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  1. #1
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post Root Position`1st`2nd`&`3rd Inversions & Voicings.

    The term inversion refers to the position of notes in relationship to the root of a given chord: specifically triads [R35] and 7th chords [R357].

    Root position: The Root is in the bass.
    1st inversion: The 3rd is in the bass.
    2nd inversion: The 5th is in the bass.
    3rd inversion: The 7th is in the bass.

    Some combinations are easier for the guitarist unless of course you're Allan Holdsworth!


    Visualize the C major scale:

    C..D..E..F..G..A..B..C
    1..2..3..4..5..6..7..1

    The triad of the C chord would look like this in root position & when rotated {inverted}:

    CEG: Root postion [root is in the bass]
    CGE: Root position
    EGC: 1st inversion [3rd is in the bass]
    ECG: 1st inversion
    GCE: 2nd inversion [5th is in the bass]
    GEC: 2nd inversion

    The chords would appear like this in a song or a chart:
    C......Root position
    C/E.. 1st inversion
    C/G.. 2nd inversion

    7th chords can also be inverted. So regarding the Cmaj7 chord for example:
    C E G B= Cmaj7 chord:

    C is the Root
    E is the 3rd
    G is the 5th
    B is the 7th

    The root and inverted chords would appear like this in a song or a chart:

    Cmaj7....Root position
    Cma7/E..1st inversion
    Cmaj7/G 2nd inversion
    Cmaj7/B 3rd inversion

    By adding the interval of a 7th to the chord we now have the following voicings and inversions available to us. Voicings refer to the way the chord is laid out.

    Root position:
    CEGB
    CEBG
    CGEB
    CGBE
    CBEG
    CBGE

    1st inversion:
    EGBC
    EGCB
    EBCG
    EBGC
    ECBG
    ECGB

    2nd inversion:
    GBCE
    GBEC
    GCBE
    GCEB
    GEBC
    GECB

    3rd inversion:
    BCEG
    BCGE
    BECG
    BEGC
    BGCE
    BGEC

    It becomes apparent that the more variety we have in the voicings of our chords, the more choices we have. The C triad above has 6 voicings. The Cmaj7 chord has 24 voicings. Some of them are somewhat impossible to play on the guitar so the idea would be to explore these permutations and see what we can wrap our hands around.

    Minor [Rb35], diminished [Rb3b5], and augmented triads [13#5] can also be rotated {inverted} as can their 7th chords, including the dominant chord family beginning with the dom7 chord: R35b7. Continue that thought to include:

    min7: Rb35b7
    min/Maj7: Rb357
    dim: Rb3b56
    1/2 dim7 {min7b5}: Rb3b5b7
    Maj7aug5: R3#57
    7aug5: R3#5b7

    Other rotations are available as well. But I'm not always in the mood for more punishment! Does it ever end? Why would we want it to?!

    One thing that a study like this will do is put a `crack` in the way we look at chords. It will surprise us. And surprise is a good thing. Surprise can penetrate and liberate our hearing. And it's in our hearing that change takes place.

    MM

    My Websites:
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    ~bio~photos~guitars~tunings~mp3s~cds.
    http://www.muktimusic.com

  2. #2
    Rey1970 is offline Guitarist
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    good post ,keep it up.

  3. #3
    ambush's Avatar
    ambush is offline _RASTA_man_
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    wtf?.................

  4. #4
    d_ist_urb_ed's Avatar
    d_ist_urb_ed is offline Genuflect b*tches!
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    ^What the hell did that mean?
    @Mukti, great lesson again, thank you. But this belongs in the guitar tutorials forum. Thread moved!
    "While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth."
    d_ist_urb_ed
    _____________________________________________________

    robotpajamas: since Im going to be giving the CAT this year
    d_ist_urb_ed: To whom?
    robotpajamas: Taking
    robotpajamas: f*ck you
    d_ist_urb_ed: =))

  5. #5
    propellerhead is offline Banned
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    awesome man. this post does make u think and rethink how your perceive chords and vertical intervals.

    MM, your posts are so rich in information, and u posted so many of them in a day.. it would take me at leasta month to give full justice to them thanks again

  6. #6
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post No Rush...

    Quote Originally Posted by propellerhead
    awesome man. this post does make u think and rethink how your perceive chords and vertical intervals.

    MM, your posts are so rich in information, and u posted so many of them in a day.. it would take me at leasta month to give full justice to them thanks again
    Take your time. I had been posting in the AGF and discovered this site; I thought the tutorials, beginning to advance would have merit.

    More to come.

    MM <[cute guy]

  7. #7
    Liquid is offline Tabber
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    EGC: 1st inversion [3rd is in the bass]
    ECG: 1st inversion

    ok...how come they both say first inversion...but the second time the G and C are inversed....are they both the 1st inversion of C chord?...

  8. #8
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post Inversions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquid
    EGC: 1st inversion [3rd is in the bass]
    ECG: 1st inversion

    ok...how come they both say first inversion...but the second time the G and C are inversed....are they both the 1st inversion of C chord?...
    They're permutations. It's like saying: XYZ & XZY. Both have X in the bass and that is what determines it's inversion.

    MM

  9. #9
    deathdr_87's Avatar
    deathdr_87 is offline Awesome Guitarist
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    i know abt. these inversions- but - mukti can u pls. tell me this - uve said that
    BCEG
    BCGE
    are different voicings- i didnt know that inversions were also there for the 2nd lowest note, etc...
    so my question is - how are they referred to on achord chart - i surely a different voicing must have a different name on a chart.. i think in one of my compositions, i had this situation when a chord would change its voicing but i had no way to make this change apparent (on a chord sheet for the composition) because the root note stayed the same...

    nice post... - reps to u

    also - u must be aware of these things that i call short chords - theyre jazz powerchords - now in jazz - a power chord generally avoids the root and fifth and only plays the 'tonal' notes that matter the most - for example, the 7th and 9th for a 7th add9 chord. - now how are these referred to on a chord chart - lets say i take
    C maj7thadd9 ut i dont play the C note or the G note... they just normally interfere with the actual tone of the chord...
    I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me.

  10. #10
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post Greeetings...

    Quote Originally Posted by deathdr_87
    i know abt. these inversions- but - mukti can u pls. tell me this - you've said that BCEG /BCGE are different voicings- i didnt know that inversions were also there for the 2nd lowest note, etc...so my question is - how are they referred to on a chord chart... jazz powerchords - now in jazz - a power chord generally avoids the root and fifth and only plays the 'tonal' notes that matter the most - for example, the 7th and 9th for a 7th add9 chord...now how are these referred to on a chord chart- lets say I take C maj7thadd9 but I dont play the C note or the G note... they just normally interfere with the actual tone of the chord...
    D87

    Voicings and inversions are 2 different things. When I refer to an inversion I am speaking only about the lowest note which is in the denominator. So a first inversion CM9/E chord containing the notes: 1 2 3 5 7= C D E G B, could be any sequence of these notes over an E bass and voiced:

    35712
    35721
    35127
    35172
    35217
    35271 etc.

    Some of these would be difficult to play, ergo the Alan Holdsworth comment. All those combinations are all first inversions, which is referring only to the lowest note, the 3rd=E in this case. I would call all of those 'voicings' CM9/E. You'd need staff to be more specific. Otherwise I would explain my self verbally to indicate the relationships.

    >Cmaj7add9 is a CM9 chord: 1 2 3 5 7= C D E G B. If I didn't include the R & 5th we would have D E B. I'd call the chord CM9 (-R-5) which would imply the tonal center.


    MM

  11. #11
    aysh's Avatar
    aysh is offline -|h3 ori9in4| (ui!aris-|-
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    arey baapre..:~) i just somehow manage to understand ur posts and that too coz i have been reading some theory online. for theory noobs this site is a very good place. www.zentao.com/guitar
    here u follw a link for advanced music theory. very nice lessons

  12. #12
    deathdr_87's Avatar
    deathdr_87 is offline Awesome Guitarist
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    hm... thanks for clearing out the diff etween inversions and voicings - that really helped...

    hmm. so the notation XM9 - X being any note - means that the following notes are included:
    R-M3-5-M7-9....

    so if i wanted to remove the 7th it would be called a Cadd9 right?

    also it sux that there is no way to refer to a voicing in a chord chart....

    (sorry i dont know all these notations too well - never read any books or anything - just worked it all out from scales and reading a few lessons online)

    thanks again
    I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me.

  13. #13
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post Correct...

    Quote Originally Posted by deathdr_87
    hm... thanks for clearing out the diference between inversions and voicings - that really helped...so the notation XM9 - X being any note - means that the following notes are included:R-M3-5-M7-9....so if i wanted to remove the 7th it would be called a Cadd9 right?

    I also take a short cut and call 1235=CDEG=Cadd9= a C2 chord. This tells me that I am using a triad plus the 2nd and saves me the trouble of having to write the word 'add' all the time. Likewise I would use C4 for C add11: 1345 & C2/4 for C add9/11: 12345. I use the higher exponents: 9, 11, & 13 when either a minor 7th or major 7th is present. This is my spin but with most musicians I work with it communicates easily.

    I'm self taught as well. Just been doing it for awhile. Nothing wrong with that.

    MM

  14. #14
    deathdr_87's Avatar
    deathdr_87 is offline Awesome Guitarist
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    ah...

    nice trick for alzy ppl - but dont u need to add the 'sus' word for the 2nd?

    well i guess ppl will understand without that neways...

    ya - i get wat ur saying - even though im also learing on my won - ill stiull manage to pickup all the correct notations in time..

    i had one more question - this came up in some toher post...

    now some1 was asking if the chord Am/5+ existed - wouldnt it be known as an F/A - Am/5+ - doesnt belong to any triad that has A as its root - but it might be known as A for its tonal characteristic -so how would u classify a this chord -as an Am/5+ or F/A - or well does it not really matter?
    I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm telling you that there's nothing wrong with me.

  15. #15
    MuktiMusic is offline Newbie
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    Post Sus chords...

    Quote Originally Posted by deathdr_87
    Don't you need to add the 'sus' word for the 2nd? One more question: The chord Am/5+ - wouldnt it be known as an F/A - Am/5+ - doesn't belong to any triad that has A as its root - but it might be known as A for its tonal characteristic -so how would you classify a this chord -as an Am/5+ or F/A - or well does it not really matter?
    I use 'sus' when I am referring to a chord in which the third has been suspended.

    So:

    C2=1235=CDEG [Cadd9]
    Csus2=125=CDG
    C4 0r C3/4=1345=CEFG=Cadd11
    Csus4=145=CFG
    C2/4=12345=CDEFG=Cadd9/11
    Csus2/4=1245=CDFG

    Actually power chords C5=15=CG should be written Csus5. But I like the brevity of C5, and the meaning is clear. I kind of feel that the way power chords [X5] are delineated is somewhat 'slang'. But I could be wrong. I include C3/4 above as an alternative to C4 for this reason. Keep in mind that this is my way of abbreviating.It is a conservative hybrid. But it is clear to those I communicate with.

    They way you've written the chord: Am/5+ is not exactly clear. Does the chord contain the 5 and/or the +5 [aug 5]?

    ACEF=3571=FM7/A
    ACF=351=F/A

    Peace
    MM

 

 
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