#1
So I am currently in a theory class, and I am having trouble identifying chords. I'm not sure when I look at a chord if its an inverted triad or seventh chord or if it is just a straight up triad spread out over the treble and bass clefs.

I understand the idea behind it, with the lowercase signifying minor and uppercase signifying major. I just don't know what exactly I should be looking for in determining them separate from a regular triad.

What would tell me whether the chord is inverted or not? Thanks in advance!
#2
Look at the bass note. If it's the root of the chord it's in root position, if it's the third it's in first inversion, if it's the fifth it's in second inversion and if it's the seventh it's in third position.
#3
I think that is where I get confused. Because when I look at it, I take the bass note and the corresponding notes above them and form a triad on my scratch staff to determine its position within the key, how do I determine that the lowest note in the bass is the root of the chord versus the third or fifth?
#4
If the other notes form a third and a fifth above the bass note, then it's a root position. If they form a third and a sixth, then it's a first inversion (i.e. the third is in the bass). If they form a fourth and a sixth, then it's a second inversion (i.e. the fifth is in the bass).

You could also rearrange the notes to form a closed root position triad. For example, if you have A C F, this is a third and a sixth above the bass. Move the top note below the bottom note, giving you F (root) A (third) C (fifth).
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#5
Ideally though, you want to get to the point where you can just parse the notes into a chord right away. You should know that F-A-C, regardless of how it's voiced, is an F major chord. It's much faster to just look at the collection of notes, know what chord it is and then identify the inversion than it is to build a chord up from the bass.
#6
Quote by skedadleboarder
So I am currently in a theory class, and I am having trouble identifying chords. I'm not sure when I look at a chord if its an inverted triad or seventh chord or if it is just a straight up triad spread out over the treble and bass clefs.

I understand the idea behind it, with the lowercase signifying minor and uppercase signifying major. I just don't know what exactly I should be looking for in determining them separate from a regular triad.

What would tell me whether the chord is inverted or not? Thanks in advance!

it's essentially just training yourself to immediately associate x group of notes with being x chord

for starters, the method i found easiest was to quickly reorganize everything into thirds mentally, so if you come across a group of notes that has F-C-E-A or something, take a second to locate the thirds and it'll basically turn itself into an Fmaj7 chord, since after you see F-A-C-E in thirds you've built the chord

it sounds cumbersome but just consistently practice it and it's quite easy to do after a short time
#7
so take two chords, the first being F-A on the bass cleff and middle C-F on the treble and the second chord being D-A on the bass and D-F on the treble. In the key of F-major, would the first chord be a I in root position?
#8
Look at all the notes on the staff at the time of changing harmony. Write down every note that is being played in alphabetical order and see if you see a pattern. If you don't, rearrange them until you do. It takes some time, but after a while, this should become automatic.
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#9
Quote by skedadleboarder
so take two chords, the first being F-A on the bass cleff and middle C-F on the treble and the second chord being D-A on the bass and D-F on the treble. In the key of F-major, would the first chord be a I in root position?
I'm not going to answer that directly, I'm going to make sure you know how to figure it out yourself.

What are the notes of a I chord in F major? Specifically, which notes are the root, third and fifth?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#10
F being the root then A being the third and C being the fifth.

I think I figured it out. Putting them in thirds order then taking whatever the bass note being played helps to identify the interval.
#11
You need to memorize all your chord spellings eventually.

for now, just write out the chord in the order the notes are presented and make sense of them by writing them in thirds and thinking about what they could be spelling.

ex:

Bb D G

G Bb D

G minor Triad First Inversion

Do this a lot and eventually you memorize all your chord spellings for at least basic chords
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#12
Thanks for all the help. I think it clicked.

But one last question. If the root of the chord is the same as another chord, and they are the same triad but the notes are in different position BUT the roots are still the same, are they the same roman numeral?

So, as long as the root is the same, regardless of the order of the notes above them, the triad is still in root position?