Although Power Chords in their foundation consist of only 2 tones (the root note and the fifth), for more impressive sounds in this guitar power chord chart, the root note is used twice: the first in the base location and the second one octave above it.
If you'd like to get a basic, 2-note power chord, just skip playing the 3rd highest note on a diagram.
The numbers in the circles illustrate comfortable fingering for the fretting hand, remember that the numbering begins from the index finger (1) to the pinky (4).
x - means this string shouldn't be played (avoid picking this string).
o - means open string, you do not press this string with your fretting hand's fingers, only pick it with your picking hand; also watch that the fingers do not touch it somewhere on the fingerboard, otherwise it will sound muffled.
You can see that each power chord has the same simple structure:
the base root note located on the lower string,
the fifth on the next string, shifted 2 frets towards the bridge,
another root note that stays at the same fret as the "fifth" on the nearby string,
What actually changes from chord to chord is their locations on the fingerboard.
So you can easily figure out any power chord without looking into the chart if you know where the base root note stays.
Here are the notes on the A and E lower string:
Note that power chords on the higher strings have a slightly different structure.
The power chords can be a great starting point for composing rock and metal guitar riffs.
You can just play around different power chords and sooner or later you might notice that some progressions of chords sound well.
As an example I took this progression:
C5 → → E5 → → C5 → → D5 → E5
After you have found something that sounds interesting to you, you can
try playing it with different picking styles and rhythmics, check out
these picking ideas as a starting point, and stick with something catchy. That's all, the riff is done ;)
Here's my example riff:
Of course you might need to change the rhythmics, intensity of playing, muting here and there to make a riff sound more alive.