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CHORD INVERSIONS-BY BODOM

by bodom

10 Jul 2007
Views: 8545

Hey me again. I'm going to talk a bit about chord Inversions and what they are. Before you read this you should have an understanding of how chords are made. I recommend reading my lesson on Keys then Chords.
Ok here we go. I showed you how to form a chord using the formulas e.g. Major = 1 3 5 and minor = 1 b3 5.
I'll use C Major as an example. So basically you just play the 1st 3rd and 5th notes of the Key of C to make a C major chord. But what about the order? What if you played the 3rd note first, then the 1st and 5th? Will this make a difference? Yes it does, it is still a C major chord but it sounds different. This is known as an Inversion.


Lets look at the typical C major chord that is played.


E---|---|---| <--- Open string
|-C-|---|---|
G---|---|---| <--- Open string
|---|-E-|---|
|---|---|-C-|
X---|---|---| <--- X means do not play string
1 2 3 <--- Fret number

The first note played is the C note. So this is known as the Root position. (C is the root note in the C major chord)


But what if you played this chord instead?


E---|---|---| <--- Open string
|-C-|---|---|
G---|---|---| <--- Open string
|---|-E-|---|
|---|---|-C-|
E---|---|---| <--- Play this string now
1 2 3

Now the E is the first note played. This is known as the 1st Inversion. 1st Inversion is when the 3rd is played first(when it is the bass note). This may be written as a C/E chord.


What about this chord?


E---|---|---| <--- Open string
|-C-|---|---|
G---|---|---| <--- Open string
|---|-E-|---|
|---|---|-C-|
|---|---|-G-|
1 2 3

Now the G is the first note. This is known as 2nd Inversion because the 5th note is in the bass position. This may be written as C/G chord.

There you go! Now you know what Inversions are. So if someone asked you to play a C/E chord you know that it is just an Inversion of the C major chord. Its just a C major chord with an E as the bass note.



Comments:

01
07.26.2007
  Guitarslinger124

wow! you just made a whole lot of sense...ive been trying to figure these things out forever...unfortunatly...these inversions i already know...could show me some more complicated ones like....dominant 7th inversions?

02
07.30.2007
  bodom

The dominant 7th inversions work in the same fashion. Just switch up the base notes and you have an inversion.

03
08.05.2007
  Guitarslinger124

really? sweet...thanks man...appreciate it big time!

04
12.13.2007
  KicknGuitar

When the M7 interval is the lowest note on the chord, it is the 3rd Inversion.

05
12.14.2007
  bodom

Yeah I didnt mention the order. First inversion is the third in the base, second is the fifth and tird is the 7th.

06
02.19.2009
  glassinthegrass

Yea, great job on explaining this lessons and your other ones. I just recently found this site and it's really a great tool for a guitarist. I noticed that some of these postings are pretty old and it looks like bodom isn't doing new lessons anymore. But, if you still check this site out I hope you do more lessons in the future. You really make it very simple and clear to understand.

07
02.19.2009
  Meister23

yeah his lessons are great, very easy to understand.



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