E Power Chords Guitar Players Should Know

In this post I cover eight critical E power chords that guitar players should know. This will include E major and E minor power chords.

For every power chord I’ll cover the notes that comprise that chord, the chord formula, and the chord shape. Also, if you know the notes on the guitar fretboard, you’ll be able to use the chord formula to come up with your own chord shapes for every chord.

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!

E Power Chord (7th fret)

This E power chord, played from the seventh fret, has these notes: E, B, E

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this E power chord is played:

E power chord. 7th fret.

This is the quintessential power chord shape on guitar.

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

E Power Chord (12th fret)

This E power chord, played from the twelfth fret, has these notes: E, B, E

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this E power chord is played:

E power chord. 12th fret.

This is the quintessential power chord shape on guitar.

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

E Major Power Chord (1st fret)

This E major power chord, played from the first fret, has these notes: E, B, E, G#

Note the sixth string is played as an open string.

Here is how this E major power chord is played:

E Major Power Chord. First fret.

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

E Minor Power Chord (1st fret)

This E minor power chord, played from the first fret, has these notes: E, B, E, G

Note the sixth string and third strings are played as open strings.

Here is how this E minor power chord is played:

E Minor Power Chord. First fret.

Because this chord shape includes the G note (Minor 3rd), it is considered an E minor power chord.

E Major Power Chord (9th fret)

This E major power chord, played from the ninth fret, has these notes: E, G#, B

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this E major power chord is played:

E Major Power Chord. 9th fret.

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

E Minor Power Chord (9th fret)

This E minor power chord, played from the ninth fret, has these notes: E, G, B

Do not play any of the open strings.

Here is how this E minor power chord is played:

E Minor Power Chord. 9th fret.

Because this chord shape includes the G note (Minor 3rd), it is considered an E minor power chord.

E Major Power Chord (4th fret)

This E major power chord, played from the fourth fret, has these notes: E, G#, B

Note the sixth string is played as an open string.

Here is how this E major power chord is played:

E Major Power Chord. 4th fret.

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

E Minor Power Chord (4th fret)

This E minor power chord, played from the fourth fret, has these notes: E, G, B

Note the sixth string is played as an open string.

Here is how this E minor power chord is played:

E Minor Power Chord. 4th fret.

Because this chord shape includes the G note (Minor 3rd), it is considered an E minor power chord.

Further reading

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

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