Crushing Power Chords – Extra-heavy riffs for standard tuning!
“What tuning are you in? Dropped?”
I was surprised to get that question repeatedly because I was in standard tuning. I figured out that sounding heavy is not just a matter of tuning but of tone, technique and voicing. By voicing, I mean the way chords are arranged.
The riff in this lesson uses three different voicing for the power chords. Bars 1 and 5 have the fifth in the bass (bottom) and the root on top. For example, the D5 is played with the open A string on the bottom and the open D string on top. This same shape is used for the E5 and F5.
In bars 3 and 4 we have the familiar root/5 shape with the root on the bottom and the fifth on top. The final two bars use a very heavy sounding voicing which has the fifth in the bottom, then the root, then another fifth, and finally another root on top. By muting the top two strings (E and B) we can hit all six strings with a lot of attitude and confidence. Be sure these high strings are muted! It might take a little practice but the result is a BIG sound.