/08/2004 4:53 am
I am currently in a band, and we write rock/metal music, and im really sick of using powerchords. Do you have any suggestions for different chords?
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# 1
beginner
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beginner
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06/08/2004 3:24 pm
Increase your powerchords by putting for instance the 4th finger off his normal place and put it some where else where it sounds good. Also play some single notes betwen the power chords. You can make great riffs that way, especially in rock and metal.
# 2
mc9mm
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mc9mm
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06/08/2004 6:11 pm
Use the whole chord!
Powerchords does'nt offer much variation, but if you play whole
chords you have all the chords to choose from, and there are plenty!
Fingerpicking style songs.
Or let the bass do the rhytm, and just bring the guitar in for som fills,
bridges and solos.
# 3
Leedogg
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Leedogg
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06/18/2004 9:47 am
Play around with barre chords and different chord voicings. With a few subtle movements on a barre'd chord you can get like 4 (or more) similar chords. Say you got the 5th fret barred in an "E major shape", you would have an A major. Lift up your middle finger and presto, it's now an A minor. There are other one's too.
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# 4
munqy
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munqy
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06/21/2004 1:26 am
I'd say power chords are still useful en all, don't give up hope just yet.

Try listening to different bands and see how they use them to change the over all style of the song. Iron maiden uses a galloping technique, while metallica has a wider vareity of uses with them. alot of megadeth songs feature this one technique where u kind roll/circle the pick in an arc, to get a cool effect.

or

you can try some other cool effects
like what i call the backwards powerchord fig 1(Dsus2 ) (check out songs on metallica's master of puppets and ...and justice for all,)
--fig 1----fig2------fig3---fig4---fig5-fig6--fig7--fig8-
b--------------------------8------------------------
g--------------------------7-----4---4----6-----10-
d-5 ----------5----- 7-----6-----2---5----0------7-
a-7------5-7-0------x-----7-----3---3----7------8-
E--------0-0--------5-------------------- 5-----10-
or try the whole open string effect( fig2 variations of Dsus2), it can be heard in songs like unforgiven for the verse riff. sevendust uses it alot too

*unforgiven - by metallica*
------------------|-----12-12-11-11-----------|
-12-10-9-10/9----|-----0--0---0--0--10-10----|
-0---0-0---0--10-|-x-x---------------0---0-x-x|
---------------0--|-x-x---------------------x-x|

or a good harmonizing effect like (fig 3) where ure holding down on 2 'A' notes. Sounds real cool when used rite.

Even with alot of distortion dun be afraid to use funky chords. Check out war pigs - by black sabbath they incorporate the hendrix chord fig 4(Em9) - it really changes the feel to the song.

Or try chords like fig5(E/C) this sounds real good. I guess alot of bands use it but i first came about it when learning 'frogs - by Alice in chains' (or was it sludge factory, cant remember) back in 1997, but its used alot in softer stuff like drive - incubus.

Another thing u can do is check out bands like 'at the drive in', 'sparta' and 'the mars volta'. I know they delve alot into a certain punk vibe, but they sound heavy whilst barely using any powerchords. (its been a while since i listened to em so dun hold me on that one).

..shi*... my TA's back, freaking summer skool...!%!$%@$%@$$&%$*...f*** EELAB ****

i hope some this helps, its totally off memory so i appoligize for the inaccuracies, and ignore the typos , i'll edit this when i get back home

late
real tyte bro \m/
# 5
dinell2
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dinell2
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06/27/2004 6:28 pm
Developing Your Own Chord Voicings

stack 'em up

There are many requests to newsgroups and in sessions for "charts
of chord voicings." In my opinion, learning disconnected chords
from a chart is not necessarily the best way to make those chords
part of your vocabulary. Here's an alternative method.


Consider working out the chord voicings yourself. If you go to a
chart, you're likely to find a ton of disconnected voicings, the
applications and relationships of which are not likely to be
clear. In contrast, if you work out your own voicings, even if
you don't have as many "shapes" memorized, you will have a much
greater command of those voicings, and more importantly, you will
know how to employ and manipulate them. This helps you develop a
personalized approach, and to know why certain things
work or don't work. I would encourage you to experiment
extensively with this practice; it's one of the great advantages
of playing a chordal instrument, and one that supports
alterations in tunings. We can get many unique and individualized
chordal sounds.

Try this:

1) Determine the correct chord tones for the chords you want to
learn. If you don't know how to figure out chord tones, any basic
"introduction to harmony" to textbook will explain it, or you can
refer to the large section "Understanding Celtic Harmony" in my
book Celtic Backup . There is also information
in these same sources on how to understand and build the various
modes in which Irish traditional music melodies tend to be
written.

Once you know the chord tones of the chords you want to build, do
this:

2) In first position, and using open strings, figure out
fingerings that give you those chords. Realize that in any tune
in Dmaj, Gmaj, Am, Bm, or Em, you can allow certain notes to ring
through---any note that functions as the tonic, second, fourth,
fifth, or seventh of the key is potentially available as a drone
(provided that drone note fits within the mode of the tune).

For example, if you are accompanying a tune which is in D
Mixolydian mode, then the notes of the mode (and therefore of the
tune), are


D E F# G A B C D
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1


So the available drone notes are the tonic (D), second (E),
fourth (G), fifth (A), and flat-seventh (C) of the mode.
Potentially, any of these notes, that is D, E, G, A, & C, can be
used momentarily or for an extended period as a drone.

Of course the commonest drones in this music are on the tonic, or
perhaps the fifth (D and A). These are the tones commonly used as
drones by various sorts of pipes. However, the second, fourth,
and seventh can also be used as drones, provided that they agree
with the notes of the tune's mode.

This means that many of your chords can combine elements of the
chord juxtaposed with a drone note or notes. In the same D
Mixolydian mode, then, your "tonic chord" could be spelled:


D F# A
1 3 5 (the standard D major triad)
D G A
1 4 5 (in technical terms, a "suspended 4th" chord")
D E A
1 2 5 (in technical terms, a "suspended 2nd chord")
D A C
1 5 b7 (in technical terms, a fragment of a "D7" chord)


Two provisos (n.b., these are very important):

1) You should avoid using a drone note in your chord which
clashes aggressively with a note in the melody. If your chord is
spelled D-G-A, and the melody hangs on an F#, it will not sound
good.

2) Similarly, you should avoid combining drones and chord tones
in a fashion which juxtaposes 2 notes which are « step apart.
E.g., if your chord is spelled D-F#-G, it will not sound good.

In both cases, this is because the dissonance of one-half step
between chord tones, or between a chord tone and a melody note,
clashes too much. You can make use of the
distance of one whole step between chord tones or melody notes
(D-G-A, for example) to good effect.

In all cases, you should strive for a judicious use of drones and
partial chords, especially focusing on maintaining
continuity, using drone notes held in common between
chords which are changing. This retention of a droning element
along with partial chords is very suitable for the droning, modal
character of the tunes.

Realize also that you can get away with using only 2 of the 3
notes in the triad, plus drones. It is not necessary to
have all three notes of every triad represented, and in fact is
likely to work against your having a suitable chordal sound---
excessive diatonicism (use of full triads) tends to detract from
the modal character of the traditional melodies.

In practical terms, this means that you have to learn your way
around your chosen tuning. You need to know where notes are on
your instrument, and you need to know what notes at any given
moment need to be fingered as chord tones or can be left open as
drones.

As an example, here are a couple of demonstrations for how to
work out a few chords on a bouzouki tuned DGDAD (low pitch to
high pitch). If you play a four course instrument (cittern,
octave mandolin, or mandolin), you can mentally "leave off" the
references to the lowest course.

Please note also that exactly the same principles hold
true for working out chord voicings on other stringed instruments
(say for example guitar). Though the specifics of the tuning or
number of strings may be different, the principles for building
chord voicings are identical.

Say for example you're working out an Em chord (spelled EGB in
standard practice). On a four-course instrument tuned GDAD (low
to high) you would leave the lowest string open (yielding G), the
2nd fret of the 3th string (yielding E), the 2nd fret of the 2nd
string (B again), and either finger the top string's 2nd fret (E
again) or leaving it open (yielding a drone D, the seventh of the
mode). This means you are fingering a combination of notes that
yield an EGB chord, with the addition of a drone D on top. This
is, in technical terms, an Em7 chord, but for Irish music
purposes, you can think "Em plus drone strings."

Second example:

For an A chord (which is neither major nor minor, and works in
both sorts of tunes): finger the 2nd fret of the lowest string
(yielding A) or damp that string by wrapping your thumb, finger
the second fret of the 3rd string(E), leave the 2nd string open (A
again), and finger the 2nd fret of the top string (E) or leave it
open (drone D). You get a chord spelled (A)EAD, with drone Don
top. In technical terms, an Asus4 chord; for Irish purposes, "A
modal." Note that this chod does not include the 3rd (C or C#)
which would dictate whether the chord is major or minor. Because
it lacks the C or C#--that is the flat 3 or natural 3--the chord
is neither major nor minor, and can therefore be used in both
major and minor situations: for tunes in A major and also tunes
in A minor. Such ambiguity is very useful and highly desirable:
it lets the tune itself determine the major/minor sound
of the performance

Further exercises:

Do the same thing with other chords: work out voicings in first
position, using open strings wherever possible, for all the
chords you use in accompaniment. Remember to experiment and
familiarize yourself with the effect of adding drone notes on
open strings(which can be high or low) to full or partial triads.

Now do the same thing up the neck. Realize that you really only
need to finger the bottom 2 or 3 strings: the top A and/or D can
be allowed to ring if you're in Dmaj, Gmaj, Am, or Em (and
selectively in other keys as well), because those top notes can
open be made to function as temporary drones on the tonic,
second, fourth, fifth, or flat-seventh degrees of the scale.

Also, you will frequently want to damp a certain string, stopping
it from sounding, and fingering the notes on the other strings,
perhaps letting the top A and/or D ring out. This is how you get
moving basslines and chord inversions going up and down the neck
(see also the article on "Improvising Counterpoint" for much more
on this last).

I think you'll find if you work out this stuff on your own, your
vocabulary may be smaller, but you'll have a MUCH better grasp of
how and why it works (and how you can use it).
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# 6
munqy
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munqy
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07/01/2004 9:48 am
OMG
dude i'm printing this post out and trying it. Sounds real neat
any tips on writing complex rythmic songs? I spent too much time learning leads and only now am i trying to work out rythms that sound good (not typical rock / metal ). But great post.
real tyte bro \m/
# 7
KonkerTheWorld
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KonkerTheWorld
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07/02/2004 2:14 am
Originally Posted by: mc9mmUse the whole chord!
Powerchords does'nt offer much variation, but if you play whole
chords you have all the chords to choose from, and there are plenty!
Fingerpicking style songs.
Or let the bass do the rhytm, and just bring the guitar in for som fills,
bridges and solos.


I disagree (in this case). Of course full chords give a better overall sound by highlighting the major, minor 7th etc... tones, but not in Rock/Metal.
If you think about it rock and metal songs are mostly riff-oriented which sound best with power chords. Also this type of band tends to use the guitar with the gain/distortion RIGHT UP, which when playing full chords makes the overall sound bad, tacky and well...distorted. So basically yeah full chords are much better, but not when it comes to rock and metal.
# 8
Azrael
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Azrael
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07/02/2004 5:20 am
thats not true. you just dont need to play the whole chord on one guitar. seperate it and let the chord be played by 2 or 3 instruments. like the guitar plays 2 notes of the chord and the second guitar plays 2 other notes of the chord. sounds very good

[FONT=Times New Roman]Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. What you decide to do every day makes you a good person... or not.[/FONT][br][br]

# 9
KonkerTheWorld
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KonkerTheWorld
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07/03/2004 9:45 pm
good point, that would effectively be a harmony though if you think about it, my point is that powerchords are best for rock songs though i can see what you mean, but u gotta remember it's hard for two guitarists to synchronise with one another to produce the one riff. I mean how would queen have managed that cos the only got one guitarist (brian may).
# 10
Incidents Happen
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Incidents Happen
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07/04/2004 4:09 am
Originally Posted by: KonkerTheWorldgood point, that would effectively be a harmony though if you think about it, my point is that powerchords are best for rock songs though i can see what you mean, but u gotta remember it's hard for two guitarists to synchronise with one another to produce the one riff. I mean how would queen have managed that cos the only got one guitarist (brian may).


If you look at it like that, then you could claim that any two guitarists who play chords at different voicings are "harmonizing".

There is a certain sense of security that exists in a larger band that you simply don't have in smaller bands, and part of that is that you don't have to worry about playing monster chords if you have a rhythm guitarist....*Divide up the meat*, so to speak.

~Incidents
# 11
KonkerTheWorld
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KonkerTheWorld
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07/04/2004 11:13 pm
very true

p.s.-in regards to ur sig "what we see now is like a dim image in a mirror...then we shall see face-to-face"
# 12

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