C Power Chords Guitar Players Should Know

In this post I cover 6 critical C Power chords that guitar players should know. This will include C Major and C Minor power chords.

For every power chord I’ll cover the notes that make up that chord and the chord shape. Also, if you know the notes on the guitar fretboard, you’ll be able to use the chord notes to come up with your own variations of these power chords.

Power chords are commonly used in rock guitar playing. They are often played on electric guitar with distortion. But they can also be used effectively on an electric guitar with a clean sound, or even an acoustic guitar. They can be found in songs by many famous bands including Metallica, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Blink 182, and The Rolling Stones. 

I recommend mastering the chord shapes in this post by using them when learning songs, or applying them in your songwriting!

C Power Chord (8th fret)

This C Power chord, played from the 8th fret, has these notes: C, G, C

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this C Power chord is played:

C power chord, fret 8

This is the quintessential power chord shape on guitar.

Note, this chord shape does not include C Minor third (Eb) or Major third (E) notes. Therefore it is not technically a C Major or C Minor power chord. It can be considered either!

C Power Chord (3rd fret)

This C Power chord, played from the 3rd fret, has these notes: C, G, C

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this C Power chord is played:

C power chord, fret 3

This is the quintessential power chord shape on guitar.

Note, this chord shape does not include C Minor third (Eb) or Major third (E) notes. Therefore it is not technically a C Major or C Minor power chord. It can be considered either!

C Major Power Chord (5th fret)

This C Major power chord, played from the 5th fret, has these notes: C, E, G

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this C Major power chord is played:

C major power chord, fret 5

Because this chord shape includes the E note (Major 3rd), it is considered an C Major power chord.

C Minor Power Chord (5th fret)

This C Minor power chord, played from the 2nd fret, has these notes: C, Eb, G

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this C Minor power chord is played:

C minor power chord, fret 5

Because this chord shape includes the Eb note (Minor 3rd), it is considered an C Minor power chord.

C Major Power Chord (1st fret)

This C Major power chord, played from the 1st fret, has these notes: C, E, G

Note the third string is played as an open string.

Here is how this C Major power chord is played:

C major power chord, fret 1

Because this chord shape includes the E note (Major 3rd), it is considered an C Major power chord.

C Minor Power Chord (1st fret)

This C Minor power chord, played from the 1st fret, has these notes: C, Eb, G

Note the third string is played as an open string.

Here is how this C Minor power chord is played:

C minor power chord, fret 1

Because this chord shape includes the Eb note (Minor 3rd), it is considered an C Minor power chord.

Further reading

  1. Five Easy Guitar Chords You Should Know: C Chords
  2. Power Chord Alternatives: Five Voicings to Try
  3. John Petrucci Invisible Monster Guitar Lesson Summary

You Might Also Like...

Share This Post...

Twitter
Facebook
Reddit
Email
LinkedIn
Pocket

Did You Enjoy This?

Then consider joining the Modern Guitar Hub newsletter. Start getting our concise, practical posts about guitar playing, recording and songwriting directly in your inbox.