How to Play a Bass Power Chord

What is a bass power chord?

A power chord is a fundamental dyad to learn for bass guitar. It’s constructed from the root and the 5th.

Power chords are very common in rock and metal, and in other popular genres of music.

How to play power chords

For example, this is a C power chord:

C Power Chord Bass Chart

So, in this case, you have the root note “C” at the 10th fret of the D string, and then you have your 5th at the 12th fret of your G string. And when they are played together, you get a power chord!

You can build a power chord anywhere on the bass fretboard by applying that formula. Just place your index finger on a root note, and place your pinky on the string beneath it, up a whole step.

Try transposing

For example, if you take your C power chord up a half-step, you’ll get a C# power chord.

Practice the power chord shape at multiple frets on every bass string.

Practicing power chords and moving forward

Power chords are very common in rock and metal, but are also used in other popular genres of music. So, practice power chords by learning popular metal and rock bass riffs.

The next chord lesson I recommend you check out is my bass tritones lesson. Tritones are eerie and are also common in rock and metal.