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#1050137 - 11/30/08 01:50 PM Chord inversions.  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 331
majones Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Would like to learn chord inversions -- as patterns. I understand R-3-5, then 1st inversion 3-5-R and 2nd inversion will be 5-R-3.

I also relate chord shapes as:
Major - R + 4 + 3
minor - R + 3 + 4
Extensions Major 6 - R + 4 + 3 + 2
Dominant 7 would be an extension of + 3
Maj7 would be an extension of + 4

I would like to take this same "pattern" format to 1st and 2nd inversions.

Suggestions welcomed.

Thanks,

Malcolm

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#1050138 - 11/30/08 02:10 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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DeepElem Offline
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I don't follow your notation of chord "shapes". Can you explain some more ?


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If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
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#1050139 - 11/30/08 02:29 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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gmm1 Offline
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Hmmm. I've never thought of taking the patterns through to inversions.

It's easier for me to just make the inversions as I need them.

Thinking about it, it might be problematic.

R-4-3 would become 1-3-5 (4-3-R) or 1-5-3 (5-R-3). It seems to me you could lose track of the root, hence the chord. I think it's easier to learn the pattern from the root.

I'm going to think on this a bit....

(Hey DeepElem - the shape is counting half-steps between notes, so a C chord is R (C)- four half steps (E)- then 3 half steps (E). Works on all major chords. R-3-4 is minor chords, etc)


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#1050140 - 11/30/08 03:23 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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Pete the bean Offline
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Majones: I think you are going to give yourself a headache thinking by interval. Too many steps. You need get to the chord without any intermediate steps. It is difficult. It means hours of pounding through the chord and inversions over and over. It is best one not to work on too many keys at the same time.
Try this: Work in shapes.
Major
all white keys CFG
White black White D E A
Black white Black Db Eb Ab
Mutants White Black Black B
Black White White Bb
All Black F#

Minor chords: Now that all your majors are in your fingers do it again but now b3.
Again, I would recommend learning one or two keys at a time so you do not go into overload.

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#1050141 - 11/30/08 04:34 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
Joined: May 2007
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keyboardklutz Offline
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I'd learn figured bass. Your brain seems to work that way. John Mehegan used it in his very instructive jazz books.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1050142 - 12/01/08 09:19 AM Re: Chord inversions.  
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majones Offline
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majones  Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Thanks for the replies.

I'll ask this another way. Playing from lead sheet music and playing chord accompaniment to my vocals --- inversions, instead of block chords are an option I could use.

However, like was pointed out I get lost doing what I outlined in the OP. I get tangled up in the pattern.

Understand using lead sheet or fake chord sheet music all I have to work with is the chord name. So it's move the notes around or move a pattern around. I was hoping for a simple pattern.......

Now all that aside -- How do you make inversions?

#1050143 - 12/01/08 10:11 AM Re: Chord inversions.  
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TimR Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by majones:


Understand using lead sheet or fake chord sheet music all I have to work with is the chord name. So it's move the notes around or move a pattern around. I was hoping for a simple pattern.......

Now all that aside -- How do [b]you
make inversions? [/b]
I'll tell you what I do, though it may be completely wrong.

I've played a good bit of lead sheet style, close position inversions for church services. (I'd rather have done it chorale or SATB style but don't have the skills).

Here's how I practice it. Every week I work one scale, moving through circle of fifths. This week for example I'm on A. (Next week I'll add a sharp and do E, last week I was on D.) I go for scale speed with the metronome, doing quarter eighth and sixteenth notes. Then I follow with quarter note chords, I-V-I-IV-I, close position, same metronome speed. Then up an inversion and repeat, up another and repeat. The shape is the same in every key, with each inversion a different finger stays in place.

Example, key of C. I in root position is C-E-G. V in C root position, leave G finger in place, move the other two to B and F. IV in C root position, leave C in place, move other two fingers to F and A. Now you've got the three chords you need for 90% of pieces, with no shifting of the hand. You can do this really fast. But you need all three inversions.

So, go up one inversion from root. Now you're at E-G-C. Same story, all changes have one finger that doesn't move, two that do, and hand doesn't move. Go to IV, leave G in place, move one finger up and one down to F and B. For V leave C in place, move other two to F and G.

Next inversion is G-C-E. Same deal - one finger stays put, hand stays put, two fingers move. Same note stays put, but it's a different finger.

I really think you need to do one scale a week, and three chords in three inversions every day for that scale. And I like using the metronome for it, though many disagree.


gotta go practice
#1050144 - 12/01/08 11:12 AM Re: Chord inversions.  
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gmm1 Offline
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Spokane WA
OK, I've thought on it a bit...

I agree with what Tim says. Learning the scales helps a lot.

I also will learn all the major and minor chords by key, that is to say, in C for example, I learn C F G chords from the C position, then the F postion, and then the G position. That sounds like a lot of memorizing, but it seems to click after a while.

Also, notice that anytime you have 5 half steps between two notes, the root note is always after the 5 half steps (only in major and minor chords). So, when I get lost, I figure out which is the root, then the pattern from the root, and I know the chord.

I also practice the inversions alone. C 1st inv, 2nd inv, root an octave up, then back down. You will notice the same pattern over and over no matter where you start. That really helps me when figuring out what and where to play.

Hope that helps buddy.


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#1050145 - 12/01/08 10:23 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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majones Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Thanks, I'll spend some time digesting all this and be back with comments.

Malcolm

#1050146 - 12/03/08 12:30 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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majones Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Tim -- If I'm reading your last post correctly you are making a I IV V progression in the same basic area of the keyboard using inversions to keep the three chords together. Having a little problem seeing the V as G B F...... G B D yes. Now if the F was a typo I see what you are doing. If not would appreciate a little more help seeing what you have outlined.

gmm1... C E G
........E G C
........G C E
back to C E G ----- And like you said do it over and over .....

Thanks guys, onward and upward.

#1050147 - 12/03/08 06:00 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
Joined: Aug 2004
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TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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Virginia, USA
Quote
Originally posted by majones:
Tim -- If I'm reading your last post correctly you are making a I IV V progression in the same basic area of the keyboard using inversions to keep the three chords together. Having a little problem seeing the V as G B F...... G B D yes. Now if the F was a typo I see what you are doing. If not would appreciate a little more help seeing what you have outlined.

Oh, sorry. You're right, but so am I. I assumed playing the V chord as a V7 and leave out the 5th, because most of the beginner chord approach books do it that way, and I've found it useful. Yes, you should know I-V-I as well as I-V7-I, eventually, but for now I'd pick one to practice. So if you play V7, you need the F as in G-B-D-F but you don't really need the D to keep the character of the chord as major and 7th, so save a finger and leave it out in all inversions. G-B-F, B-F-G, F-G-B all work comfortably.


gotta go practice
#1050148 - 12/03/08 09:49 PM Re: Chord inversions.  
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majones Offline
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majones  Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Got'ya.

Again, thanks for the help.

#1050149 - 12/18/08 02:35 AM Re: Chord inversions.  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 107
blues flat 7 Offline
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PA
Quote
Originally posted by Pete the bean:
Majones: I think you are going to give yourself a headache thinking by interval. Too many steps. You need get to the chord without any intermediate steps. It is difficult. It means hours of pounding through the chord and inversions over and over. It is best one not to work on too many keys at the same time.
Try this: Work in shapes.
Major
all white keys CFG
White black White D E A
Black white Black Db Eb Ab
Mutants White Black Black B
Black White White Bb
All Black F#

Minor chords: Now that all your majors are in your fingers do it again but now b3.
Again, I would recommend learning one or two keys at a time so you do not go into overload.
Thanks for this tip Pete. I got the PopPianoPro book from you, and started a thread in the beginners forums and would appreciate any tips there that you cold give from time to time. About finished learning to read music, now to get the chords under my hands. I did read treble clef from my guitar days. Will dig in your book on the first of the month and hope to practice 3 to 4 hours a day. Going on vacation for the holiday.

Thanks Again,

Flat 7


Dale

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