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triad inversions


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how many of you good folks practice triad inversions (maj, min, aug, dim).

 

My new drill I started, is to practice every triad inversion in every key. Starting on one string set. I'm working on the closed triads and started with 654 strings.

 

Ex. Start in key of C. Do all CMaj, then all Cm, then Cdim, finally Caug. Then I move onto F. Repeate. Then Bb, Eb, Ab, etc. down the cycle of forths.

 

Would love to hear if anyone else has done this to really nail down their triadic inversions.

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I've used inversions for decades and like Jed, I use them on about every chord I can get my hands on. The current gig I have we have a horn section so I use an endless bag of them to drive the dynamics of the music or set the mood. Sometimes I'm right in the voicing of the horns or other times I'm above or below them for more fuller parts. They definitely have their use in music beyond memorizing them in certain orders.

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I use '7' chords, and do:

 

CMAJ7, C7, Cmin7, cmin7b5, cdim

 

I use 3 different sets of strings 1-4, 2-5, 2 3 4 6, and for each set of strings, play each of the chord sequences 4 times, with roots on different strings.

 

So I end up with 60 'different' chords for each root, but when you do it, it doesn't seem like that many.

 

Here are the basic voicings I use (just look at the 12 'Major' voicings, and adjust one note at a time from there for dom, min, minb5, dim)"

 

http://www.free-guitar-chords.com/Drop-2-Guitar-Chord-Voicings.pdf

 

FWIW - I do not think these are known as 'inversions'. Inversions of a chord are when you play the same chord, but with different notes on top or in the root.

 

Cheers,

 

Ian

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Inversions mean you just start on a different note of the chord, right? Like if the third is in the lowest position, it is said that the chord is in the first inversion.

 

Yep, you got it. If it's any use to you (or anyone) I have a small tutorial on basic triad inversions: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/major-and-minor-triads-and-their-inversions-t30.html?sid=5e8c85b6351972029d1e069382a93674

 

It'll help you get the fundamental concept as well as a couple of application ideas too.

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Would love to hear if anyone else has done this to really nail down their triadic inversions.

 

Don't get me started on triads unless you're willing to dance for months.

 

My whole perspective on music and the guitar is based on all things triadic. I've got enough material to keep anyone busy for years and years.

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Ready to dance Jed!

 

I like to start with 2-octave triad arps:

9 forms per triad type - see attached - I concentrate on maj, min & dim since I'm mostly a rock and blues guy (but with some disturbing jazz tendencies). The idea is to learn each triad via inversions and arps in terms of note names to internalize all the chord spellings, fretboard visualization, chord tone function relative to scale degrees, etc.

 

Leverage those to explore the triad voicings (closed and 4-note voicings). These triad voicings will really open up your hand (at least they did nor me) while they provide a broad range of voicings foe each triad and help tie the triad arps in with fretboard visualization and chord spelling internalization

 

Then it's always fun to take the various triad arps diatonic to some key and explore the extensions that bridge between triads and their pentatonic scales. I take each triad and add various notes to internalize extended chords and triad / 7th chord substitutions.

 

For this I use three pentatonic scales:

 

Major triad - 1 3 5 to major pentatonic = 1 2 3 5 6

Add the 6 to get a maj6 chord aka min7/b3 (the 1st inversion of the relative minor7 chord). Add the 2 to get a major add9 chord. Add both to get a major 69 chord aka the major pentatonic scale.

 

Minor - 1 b3 5 to minor pentatonic = 1 b3 4 5 b7

Add the b7 to get a min7 chord aka maj6 of the b3 (root position of the relative major6 chord). Add the 4 to get a minor add11 chord. Add both to get a minor7 add11 chord aka the minor pentatonic scale.

 

Diminished - 1 b3 b5 to diminished pentatonic = 1 b3 b5 b6 b7

Add the b6 to get a dim addb6 chord aka dom7/3 (first inversion of the relative dom7 chord). Add the b7 to get a minor7b5 chord aka min6/6 (4th inversion of the relative minor6 chord. Add both to get a minor7b5 addb13 chord aka dom9/3 aka the minor pentatonic scale.

 

The Diminished pentatonic is the name I use for this scale (although it's probably a non-standard name). Basically it's a mode of the Dominant pentatonic. But for me it makes more sense to think of it as a diminished pentatonic scale and assume that the dominant pentatonic and the min6 pentatonic are derived from this diminished pentatonic.

 

There are literally millions of ways to practice these. I concentrate of the cycle of 5ths and scalar practice since from my perspective these have more functional relevance to the types of music I like. In all cases my focus is on learning to think of each triad in terms of it's chord function relative to the key and relative to it's pentatonic extensions. My main goal when developing this was to learn to see deeper and more quickly into the fretboard by seeing everything as modified / extended triads. Have a look and let me know what you think.

 

cheers,

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Triads are awesome. When I get more time, maybe I'll put some exersices up. I practice them a lot actually. Great vocabulary tool that's a pain in the ass to practice and doesn't pay off for several years. But when it does, woohoo!!!

 

Triads:

-Every triad type (maj, min, aug, dim)

-Starting from every inversion, 1-8va

-Across string sets (654, 543, 432, 321)

-Close-voiced or Open-voiced (where the middle note is transposed up an 8va)

 

yikes!!!

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I like to start with 2-octave triad arps:

9 forms per triad type - see attached - I concentrate on maj, min & dim since I'm mostly a rock and blues guy (but with some disturbing jazz tendencies). The idea is to learn each triad via inversions and arps in terms of note names to internalize all the chord spellings, fretboard visualization, chord tone function relative to scale degrees, etc.


Leverage those to explore the triad voicings (closed and 4-note voicings). These triad voicings will really open up your hand (at least they did nor me) while they provide a broad range of voicings foe each triad and help tie the triad arps in with fretboard visualization and chord spelling internalization


Then it's always fun to take the various triad arps diatonic to some key and explore the extensions that bridge between triads and their pentatonic scales. I take each triad and add various notes to internalize extended chords and triad / 7th chord substitutions.


For this I use three pentatonic scales:


Major triad - 1 3 5 to major pentatonic = 1 2 3 5 6

Add the 6 to get a maj6 chord aka min7/b3 (the 1st inversion of the relative minor7 chord). Add the 2 to get a major add9 chord. Add both to get a major 69 chord aka the major pentatonic scale.


Minor - 1 b3 5 to minor pentatonic = 1 b3 4 5 b7

Add the b7 to get a min7 chord aka maj6 of the b3 (root position of the relative major6 chord). Add the 4 to get a minor add11 chord. Add both to get a minor7 add11 chord aka the minor pentatonic scale.


Diminished - 1 b3 b5 to diminished pentatonic = 1 b3 b5 b6 b7

Add the b6 to get a dim addb6 chord aka dom7/3 (first inversion of the relative dom7 chord). Add the b7 to get a minor7b5 chord aka min6/6 (4th inversion of the relative minor6 chord. Add both to get a minor7b5 addb13 chord aka dom9/3 aka the minor pentatonic scale.


The Diminished pentatonic is the name I use for this scale (although it's probably a non-standard name). Basically it's a mode of the Dominant pentatonic. But for me it makes more sense to think of it as a diminished pentatonic scale and assume that the dominant pentatonic and the min6 pentatonic are derived from this diminished pentatonic.


There are literally millions of ways to practice these. I concentrate of the cycle of 5ths and scalar practice since from my perspective these have more functional relevance to the types of music I like. In all cases my focus is on learning to think of each triad in terms of it's chord function relative to the key and relative to it's pentatonic extensions. My main goal when developing this was to learn to see deeper and more quickly into the fretboard by seeing everything as modified / extended triads. Have a look and let me know what you think.


cheers,

 

+1000

 

Once you get past these great ideas you can begin to use these triads and their arps to imply all sorts of altered dominant applications.

 

while playing an A on the sixth string and a G on the 4th string:

 

E min triad will give you a dom 9th chord

 

F# maj triad =13b9

 

B min triad= sus13

 

Eb triad=13b9b5 etc etc etc

 

just learning the maj and min triad inversions on the highest 3 strings opens up a world of cool improv tools with very little effort

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Inversions are also found in the CAGED method, look you'll see them. This will allow you take one chord and find all the inversion, on any set of strings.

 

But what do you do with them once you memorize? You need to find their use in music. And learing them through musical application is what's going to open your eyes beyond the practice part.

 

I use inversions to set a direction for chord progressions in songs that I play to bring sections to their peak. Here's one we do in our band (kind of a Klezmer feel to it, IOW, chord stabs on 2 and 4)...

 

Basic chords:

 

||: F#m | F#m | D | D | E | E | Db | Db :||

 

I use a set of inversions the each chord the first time through and then a second set of inversions the second time through...

 

I'm not concerned AT ALL about what inversion I used JUST AS LONG as it directly connects me to the next chord...much like a piano player does when they ONLY change the notes that are different between chords.

 

Here's and example for that progression...

(remember these are on 2 and 4)

 

first time through...

F#m D E Db

E----------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|

B---2---2--|--2---2--|--3---3--|--3---3--|--5---5--|--5---5--|--6---6--|--6---6--|

G---2---2--|--2---2--|--2---2--|--2---2--|--4---4--|--4---4--|--6---6--|--6---6--|

D---4---4--|--4---4--|--4---4--|--4---4--|--6---6--|--6---6--|--6---6--|--6---6--|

A----------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|

E----------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|

 

the second time through I continue to in the same direction I'm already move...UP

 

F#m D E Db

E---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|-----------|-----------|

B--7---7--|--7---7--|--7---7--|--7---7--|--9---9--|--9---9--|--9----9---|--9----9---|

G--6---6--|--6---6--|--7---7--|--7---7--|--9---9--|--9---9--|--10---10--|--10---10--|

D--7---7--|--7---7--|--7---7--|--7---7--|--9---9--|--9---9--|--11---11--|--11---11--|

A---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|-----------|-----------|

E---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|-----------|-----------|

 

Same chord, different inversions of each other, but in context.

 

The BIGGEST thing this shows you is what is "different" beteen each chord and what is the same. IOW, if it doesn't have to change, DON'T change it.

 

You can see that one chord flows right into the next chord due to minimal differences. And you can see the biggest difference between two of the chord is the change from D to E.

 

You should be able to see F#m and D share two notes and only one NEEDS to change between them.

 

ALL notes in D NEED to move a whole step up to E in this example.

 

But, E to Db is only a two note difference.

 

It's like one chord is hanging off the other!

 

You'll also see the F#m is also Dmaj7, that D can be Bm7, that E can be C#m7, that Db can be Bbm7. This is where you'll find a few chord grips can get you through a 1000 tunes. This can definitely flatting out how you look at chord and scale theory too because you'll see how things that are large can be broken down into maybe just a couple of view or a TON of views.

 

This is the first step to breaking out of common chord forms and starting to understand what is REALLY changing in progressions, and you'll start to see how other instruments handle these changes wisely...like a pianist...ONLY changing what NEEDS to change and you'll have decent voice-leading and be able to play in context while not cluddering the spectrum with too many notes.

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Awesome explanation below. I have been doing triadic inversion flows for years albeit without really knowing it!

 

Excellent analysis and example. Have you thought of doing a triad inversions lesson on your site?

 

Inversions are also found in the CAGED method, look you'll see them. This will allow you take one chord and find all the inversion, on any set of strings.

 

But what do you do with them once you memorize? You need to find their use in music. And learing them through musical application is what's going to open your eyes beyond the practice part.

 

I use inversions to set a direction for chord progressions in songs that I play to bring sections to their peak. Here's one we do in our band (kind of a Klezmer feel to it, IOW, chord stabs on 2 and 4)...

 

Basic chords:

 

||: F#m | F#m | D | D | E | E | Db | Db :||

 

I use a set of inversions the each chord the first time through and then a second set of inversions the second time through...

 

I'm not concerned AT ALL about what inversion I used JUST AS LONG as it directly connects me to the next chord...much like a piano player does when they ONLY change the notes that are different between chords.

 

Here's and example for that progression...


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Awesome explanation below. I have been doing triadic inversion flows for years albeit without really knowing it!


Excellent analysis and example. Have you thought of doing a triad inversions lesson on your site?

 

I have a short one at my forum: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/major-and-minor-triads-and-their-inversions-t30.html?sid=5e8c85b6351972029d1e069382a93674

 

I do need to add more examples.

 

I don't have time to tab right now but a good example of this is Mary Jane's Last Dance by Petty, right after he sings "feel the pain" (I think that's what he say) they move up an A chord using an A form, E form, C form, and A form again. I know that CAGED tatk but it's also special code for guitarists ;)

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