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Thread: Triads and Inversions...best way to learn..

  1. #1
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Triads and Inversions...best way to learn..

    So, I've decided to learn theory and what chords I'm playing and everything like that... I've been working from Chord Chemistry the past couple days and Ted shows all of the major and minor inversions in F and Bb. For some reason this is important because he says that the I to IV is one of the most used sounds in many types of music using triads. I'm just wondering if anyone can further elaborate on that, and also explain what the best way is to learn the triads and inversions. Should I go up the first string set (high E, B,G) using major triads and then move on to the next string set using major triads in the same key etc...or should I do the minor versions on the 1st string set right after the major ones? Should I continue up the neck as far as I can go, or just stick with getting familiarized from fret 1 to 12 at first? Also, what's the best way to work through this book? Thanks in advance.

    CG
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
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    i think it wud be best to learn all the major triads and inversions first before switching to minor triads and whatnot. well, once you understand the theory behind it, you'd realize that you wouldn't have to memorize since you'd be able to derive em at will. hope this is of any use.

  3. #3
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    I would suggest if you are just startin to learn inversions and stuff to check out the Oct. 2005 Guitar One issue (the One on "how i built monster chops") but the column called "One Hour Workout" is all about Chord Inversions. It goes over maj/min/aug/dim. inversions of triads and then leads into tetrads and how to apply basic inversions in jazz and blues. Its a short column (hence the one hour workout) but its a very good one.

  4. #4
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Anybody else?
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaiaficionado
    i think it wud be best to learn all the major triads and inversions first before switching to minor triads and whatnot. well, once you understand the theory behind it, you'd realize that you wouldn't have to memorize since you'd be able to derive em at will. hope this is of any use.
    Good advice.

    I think it's best to leann the Major triads first, since we use the Major scale to name chords. Learn where the root, 5th and 3rd are compared to the root on any string. Then learning the minors are as easy as moving the 3rd down one fret.

  6. #6
    Registered Abuser widdly widdly's Avatar
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    I'd stick to learning all the inversion on a group of three strings first. I'd learn the major ones first then learn how to quickly get the minor, diminished and augmented from you major shapes. Actually I'd go straight to learning the 7ths shapes as these are more usefull and will cover more ground and contain all the normal triads anyway.

    Here is how I was taught these things....

    Start with a group of three strings, lets say for example the D,G and B strings.

    For F major, the notes you have are FAC. Play the F on the D string, A on the G string and C on the B string so you get....

    -x
    -1
    -2
    -3
    -x
    -x

    which is a closed F major triad.

    Now on each string, move up to the next note...so the F moves up to A, the A moves up to C and the C moves up to F. This is the first inversion.

    -x
    -6
    -5
    -7
    -x
    -x

    Now repeat that and you get the third inversion. So the A moves up to C, the C moves up to F and the F moves up to A.

    -x
    -10
    -10
    -10
    -x
    -x

    Now to get the minor inversion, just lower which ever note is the third. So for example in the third inversion, the note on the b string is the third so we get

    -x
    -9 --- the 3rd (A) gets lowered
    -10
    -10
    -x
    -x

    You can do the same for diminished and augmented ones too. To get a diminished lower the third and the fifth. For example the 3rd inversion becomes a diminished like this..

    -x
    -9 --- the 3rd (A) gets lowered
    -10
    -9--- the 5th(C) gets lowered
    -x
    -x

    This method also works for 7th chords (in fact for any chord really). For seventh chords you get an extra inversion and 5 different chords can be made.

    For example, a Fmaj7 chord moved through its inversions...
    Starting with E-A-C-F, moving to F-C-E-A, then A-E-F-C, then C-F-A-E and finally back where you started only up an octave. These shapes are handy since you can flip the high e-string note down onto the low E and you get a bass note.

    Code:
    -1---5---10--12---13
    -1---5---6---10---13
    -2---5---9---10---14
    -2---3---7---10---14
    -x---x---x----x----x
    -x---x---x----x----x
    Now each of these shapes can be changed to a dominant 7 by lowering the seventh, which is the E. So you get the following...
    Code:
    -1---5---10--11---13
    -1---4---6---10---13
    -2---5---8---10---14
    -1---3---7---10---13
    -x---x---x----x----x
    -x---x---x----x----x
    Now take the Dom7 shapes and lower the 3rds, in this case the A to get a the minor 7th shapes...
    Code:
    -1---4---10--11---13
     -1---4---6---9---13
     -1---5---8---10---13
     -1---3---6---10---13
     -x---x---x----x----x
     -x---x---x----x----x
    Now take the minor 7 shapes and lower the 5th, in this case the C to get a the min7b5 shapes...
    Code:
    -1---4---9--11---13
      -0---4---6---9---12
      -1---4---8---10---13
      -1---3---6---9---13
      -x---x---x----x----x
      -x---x---x----x----x
    Now take the min7b5 shapes and lower the 7th again and you get the diminished 7th shapes, which are all the same.
    Code:
     -1---4---8--10---13
       -0---3---6---9---12
       -1---4---8---10---13
       -0---3---6---9---12
       -x---x---x----x----x
       -x---x---x----x----x
    You can repeat this process using the low A to high B. Once you have those to sets down, you've got pretty good coverage.
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    Last edited by widdly widdly; 04-11-2011 at 07:27 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User drum's Avatar
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    I was just reading through Guni's article on seventh chords when this thread started and I'm struggling to understand some of it. I understand the construction of the inversions here, with moving the root up to the next note in the chord and I get why you can't use the first inversion of a major seventh chord, but I don't get why the inversions aren't
    F-A-C-E, C-E-F-A and E-F-A-C?

    I can't see the correlation between the music as it would be written on a stave or how the inversions are created on a stave and its relation to the fingerings on the guitar?

    Sorry if this is turning into a theory question in the technique thread or is it still technique?!
    Last edited by drum; 04-24-2006 at 04:39 AM.

  8. #8
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Actually, this is probably more a theory thread than it is technique, but having said that, practicing a lot of inversions every day will only help your technique (particularly switching from chord to chord).
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Registered Abuser widdly widdly's Avatar
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    Inversions are named after the lowest note. So ACEF and AFEC are both the 1st inversion.

    Closed chords are chords with all the notes in the same octave. For all the notes to fit in the same octave, the inversions have to have the notes in order...ie FACE ACEF CEFA EFACE. But closed chords are difficult for guitarist (and easy for piano). So we have open chords where the notes span more than an octave and the inversions notes are not nessacerily in order.
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    Last edited by widdly widdly; 04-11-2011 at 07:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User drum's Avatar
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    OK that makes sense, thanks. So while the theory ties in and underpins this you have to learn the practical voicings on the guitar. I'm getting bit sick of myself asking elementary questions. Thanks for continuing to indulge my shortfalls in knowledge and still answering!

  11. #11
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Well, I've been spending the past couple days learning the F major triads all over the neck, and now I'm able to connect them at will and play them randomly all over....I can also see how they connect over the fretboard and how you can build arpeggios all over the neck...It's pretty cool! One thing I've been doing is connecting them in a vertical fashion, and that's where I see all the arpeggio possibilities...I think you really do learn a lot subconsciously when you really focus in your conscious mind..
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Registered User drum's Avatar
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    Seems like we're working on the same kind of schedule . I've been doing the exact same thing with all of the Cmaj triads and I feel like I know and understand the scale so much better now. I think I'm finally starting to grasp the reasons for the 'don't just learn modes and patterns' point of view!

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