Hoped someone knowledgeable might have a few minutes to explain this to me...

So, i'm trying to expand and learn some new chords. And understand the theory behind chord (inverted, diminished, etc) formation...

I came across some chord inversions, and I'm trying to figure out what exactly is happening... (my music theory is basic, a work in progress...)

They said "Take the G major chord on the 10th fret:

``````e
b 12
g 12
d 12
a 10
e ``````

and make the first inversion (now a "d" chord)

``````e
b
g 11
d 12
a 9
e 10 ``````

1st...
I'm not understanding something here.. the "g" chords' first inversion makes it a "D" chord? (im lost on that)

2nd...
why is this the first inversion? i'm not understanding how they get first inversion?

3rd...
to me, the first inversion implies there's at least a second, maybe even a 3rd inversion...

if the d chord is d f# a
the first inversion is f# a d ?
the second is a d f# ?

? or am i missing something?
thanks for the time
Last edited by fastforded at Apr 26, 2014,
That first inversion is not a G chord of any sort, nor a D chord for that matter. It only contains the notes D and F#, which is not enough to make it a chord.

I am going to provide you with a simple explanation of how inversions work. If we have a G chord, that is a chord that contains the notes G B and D. Root position G major is just that, G in the bass. First inversion of a chord uses the third of that chord as the bass note, in this case B. So it would be B D and G. The second inversion of a chord uses the fifth as the bass, in this case it would be D, so D G and B.

To show you an example of this, this is a G chord in root position, without using different octaves of notes.

``````
E
B 12
G
D 12
A 10
E
``````

This is first inversion

``````
E
B 3
G
D 5
A 2
E
``````

And this is second inversion

``````
E
B 8
G
D 9
A 5
E
``````

The point of inversions are that they are very open sounding and create different voicings for the chord. All these three are a G major chord, yet they sound very different. Its also worth mentioning that the inversions i wrote hear are not "THE INVERSIONS" but rather the ones i personally use a lot for triads. You can make your own anywhere around the neck.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Last edited by Sickz at Apr 26, 2014,
Quote by Sickz
That first inversion is not a G chord of any sort, nor a D chord for that matter. It only contains the notes D and F#, which is not enough to make it a chord.

I thought something was wrong... no wonder that didn't make sense to me. thanks for the explanation, appreciate the time

out of curiosity, did you know the notes just by looking, or by the actual chord shape?

Ive been trying to learn the notes on the neck, easier said than done...
I'm pretty decent with notes on the e string(s) and the a string, from playing power chords...
if the d chord is d f# a
the first inversion is f# a d ?
the second is a d f# ?

? or am i missing something?
thanks for the time
Perfect!... ya had it right first time!

out of curiosity, did you know the notes just by looking, or by the actual chord shape?
yep... both! (you will too, give it time)

Ive been trying to learn the notes on the neck, easier said than done...
I'm pretty decent with notes on the e string(s) and the a string, from playing power chords...
Maybe start by learning the octaves to the notes of the E, A & D strings.
eg: 5th fret, Top E string is A, so from there:
Go down 2 strings (D string) and up 2 frets... A octave (7th fret, D string)
or down 3 strings (G string) and down 3 frets... A octave (2nd fret, G string)

...and from 7th fret, D string: (find the octave of this A note)
Go down 2 strings (B string) and up 3 frets... A an octave higher (10th fret, B string)
or down 3 strings (e string) and down 2 frets... A an octave higher (5th fret, e string)

and just to be thorough:
...and from 2nd fret, G string: (find the octave of this A note)
Go down 2 strings (e string) and up 3 frets... A an octave higher (5th fret, e string)
or Go UP 2 strings (A string) and down 2 frets - actually open A string... A an octave lower.

maybe start here:
http://visualguitar.com/octave.html

hope it helps
Quote by Jet Penguin
The Locrian mode is not real.
Quote by fastforded
I thought something was wrong... no wonder that didn't make sense to me. thanks for the explanation, appreciate the time

out of curiosity, did you know the notes just by looking, or by the actual chord shape?

Ive been trying to learn the notes on the neck, easier said than done...
I'm pretty decent with notes on the e string(s) and the a string, from playing power chords...

By looking. Fretboard navigation was something i did very early on. A good exercise is to just go through the circle of fifths or fourths and play every note on every string between the open string and the 12th fret, since everything repeats after that. For example, playing all the Cs on all strings between the open string and the 12th fret, then all the Fs, then the Bbs etc.

Over time you will learn it naturally. It helps doing that though, might get it ingrained abit faster.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Quote by fastforded
Hoped someone knowledgeable might have a few minutes to explain this to me...

So, i'm trying to expand and learn some new chords. And understand the theory behind chord (inverted, diminished, etc) formation...

I came across some chord inversions, and I'm trying to figure out what exactly is happening... (my music theory is basic, a work in progress...)

They said "Take the G major chord on the 10th fret:

``eb 12g 12d 12a 10e ``

and make the first inversion (now a "d" chord)

``eb g 11d 12a 9e 10 ``

1st...
I'm not understanding something here.. the "g" chords' first inversion makes it a "D" chord? (im lost on that)

2nd...
why is this the first inversion? i'm not understanding how they get first inversion?

3rd...
to me, the first inversion implies there's at least a second, maybe even a 3rd inversion...

if the d chord is d f# a
the first inversion is f# a d ?
the second is a d f# ?

? or am i missing something?
thanks for the time

First of all, much respect on trying to improve your knowledge and understanding of theory. None of these, being self taught are easy, and as you can see you might be at the mercy of the information, which, to your credit, you had the good sense to come and ask for help. I'll do my best to help you with that. I also private mentor for free, so if you need a hand just look me up in my profile, also, reached by the link below.

First of all, lets look at the chords.

You have a G major chord. Actually a triad, but the notes from lowest pitch to highest are:

G D G and B

But basically, you have G B D, right? That is a G major triad.

G is the root, B the major 3rd and D the 5th.

The next chord, let's see if it really IS a G Major?

You have a D F# D F# - This isn't a G major at all, but it strongly hints at a D major (there's no 5th) with the root and 3rds doubled, but no A, so it's not a full D major chord.

I'm not sure how this is anything remotely close to an inversion in G, can you?

The first inversion of a G chord, would be one in which you have the notes of G major, but the lowest (Bass) note is the 3rd of the chord, in our case, a B. Have you ever seen this?

G/B

That /B is the BASS note. This is a G chord in 1st inversion. "G with B in the Bass"

A 2nd inversion would be G/D, where the 5th D, is in the bass note.

Once you pass the 2nd inversion, you're back at a Root position, so there's not a 3rd inversion, with a triad. It's Root, 1st and 2nd.

Hope this little bit helps. Inversions are great for variety and smooth voice leading between chords. Making a more linear bass line.

For example, C G/B Am7 superimposes the bass notes C B A, meaning that you are going down from C to A by a series of consecutive reverse alphabetic notes in the bass.

I always tell our Academy students "Just because you can do this, doesn't mean you have to do it with every song, every time" As always, its great to have an option to fit a writing situation that best suits what you want to accomplish.

Have fun exploring inversions!

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 28, 2014,