Here are some bits of information to help our students - and others looking at our site - learn more abouut playing rock guitar:

Bar chords

Bar chords are one of the foundations of rock music. 

Bar chords are useful when the chord needs to be muted while still strumming and are also usedul when quick changes (in a block pattern) are needed.  A great example is in Smells Like Teen Spirit, which uses F  Bb  Ab  C#.  The "chk chk chk" sound is the left hand being relaxed on the strings (instead of pressing down) and the chord changes use a block pattern from the 1st fret (F and Bb) to the 4th fret (Ab and C#).

The sheet at the bottom of the page shows the basics of how bar chords are built and used in songs.

Power chords

An alternative to bar chords are 2-fingered power chords. 

These chords are constructed identically to a bar chord, except that you only play 2 strings - the string with the root note and the string with the note immediately up from that. 

For example, a G power chord uses the 3rd fret on the E string and the 5th fret on the A string. 

The most famous use of power chords is in Smoke on the Water (G  Bb  C   //  G  Bb  C#  C   //  G  Bb  C  Bb  G).  However, many other rock songs also use them.

The pentatonic or blues scale

The vast majority of rock riffs and guitar solos are based around the pentatonic scale. 

The sheet at the bottom of the page shows the basics of the pentatonic scale.  By practising these scales - and, especially, by memorising the shape of the scales - you will be able to play almost all riffs and solos from your favourite rock songs.


Bar Chords.pdf Bar Chords.pdf
Size : 98.895 Kb
Type : pdf
Size : 93.273 Kb
Type : pdf

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola