Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > UG Community > Archives Of The Best Threads > Music Theory Archives
User Name  
Password
Search:

 
Old 03-25-2003, 08:01 PM   #1
redwing_suck
Official UG "Do It" Ref
 
redwing_suck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pasadena, CA
inverses and theory

i know a little about inverse chords... someone please explain to me the theory connecting a chord and its inverse... in other words tell how they are related and what the inverse has to do with it.
__________________
Looking for my India/Django.
redwing_suck is offline  
Old 03-28-2003, 04:46 PM   #2
casualty01
Here all along
 
casualty01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Warm and Fuzzyland
Quote:
Originally posted by redwing_suck
i know a little about inverse chords... someone please explain to me the theory connecting a chord and its inverse... in other words tell how they are related and what the inverse has to do with it.


HI...... my name is Casualty01 ...... you may remember me from such Musical Theory threads such as "Major Scales... Please Tab Them Again!" ....... " Chord Construction.... do i need a hardhat?" and "Modes ?!! What the Fuck ?!? "

well Jimmy, an inversion is just the notes of a chord, "voiced" in a different way ......

to understand Inversions, we first need to know what the term "voicing" means

for those of you that don't know what a "voicing" is, it's basically this ... a voicing is how the pitches of a chord are arranged from highest to lowest. for example ...

we all know this next chord is a C major ......

Figure 1a

C Major Chord Open Chord

Code:
E--0-- B--1-- G--0-- D--2-- A--3-- E-----


well.....

Figure 1b

C Major Chord Bar Chord

Code:
E---8-- B---8-- G---9-- D--10-- A--10-- E---8--


^^ is also C major ....... but it's a different voicing of C major .....
got it ? Ok


...... back onto the question at hand. an inversion, is when you take the notes of a chord, and arrange them in different orders of sequence... another example Jimmy? ok ........

Casualty01: "take C major ..... what notes make up a C major chord ? "

Jimmy: "C-E-G are the 3 notes that make up the C major chord..."

Casualty01: "right!"

Casualty01: "and what is the formula for any Major chord ?"

Jimmy: "1-3-5 "

Casualty01: "Correct!"

so........ line those up and you have

Figure 2

C major Chord/Major Chord Formula

Code:
G=5 E=3 C=1


make sure you realize that the first note is C, not the G (hence the 1 in front of the C). In lining them up in this order, I'm illustrating how it would look (C being the lowest note, E being the next note and G being the top note) not only on the fretboard, but also on staff paper (notation).


if you saw a chord lined up exactly like that, C being the first note, E being the 2nd note (meaning, 2nd note in the chord, not an interval of a 2nd) and G being the 3rd note(once again, that meansthe 3rd note IN the chord, that does not mean the G is the interval of a 3rd) ...... then that would be called a root position chord ... which is a triad, spelled and played with the root note in the bass, the 3rd above the root, and the 5th above the 3rd.

example

Figure 3a

Root Position C Major Chord

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B----- G--0-- G 5th D--2-- E 3rd A--3-- C root E-----


now, our next inversion is called a first inversion and a first inversion is constructed by taking the root note, in this case, C, and putting it on the top of the chord..... as the higest note .....

if we look at it numerically/intervallically ...... the construction of the chord is now 3-5-1 ...... which, in the key of C, translates into E-G-C ....... same notes, just in a different order.

Figure 3b

First Inversion C Major Chord

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B----- G--5-- C Root D--5-- G 3rd A--7-- E 5th E-----


the last inversion is called a ....... you guessed it ... 2nd inversion

this occurs when you take the first inversion and now flip that lowest note up to the top of the chord. so take the chord you just had ....... E-G-C and put the E on top, which will give you G-C-E
or, numerically/intervalically it would be 5-1-3

Figure 3c

2nd Inversion C Major Chord

Code:
Notes Interval E------ B------ G---9-- E 3rd D--10-- C Root A--10-- G 5th E------



so far we've seen all the inversions on 1 string set (A, D and G strings) and we've all seen them laid out in a horizontal fashion (going up the neck in ----> direction) ..... but now, lets take a look at it in a vertical fashion (going from the lowest string to highest string)

lets take a root position moveable C major chord

Figure 4a

C Major Bar Chord/ Moveable Shape

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B--5-- E 3rd G--5-- C Root D--5-- G 5th A--7-- E 3rd E--8-- C Root


if you break this chord up into 3 seperate shapes, each shape being on a set of 3 strings, you can see it contains every inversion ...

on the first string set . E, A and D strings, we see the notes C-E-G ....... there's a Root position C Major triad

Figure 4b

Root Position C Major Triad

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B----- G----- D--5-- G 5th A--7-- E 3rd E--8-- C Root


take the second string set (the A, D and G string set) from the chord in figure 4a and you get a 1st inversion of the C Major Triad

Figure 4c

1st inversion C Major Triad

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B----- G--5-- C Root D--5-- G 5th A--7-- E 3rd E-----


finally, take the 3rd and last string set (the D, G and B string set) from the chord in figure 4a and you get a 2nd inversion of the C major Triad

Figure 4d

2nd inversion C Major Triad

Code:
Notes Interval E----- B--5-- E 3rd G--5-- C Root D--5-- G 5th A----- E-----


so you see, any one of these functions and sounds like a C major, because they are. alls a C major chord is, is a combination of C-E-G ..... no matter how you put them together, it's a C major chord ........ and its the same for every other chord as well.

think of it like this ....... notes are like colors, for example......

Casualty01: "if you take Blue and add it to Yellow ...... what color do you get ?"

Jimmy: "Green"

Casualty01: "right ...... Green"

Casualty01: "ok, now what if you take Yellow and add it to Blue? then what color do you get ? ...... "

Jimmy: "err... Green"

Casualty01: "absolutely jimmy....."

so you see..... just like colors, when a group of specific notes are combined or "voiced" in different combinations or order, it doesnt matter, it comes out to be the same thing, they function the same.

now of course, each voicing has it's own charecteristic sound, or else, well... what the fuck would be the point of learning about inversions in the first place lol .... right jimmy ?

Jimmy: "you said a bad word"

Casualty01: "correct jimmy!"

also, like colors, think of inversions, and the different voicings as "shades" of the chord ......... just like you have blue, sky blue, royal blue, dark blue, cornflower blue etc.. ... they're all blue, just different shades and textures of blue ....... and likewise, all the inversions you were shown today, are all C major, but they're different shades of C major.


all of this is beyond beneficial in ways you'll never know until you start using this stuff and figure out other inversion shapes in every possible position (both vertically and horizontally) for yourself ......... it opens up doors for harmonic options that you never would've had before, it offers limitlessness when it comes to improvisation/soloing, and much more ......

oh and remember any triadic or 3 note chord (ie. 1-4-5 (sus4) 1-2-5 (sus2) etc..) can be perfomed on any 3 string set.


well, I hope you had as much fun reading this post, as I had making it.

Goodbye, and remember, as always, feel free to post any questions on anything you didn't fully understand or werent clear about

Cas-
__________________
What's all the buzz about??

Don't be an idiot... click and find out.
casualty01 is offline  
Old 03-29-2003, 01:59 AM   #3
redwing_suck
Official UG "Do It" Ref
 
redwing_suck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pasadena, CA
hilarious yet informative.

i actually understand it.

cas, you have once again kicked my ass in theory.
__________________
Looking for my India/Django.
redwing_suck is offline  
Old 03-29-2003, 02:00 AM   #4
redwing_suck
Official UG "Do It" Ref
 
redwing_suck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pasadena, CA
wait, my name isnt jimmy.
__________________
Looking for my India/Django.
redwing_suck is offline  
 


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:06 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.