I'd like to be able to put power chords into Hookpad

This came in via email from a user named Jeff

I’d like to be able to put in power chords - i compose a lot for hard rock/metal, and having to choose a color is awkward in that context. give me the option on a chord to just put in the 1/5/8, i.e., AEA chords. I would think this was a much more common need than some of the current chord choices :slight_smile: Am I just missing how to do this?


Hi Jeff,

Guitar power chords in popular music serve a similar role as their non-power chord counterparts from a music theory perspective. For example, in the key of A, a chord progression of A5 → F#5 → E5 would be analyzed in Hooktheory as I → vi → V. This analysis isn’t 100% accurate, since power chords technically have no quality (major vs. minor), however it serves to preserve the function of the chords.

Of course, if you’re writing a song with chords that will eventually be played as power chords, you’re probably going to want to hear Hookpad play it that way. Power chords are an extremely important part of popular music spanning many different genres and styles. Part of our motivation for introducing the “mix” tool, was to allow you guys to hear the songs you write in Hookpad in a style that is closer to the way it will eventually be played on real instruments.

We recognize that some version of a distorted electric guitar playing power chords is an essential addition to the mix tool. Getting this right is a little tricky, so it wasn’t included in the initial release, but we definitely plan to release new instruments and voicing as we create them, and having a power chords option is high on the list.


I know this is old, but any updates on this? If nothing else, this would be great to see in Hooktheory 2.0.

Guitar power chords in popular music serve a similar role as their non-power chord counterparts from a music theory perspective.

Yeah, not always. I’m trying to analyze a short guitar solo which is entirely power chords, and it just sounds absolutely disgusting with any third. Or a suspension. Or anything else I can do.

@vikomprenas, @mikelentini , sorry for the late reply.

We appreciate your feedback, and have decided to include this in the next version of Hookpad. Probably we’ll allow a new embellishment called “omit 3” or “no 3”, and when applied to chords will turn them into their power chord equivalent. Chords in absolute notation will be named with the number 5 (e.g, G5).

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This still doesn’t work exactly… For example, opened up a song, put into F harmonic minor scale, selected “no 3”, and clicked Ab III. Was trying to get a Ab power chord which is Ab(G#) Eb(D#), but instead got Ab(G#) and E. I may be doing something wrong, however it’s definitely not intuitive. Also there’s no option for inverted “no 3”? If I click the flat 5 button, instead it outputs an F vs an E? Rather than D#? I don’t get it… If I switch to minor melodic and choose flat 5, then it gets it right, but there’s no D in F melodic minor scale.

Where can I find an A power chord? I’m writing a metal song. Could you post a screen shot of where I should be looking? Many thanks, J


Like so! Select an A chord and then remove the 3rd from it to get the A power chord

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YES!! I did it!!! Thank you so much @Kas!!!

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Also if you use the MetalGuitar 5th patches it will always play power chords, even if you insert major/minor chords. Only if you work with inversions it will play a sixth or fourth interval.
So you can also add a pad-like sound that gives you some harmonic content but still have Guitars playing power chords.

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Very cool. Thank you, as well!