How to play C5 and D5 Power Chords

Backing Track

  • Tempo 120 bpm
  • Key G major
  • Chords 1 – 4 – 5 (G5C5 – D5) looped over 8 beats

Chord Diagram

C5 Power Chord - Chord Box




  • Chord Name: C5 Power Chord
  • Nashville Number System: ‘4’ chord in key of G
  • Use for: C major, Cminor, Cadd9, Csus2, Cmin7, Cmaj7


Chord Diagram

D5 Power Chord - Chord Box




  • Chord Name: D5 Power Chord
  • Nashville Number System: ‘5’ chord in key of G
  • Use for: Dmajor, Dminor, Dsus2, Dmin7, Dmaj7



Video Transcription

The last lesson is a good example of a worship team working really well, musically. The whole band – the kick drum, bass guitar  and our stabs – all line up together and make a powerful sound.

Rhythmically, once the guitar leaves space, then the other instruments are doing their own thing – particularly the bass guitar. We made space for it – and then it makes space for us.

So we get the whole body – the whole machine – working as one. But, obviously, in real songs, you can’t have  just one chord. That’s going to be a little bit sleep inducing.

Let’s move on to how we change chords.

How to play C5 and D5 Power Chords

C5 and D5 are the next most commonly used chords in the key of G.

That little group of three chords – G5, C5, D5 you’ll have heard in loads of tunes. Just those three chords, played in different patterns are the backbone of  loads of songs.

The great news is that C5 and D5 are exactly the same shape as G5, just on slightly different frets.

C5 Finger Positions

  • First finger, third fret on the 5th sting (A)
  • Second finger does nothing.
  • Third finger, fifth fret, D string (fourth string)
  • Fourth finger – tucked under the third one – fifth fret, G string (thrid string).

D5 Finger Positions

The D5 is exactly the same, but slid two frets up the neck.

  • First finger, fifth fret, A string
  • Second finger does nothing
  • Third finger, seventh fret, D string
  • Pinky (fourth finger), seventh fret, G string

Controlling String Noise during Chord Changes

Again, we use that trick of  flattening our first finger slightly to keep the guitar under control.
If we start from the G5, we can release pressure slightly on our left hand, to silence the strings. Then we slide ‘down one set’ of strings, towards the floor, and we’re straight onto the C5.

Release pressure slightly on that shape. Slide that 2 frets along the neck. We are now playing D5.

You can see how you keep the same shape in your hand fairly firm at all times. You never re-form the chord.
When you start out playing, the temptation is to always put fingers on one at a time. But as you learn to play more smoothly, you keep the shape the same.

C5 and D5 Power Chord Practice Track

We’ll finger the G5 – release pressure slightly
Slide down one set of strings toward the floor
Release pressure slightly
Slide up two frets to the D5

This backing track plays the
G5 – C5 – D5
which we loop.