Here are some great, iconic riffs that are based on power chords.
1. Iron Man – Black Sabbath
We’re in the key of B-Minor, and we’re using power chords. If you choose to play using the fifth string and the fourth string, then start on the second fret on the B. From there you jump three frets, that would be the D or fifth fret. So it goes one stroke, one stroke, then we hit the stroke one more time on D, double on E, now we go up to the G which is tenth fret, and you go: G, F#, G, F#, G, then you gotta drop down to the D, fifth fret. Practice that again while watching our video.
2. Rock you like a Hurricane – Scorpions
Starts on E seventh fret, three strokes, its a bit of a pause between them, then you go down to the G on the sixth and fifth string, and A, C, D.
3. Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
We’re playing 2 strings. Starting at an open G, so its G, B-flat, C, C-string, 3rd fret fifth string, first fret fifth string, third fret and the flatted fifth is on the forth fret fifth string. First group, second group, we’re going back to first group and the close. Open, third fret, fifth fret, open, third fret, sixth fret, fifth fret, open, third fret, fifth fret, then close and fifth fret then open. So I’m using the interval in the fifth and the forth string.
4. Sunshine of Your Love – Eric Clapton
Starting at the 12th fret with your 3rd finger on the forth string, so twelfth fret, then 10th fret, then crosses over to the fifth string and you have the choice of either going to the next position, but you can also do it with one scale.
The root note is the lead note, emphasizes the harmony. You can have the double stop on the 2nd and 3rd string also.
5. Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh
The intro is an E power chord. The rest is pretty simple: D, open, D, open, and you go up to the E like that which sounds pretty cool. Another way to do it is: Lift your first finger and leave your third finger down.