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Inversions

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  1. Basile865
    Member

    Hey guys, im just trying to understand inversions better. From my understanding, removing the bottom note from your chord to the octave up creates the first inversion? Or you can take the top note of a chord and make it the bass note an octave below?

    I was wondering if its possible to make an inversion of this chord on the guitar:

    E:x
    B:10
    G:7
    D:11
    A:9
    E:x

    Thanks

  2. hoops
    Member

    I always thought of inversions as starting on a note other than the root. For example, standard voicing = R-3-5-7 / first inversion = 3-5-7-R / second inversion = 5-7-R-3 / third inversion = 7-R-3-5. On guitar however, it's usually required to rearrange fingerings to avoid huge or awkward stretches. Inversions of 6th string rooted 7th chords on guitar would be typically voiced, R-7-3-5, 3-R-5-7, 5-3-7-R, 7-5-R-3. That chord you named is an inversion of a D maj7 chord. Interval wise it's 3-7-R-5. Hope this helps.

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  3. gleepglop
    Member

    Inversion just means that the lowest note is something besides the root. It doesn't imply anything about the order of the other notes. A voicing describes a particular arrangement of notes/intervals.

    You could make different voicings of this inversion, like F# A D C# or F# D A C#
    Your regular drop-2 Dmaj7 voicing on the 5th fret A string is an inversion, as would be any combination of these notes
    I'm not much for tab, but:
    -x--5--5-
    -7--7--x-
    -6--6--6-
    -7--x--4-
    -5--5--5-
    -x--x--x-

    Are some examples of root position.

    Here's some for 2nd inversion (5th in the bass):

    -x--x--x--9--
    -x--3--7--7--
    -6--6--6--7--
    -4--4--x--x--
    -5--x--5--x--
    -5--5--5--5--

    Some other first inversion:
    -x--x--9---9--
    -2--3--x--10--
    -2--6--7---x--
    -x--7--7--12--
    -5--9--9---9--
    -2--x--x---x--

    The second one is tough unless you have huge hands, but it is easier in some other keys . . .

    3rd inversion would put the 7th on the bottom. It's rarely used for a straight M7 chords because of the resulting m9 interval with the bass note. If you switch out the root for a 9th, it works.

    You can be talking about inversions on the guitar that aren't really "inversions" musically because the bass player may be playing the root (and a musical inversion might sound good with the guitar playing in root position); usually it's easier to talk about voicings unless you're specifically saying that it's musically an inversion.

  4. Neither
    Member

    your chord is a "classical" Drop 2, 1st inversion, of DMAJ7.
    If you take this DMAJ7, you've got R-3-5-7 (D, F#, A, C#). The 1rst inversion is 3-5-7-R (F#, A, C#, D). 2nd inversion is 5-7-R-3 (A, C#, D, F#). 3rd inversion is 7-R-3-5 (C#, D, F#, A).
    Some of them can't be played on guitar. So you'll have to drop some notes. Play the 2nd note (begining on the top note of each of this chords) and an octave below and you have an open voicing of the same chord, called "Drop 2". Ex : for R-3-5-7 (D, F#, A, C#), if you play the 2nd note (5) an octave below, you'll have 5-R-3-7 (A, D, F#, C#).
    You'll have the "drop 2" R-5-7-3 (D, A, C#, F#), 1rst inversion 3-7-R-5 (F#, C#, D, A), 2rst inversion 5-R-3-7 (A, D, F#, C#), 3rd inversion 7-3-5-R (C#, F#, A, D).
    Your chord is 3-7-R-5 (F#, C#, D, A).
    I'ts easy to see how you can make inversions of any chord. You can find the intervals between each note and the Root (consider them in one octave : if you have a 9th, consider it as a second. order them : here R, 3, 5, 7). For the upper inversion, move each voice to the next upper interval (here the R go, on each voice, to the 3, the 3 to the 5, the 5 to the 7, the 7 to the R).
    If you consider your voicing as a "F#m add b6", R-5-b6-b3 you can find inversions : 1rst b3-b6-R-5, 2nd 5-R-b3-b6, 3rd b6-b3-5-R (here the R go, on each voice, to the b3, the b3 to the 5, the 5 to the b6, the b6 to the R) . Sames voicings as for DMAJ7 but a different vision.
    For your chord, you've got, if you consider it is a DMAJ7,
    E:x
    B:7
    G:6
    D:7
    A:5
    E:x

    E:x
    B:10
    G:7
    D:11
    A:9
    E:x

    E:x
    B:14
    G:11
    D:12
    A:12
    E:x

    E:x
    B:15
    G:14
    D:16
    A:16
    E:x

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  5. Basile865
    Member

    Thanks a lot guys.

    So i guess the root doesnt count as the first note, correct? Otherwise itd be more like drop 3.

    If someone wants to make drop 2's does the chord have to have the r 3 5 7 intervals? What if its a r 5 7 10. I guess 10 is the 3?

    If i had a chord like this:

    E:5
    B:7
    G:7
    D:5
    A:7
    E:x

    What would be the drop 2 voicing of that?

    I guess the same principles apply to drop 4's?

  6. Basile865
    Member

    And for extra credit (haha)

    Lets say I had this chord and someone asked what and where is the first inversion of this chord?

    E:2
    B:2
    G:4
    D:2
    A:5
    E:3


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  8. Poparad
    Member

    Here's my general rule for inversions:

    List out all of the notes in your chord in numerical order. Let's take the last example you posted:

    E:2
    B:2
    G:4
    D:2
    A:5
    E:3

    You have, from low to high, G, D, E, B, C#, F#.

    I'm going to pick G as the root, as it has more primary notes of a Gmaj7 (root, 3rd, 5th, or 7th) chord than it does if any of the other notes were the root (although in certain inversions, Dmaj7 could work well, too). That's not to say it couldn't be some kind of F#7sus4(b9b13) chord, but I think Gmaj13#11 is a little more elegant in this case.

    Anyway, with G as the root, the notes are now R, 5, 6, 3, #4, 7

    If we put that in numerical order, ignoring any doublings, we get: R, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7.

    That is going to be our "inversion cycle." When we invert the voicing, in order to retain that exact spread of voicing, move each note over one in the list. In other words, R -> 3 -> #4 -> 5 -> 6 -> 7 -> R.

    So our original voicing was: R, 5, 6, 3, #4, 7

    Moving every note up one in the cycle, you get: 3, 6, 7, #4, 5, R. The only way to play that on guitar in standard tuning would be:

    3
    3
    6
    4
    7
    7

    Not the most practical of voicings, but that's what it would be.

    This 'inversion cycle' technique works on all voicing types, no matter which notes you're using or how many.



  9. Neither
    Member

    So i guess the root doesnt count as the first note, correct? Otherwise itd be more like drop 3.
    If someone wants to make drop 2's does the chord have to have the r 3 5 7 intervals? What if its a r 5 7 10. I guess 10 is the 3?
    If i had a chord like this:
    E:5
    B:7
    G:7
    D:5
    A:7
    E:x
    What would be the drop 2 voicing of that?
    I guess the same principles apply to drop 4's?

    Poparad explained it better than I did.

    Some more answers because you seem a bit confused :

    Drop voicings are open voicings of close voicings. Any chord can be played in Root position (it means the Root of the chord is on the bass part of the voicing), or in as many inversion (with the other notes this chord contains on the bass) as the voicing contains other notes than the Root. Which note is on the bottom determines the inversion.
    Take a triad. let's say C major. You have bottom to top C, E, G (R, 3, 5). But C, G, E (R, 5, 3 (an octave higher)) or G, C, E (5, R, 3) are a C major triad too. But the distribution of notes is not the same. Same chord with different voicings.
    A close voicing is a voicing which has the lowest and the highest note that form an interval smaller than an octave. It's a compacted voicing, a compacted presentation of a chord. Close voicings of C major are, bottom to top, C, E, G (R, 3, 5) [Root position] ; E, G, C (3, 5, R) [1rst inversion] ; G, C, E (5, R, 3) [2nd, and last, inversion]. As Poparad said, if you put any of this voicings in numerical order (R=1), you'll have R -> 3 -> 5 (or C -> E -> G) . See the root position of this chord in close voicing. If you want to find the 1rst inversion, the R goes to the 3, the 3 to the 5 and the 5 to the R. Proceed with the 1rst inversion in order to find the 2nd inversion. The voicing has 3 notes so you have a root position and 2 inversions.
    In order to find Drop 2 of this chords, take the close voicings :
    5 (G) __________ R (C) ___________ 3 (E)
    3 (E) __________ 5 (G) ___________ R (C)
    R (C) __________ 3 (E) ___________ 5 (G)
    Root position ___ 1rst inversion ____ 2nd inversion

    Take the 2nd note (begining with the top) of each of this close voicings and put it an octave below, you've got a Drop 2 :
    5 (G) __________ R (C) ___________ 3 (E)
    R (C) __________ 3 (E) ___________ 5 (G)
    3 (E) __________ 5 (G) ___________ R (C)
    1rst inversion ___ 2nd inversion ____ Root position

    Drop 2 means that you drop the 2nd voice of a close voicing, beginning on the top voice, an octave below.
    Drop 3 means that you drop the 3rd voice of a close voicing, beginning on the top voice, an octave below.
    I think you can find Drop 4 or Drop 2 & 4...

    In order to answer your questions

    So i guess the root doesnt count as the first note, correct? Otherwise itd be more like drop 3.

    The root counts. But you must count beginning with the top note of the voicing. For a Drop 3, you'll have to drop the 3rd voice (beginning with the highest note of the voicing) of the close voicing an octave below.

    If someone wants to make drop 2's does the chord have to have the r 3 5 7 intervals? What if its a r 5 7 10. I guess 10 is the 3?

    "r 3 5 7" is a close voicing in root position of a chord elaborated in thirds.
    If I figure this voicing like I did above (let's say for an example CMAJ7) :
    7 (B)
    5 (G)
    3 (E)
    R (C)
    Root position

    "r 5 7 10" is a Drop 2 voicing in root position of the 2nd inversion (5, 7, R, 3) of the same chord (the 2nd note, beginning on the top note, is the R. You have to drop it. So put the R an octave below and you have a Drop 2 of this chord. It becomes a Drop 2 in Root position because the R becomes the lowest note).
    If I figure this voicing like I did above :
    3 (E)
    7 (B)
    5 (G)
    R (C)
    Root position
    10 is notated 3, because it's easier to think 3rd than 10th and because here the important thing is the function of third. I see it's an octave higher because notes are exposed with the lowest to the highest note of the voicing like on a musical stave.

    If i had a chord like this:
    E:5
    B:7
    G:7
    D:5
    A:7
    E:x
    What would be the drop 2 voicing of that?
    I guess the same principles apply to drop 4's?

    Your voicing is (b3 means minor third, b7 means minor seventh) :
    11 (A)
    9 (F#)
    b7 (D)
    b3 (G)
    R (E)

    Or with a different notation :
    4 (A)
    2 (F#)
    b7 (D)
    b3 (G)
    R (E)

    It's an open voicing because some intervals are higher than an octave.

    A close voicing of this chord would be :
    b7 (D)
    4 (A)
    b3 (G)
    2 (F#)
    R (E)

    So you can find the 4 inversions :

    b7 (D) ________ R (E) ________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A)
    4 (A) _________ b7 (D) _______ R (E) _________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G)
    b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) ________ b7 (D) ________ R (E) _________ 2 (F#)
    2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) _______ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D) ________ R (E)
    R (E) _________ 2 (F#) _______ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D)
    Root Position __ 1rst inversion __ 2nd inversion __ 3rd inversion __ 4th inversion

    Take the 4th inversion (because your voicing has a 4 on the top like this inversion). You need to drop the 2nd and 4rth voice of this voicing to obtain your voicing. So your voicing is a Drop 2 & 4.

    here are the inversions and the root position of your voicing :

    b7 (D) ________ R (E) ________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A)
    b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) ________ b7 (D) ________ R (E) _________ 2 (F#)
    R (E) _________ 2 (F#) _______ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D)
    4 (A) _________ b7 (D) _______ R (E) _________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G)
    2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) _______ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D) ________ R (E)
    1rst inversion __ 2nd inversion _ 3rd inversion __ 4th inversion____Root Position

    And a Drop 2 version of your chord :
    b7 (D) ________ R (E) ________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A)
    b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) ________ b7 (D) ________ R (E) _________ 2 (F#)
    2 (F#) ________ b3 (G) _______ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D) ________ R (E)
    R (E) _________ 2 (F#) _______ b3 (G) ________ 4 (A) _________ b7 (D)
    4 (A) _________ b7 (D) _______ R (E) _________ 2 (F#) ________ b3 (G)
    3rd inversion __ 4th inversion __Root Position ___ 1rst inversion __ 2nd inversion

    Most of this voicings can not be played on guitar.

  10. Basile865
    Member

    Wow, i'll have to check this out later tonight but thanks so much for taking the time to answer

  11. herrlein
    Member

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  12. Neither
    Member

    It seems interesting.
    Great transcriptions here : http://julioherrlein.com/site/?page_id=154


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