What are the pros and cons of the two finger and three finger power chords on guitar? Is one faster? What I think I know is that the three finger power chords are more pronounced and powerful than the 2 finger one. Please correct me if I'm wrong please


4 Answers 4


I'd say three fingers can be a bit messier if you're using more gain, but also adds some brightness. Fast, low, chunking/palm muting is usually better done with two fingers. Punk-style chord progressions with no major/minor tonality desired will come alive a bit more with three fingers


Neither is faster than the other with enough practice. Typically it comes down to preference, but there are subtle differences for each fingering that can be taken advantage of especially when going from power chord to barre chord. You can and should take advantage of the different types of fingerings and use a combination of both here.

  • The three finger power chords, specifically 1,3,4, let you take advantage of the E major, E minor, A minor, D major, and D minor shaped barre chords.

  • The three finger power chords, either 1,3 or 1,4 , let's you take advantage of the A major shaped barre chords and making a mini G shaped barre chord.

So if you know you're going to be playing a mix of barre chords and power chord the fingering you use can help you greatly. I know out of habit I always finger power chords on the E string as 1,3,4 and on the A string as 1,3. Other than that, the are pretty much the name


Good answers above. I'd like to add that maybe the sound you're looking for with the three-finger chords is playing a two-finger octave by taking the middle string out of the power chord. I prefer two finger power-chords and two-finger octaves myself, especially when I'm playing with distortion/overdrive. I find that the three-finger power chord sounds a bit muddy compared with the two-finger chords.


It all depends on the tone you're looking for:

  • Two finger power chords sound very energetic and fast, so they are great for fast passages.
  • Three finger power chords sound a lot fatter and powerful, so they are great when you want the song to sound a lot more brutal (\m/) or more primarily when you want the power chord to ring out.

None of them should be faster when your technique is good and you have no tension in your left hand.

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