The Portland, Oregon guitar effects pedal specialist Mr. Black has just launched a new pitch-shifting pedal to cover one of the most fundamental skills in rock rhythm guitar: playing power chords.
That’s right, the High-Five is an Instant Power Chord Generator. Now, we do have lessons on power chords if you would like to learn the old-fashioned way, but let’s look at this neat pedalboard solution that, in all seriousness, can create an artificial power chord on command but might yet be best suited to doing some weird stuff besides holding down an eighth-note chug in 4/4.
The pedal is a compact piece of kit, a metal enclosure covered in two-tone Black LTD. powder-coat. You’ve got the input and output jacks on the side, an input for the 9V DC pedalboard power supply should you use one – a 9V battery would also get the job done – and there is a simple three-knob control setup.
One one side you have a dial for the fifth, on the other a dial for the octave, and in between you have a Mix knob to control how much of your dry signal is in there with the processed, and then it’s off to the races. Hit a root note and this thing does the rest.
What to do with your middle and ring fingers? Well, that’s your business. But what is really interesting here is that the Fifth and Octave controls are bi-directional.
At noon, things are as you play them; turn the Octave control counterclockwise, however, and it starts dialing in up to +3dB of a lower octave; turn it clockwise and it dials in an octave up. It’s the same story for the Fifth control; turn it clockwise for the fifth note in the major scale, counterclockwise and it’ll take you down four notes to complete the chord.
You can imagine the potential, the mix-ups, the confusion, and just how big this will make your power chords when you fret on on your electric guitar.
The High Five High-Five Instant Power Chord Generator was designed by Mr. Black founder Jack Deville and is available now in a ridiculously limited edition run of 53 units. Priced at $199.95, it’s available now direct from Mr Black (opens in new tab).