Example Song #4: Power Chords & Palm Mutes

             This song is a demonstration of two very common techniques within rock, pop and blues music. Power Chords, as you should already know, are used in place of full Open or Barre chords, in genres where guitars are usually distorted. Palm muting allows you to control the tone and volume of your guitar. If you’re a bit shaky on either concept, you may want to go back and refresh your memory.
Palm mutes are usually indicated by dots under the notes, as you can see below every open E string note.

In the first three bars we have an alternating un-muted / muted pattern. We start off playing the E5 twice un-muted, followed by two muted open E notes, (these are all quaver notes by the way, and should all be played evenly). We then play two un-muted D5’s, followed by the open E string twice again.
We continue to alternate like this until the end of the third bar where we leave off the final pair of open E mutes.
In the fourth bar we hit a pair of C5’s followed by a pair of D5’s. These powerchords are of the larger variety, which include the octave and give it a bigger sound.
Remember the repeat markings at the end. In the video we repeat this once before ending on the E5.

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         Aim to build up to around 110bpm. In the video I start at 100bpm, but there’s no shame in starting at 90 or 80 instead if you need to.

Quartal Harmony

Here’s something that’s been fascinating me recently – Quartal Harmony. If you’re at all into jazz or fusion you may already be aware of this idea, if not you might like to use it to embellish chord progressions, or use them as a basis for some unique solos. As I’m still getting to grips with these ideas I’ll leave it to the experts to explain.

Enjoy!