This free lesson on chord inversions will teach you how to form any chord from any position on the keyboard. You will learn the best way to move form any chord to another with the least amount of hand movement.
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Why are chord inversions important to learn?
If you only learn your chords in root position than you will spend a lot of time and motion jumping around the keyboard looking for the next root position chord to play with your left hand.
By using "voice leading" and finding the closest inversion of the "next" chord in your progression your playing will become more fluid and harmonically pleasing.
Any 3 or 4 part chord chord can be played within the confines of a single octave on the keyboard.
What this means is that no matter what chord you are playing, you can move to the next chord without moving your hand from its current octave range with minimum hand motion.
Three part chords.
Three part chords or "triads" will have three inversions called Root position, first inversion, and second inversion, as shown in the example below.
You would do well to the above exercise and extend it over the entire keyboard with both hands. Start in the lower octave and move up and down the keyboard playing each inversion in sequence.
All you are really doing is taking the bottom note of the chord and placing it on top each time.
If I wrote them all out I would be doing you a disservice by not allowing you to figure them out and see and feel the similarities.
For instance this exercise will look and feel the same in terms of fingering for all white note triads, C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and B dim.
D maj, E maj, and A maj triads will also look and feel the same as will Db maj, Eb maj, and Ab maj.
The odd ones will be F# maj and B maj that will feel different and unique.
Four part or 7th chords.
Because there is an extra note there will be an extra inversion as seen in the example below using A maj7 and G min7.
Now on to chord progressions
Now that you have a few inversions under your control it is time to start to explore the common chord progressions that make up much of music. Click the link below to begin
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