“For me, a power chord is laziness”: Rolling Stones, U2 and XTC producer Steve Lillywhite explains why certain uses of power chords are “not art”

Person playing a power chord on an electric guitar
(Image credit: Future)

As one of the most well-used and well-known chord shapes of them all, the humble power chord has fans from all walks of life – from pro players who use them to beef up riffs all the way to amateurs first familiarizing their fingers with the fretboard. 

Despite this popularity, one individual who isn’t convinced by the pull of the power chord is legendary producer Steve Lillywhite, who has come out in an interview with Produce Like a Pro and labeled the two-note shape as lazy.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.