Beef up your power chords with these massive-sounding open shapes

tgr353 powerchord lesson hero
(Image credit: Future)

By now you’re probably confident with classic two-note fretted powerchord shapes. There’s another way to play powerchords, though. Most associated with
AC/DC, open powerchords sound bigger and looser than fretted ones. They’re perfect for hard rock and classic metal, and essential for playing like Van Halen, Ozzy, Maiden, and any of the bands they influenced.

Mastering these powerchords shouldn’t take too much work either, because they’re based on shapes you probably already know. Open powerchords take the five basic open major chords (that’s C, A, G, E, and D) and remove the major 3rd. 

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Total Guitar editors

Total Guitar is one of Europe's biggest guitar magazines. With lessons to suit players of all levels, TG's world-class tuition is friendly, accessible and jargon-free, whether you want to brush up on your technique or improve your music theory knowledge. We also talk to the biggest names in the world of guitar – from interviews with all-time greats like Brian May and Eddie Van Halen to our behind the scenes Rig Tour features, we get you up close with the guitarists that matter to you.