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Using Chord Inversions


by

chikoppi

 Genre: Informational

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In a forum thread we were discussing the difficulties of learning music theory and how to apply it to writing songs. I for one would like to see more discussion and sharing of musical skills at MacJams so that we can all become better at song craft.

In an effort to take the bull by the horns I've prepared this little primer on chord inversions and how they can be used in song writing. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO CONSIDER ADDING THEIR OWN ENTRIES ABOUT SONGWRITING AND MUSIC THEORY. If we begin sharing ideas about the art of music theory we'll soon have a collection that will help us all write better music.

In the audio example I begin with a chord:

G Major: G B D

The notes of the chord are listed from lowest (G) to highest (D). By changing the order of the notes by raising the lowest to the top we then have a 1st inversion of the G Major chord:

G Major (1st inversion): B D G

By once raising the lowest note to the highest position once again we create the 2nd inversion of the G Major chord:

G Major (2nd inversion): D G B

In the audio example I then demonstrate how chord inversions can be used to add color to a chord progression by changing the melody of the bass line.

I begin with the chord progression:

C Major: C E G
E minor: E G B
D minor: D F A
G Major: G B D
C Major: C E G

With no chord inversions, the bass melody is:

Chord Progression: C Em Dm G C
Bass Melody: C E D G C

By using the 1st inversion of the D minor chord we keep the same chord progression but change the melody of the bass line:

Chord Progression: C Em Dm G C
D minor (1st inversion): F A D
Bass Melody: C E F G C

To push things further and create a decending bass melody further chord inversions can be employed:

Chord Progression: C Em Dm G C
C Major (2nd inversion): G C E
E minor (1st inversion): G B E
D minor (1st inversion): F A D
G Major (ist inversion): B D G
Bass Melody: G G F B C

I hope someone finds this useful!
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Uploaded: Aug 23, 2007 - 04:59:41 PM
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2007 - 04:59:41 PM Last Played: Apr 23, 2019 - 05:49:41 PM
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Comments
michael2 said 4292 days ago (August 23rd, 2007)
sweet
i don't have the time to listen to the whole thing, but this is awesome. i downloaded it for future consumption. i try to mix things up, but i am not musically astute at all. this is a great idea. thanks for posting this.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
bonnieprincejohnny said 4292 days ago (August 23rd, 2007)
Very good.
I think that perhaps it might be a sound idea to revisit this and sing what you are attempting to convey. Then you could stick a beat on and - eh voila... a hit! Be lucky.
Check out my latest song called twenty seven
said 4292 days ago (August 23rd, 2007)
Why yes!
Very nice instructional piece. I'm at a point in my piano lessons that I know exactly what you are talking about here. Nicely done. Thanks!
dolby said 4292 days ago (August 24th, 2007)
Thanks
Can't believe haw quick you guys work!

This is very, very useful. Great work.
As I mentioned on Vics post I hope this can really take off on MJ's as I think many people will benefit.

And now I know it's chYkoppi and not chikoppi.
Which deserves further thanks:-))

Phil
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
dolby said 4292 days ago (August 24th, 2007)
Which of course....
....is the first thing it says at the top of your home page.....doh!

P :-))

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
ceilidh said 4291 days ago (August 24th, 2007)
great!
don't have my guitar with me here in houston, but going to check everything i learned today, when i get back home :) great idea chikoppi, highly appreciated! thanks million paja
Check out my latest song called Gartan Mother's Lullaby
bud said 4286 days ago (August 29th, 2007)
Thanks Brian
I've learned more theory in the last few minutes than I have in the last 40 years since I sat on my clarinet and traded the broken bits for an electric guitar.
Check out my latest song called mixer 2
Lennon714 said 4075 days ago (March 27th, 2008)
Wow!
I played trumpet for 5 years and I don't remember ANY theory. Self-taught ever since so there's no real science to what I do. This lesson was invaluable! Thank you for doing this. I wish I knew enough to contribute instead of just sponging!
Check out my latest song called Just a Little More Time
be_silent_galileah said 3693 days ago (April 13th, 2009)
inspiring~
fantastic.
Check out my latest song called The Frog & the Scorpion
VicDiesel said 3684 days ago (April 22nd, 2009)
great minds think alike
http://www.macjams.com/song/34741

Why did we do this again?

Victor.
Check out my latest song called Ten minutes
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Chikoppi... pronounced similar to "I go free" I'm a marketing consultant based in Chicago. I help small and mid-size companies transform into top market competitors. I also help large organizations manage internal communications and maximize... [see more]

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