spacer
Music Learning Workshop
sp
Home: Basic MT ElementsChords: Chord Inversions

"Chord Inversions"
How to Play Basic Chords in Different Positions

chord-inversion-f-mjrYou've learned that music chords are the structures that are the words of music. Chord Inversions give you new inflection to the words so that you can create a different but similar sound.  

Inversions of chords are simply taking notes that would normally be played in one position and changing them to a new position.

For three note chords there are two inversions, a 1st inversion and a 2nd inversion.

Let's examine just how easy this can work.

Root Position:

chord-c-mjr-trebLets take the C major chord as an example. The Major Chord in the "root position" is spelled and played:

C    E    G

Created with a 3rd and adding a m3rd (Intervals 1  3  5 )

1st Inversion

chord-c-mjr-1st-trebThe 1st inversion takes the root note, in this case C and transposes are inverts it to the top. The new spelling becomes E G C.

E    G          C   

Notice how we left some space here to indicate extra notes between the notes of G and C.

C major chord 1st inversion uses a m3rd plus a 4th to create this chord voicing. 

2nd Inversion

chord-c-mjr-2nd-trebThe 2nd inversion takes the next note, in this case E and transposes are inverts it to the top. The new spelling becomes G C E.

G          C    E   

Again space to indicate extra notes between the notes of G and C.

C major chord 2nd inversion uses a 4th plus a 3rd to create this chord voicing. 

This is the basic idea of inversion is taking the bottom note or notes and playing them one octave higher.

Below the keyboard shows you visually what they look like on the piano or a keyboard.

Showing on the Keyboard

C Major Root Position

C    E    G

C major Root Keyboard

C Major - 1st Inversion

E    G       C

C Major 1st Inversion Keyboard

C Major  - 2nd Inversion


G          C    E   

C Major 2nd Inversion Keyboard


This is a actually a very simple process and the basics of chord variations can easily be mastered once you know your root position chords. 

Learning Resources

Creating Chords

cover-creatingchordsBefore you buy another music learning book you'd better read this!

Every wondered why musicians can work with songs so quickly? It's all about the chords and the scales.

Learning to create, recognize and work with chords and scales is essential in mastering music.

It can be intimidating for the beginning student.

Don't let them get the best of you. These Getting It Down Cold Workshops easily lead you through the process step by step.

And in a fraction of the time that most students take to learn this vital part of music.

Learn More...


Music Workshops Music Workshops


Lessons in Chords:

nextprev


Next: Arpeggios



Subscribe to Blog:
XML RSS
My Yahoo! RSS button
My MSN RSS button

Comments, Feedback:
Ask-and-Comment

Recomended Methods/Courses

Individual Lessons
by Music Theory Workshop

Music Mastery
&
MegaLearning System

by Donna Cercone

Improvise for Real
by David Reed

Materials of Music
by Robert Reno

Guitar & Bass

ABC Learn Guitar
by Kathy Unruh

Superior Guitar Online
by JamPlay

Teach Me Bass Guitar
by Roy Vogt

Ear Training

Hear and Play Courses
and
Hear and Play Back Pocket Band

Song Writing

Write Songs That Sell
and
Superior Songwriting!

Music Licensing

A to Z Music Licensing eBook

Sheet Music

Classical Sheet Music Downloads  

Jamey Aebersold at Sheet Music Plus. Get these popular jazz books and play alongs now! 

Notation Software

Notation Composer
Best Midi Import
and Notation Package
Download Trial

Disclaimer-policy

JOIN THE WORKSHOP

Learn -7 Crucial Steps to Mastering a Song Quickly

Learn More