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The Secrets of the Power Chord and More

November 7th, 2009 11:38 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Perhaps due to the popularity of certain rhythm games, the electric guitar seems to be making a bit of a comeback. I’ve been playing mine for most of my life, and like many others I love heavy, distorted guitar sounds and big, crunching power chords. Root-fifth power chords are easy to learn and easy to teach, but why are they so ubiquitous? And why root-fifth, anyway? How does distortion combine with musical intervals in order to generate big, bassy tones? A theory of distortion and musical intervals, with particular application to the electric guitar, is presented inside.


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