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Chord inversions


EddiePlaysBass

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I have a practical question regarding chord inversions: what is a good / advisable way of studying them?

 

I mean, I guess the idea for a maj7 chord would be to play arpeggio's like this:

 

1 3 5 7

3 5 7 1 (1st inversion?)

5 7 3 1 (2nd inversion?)

 

Is there also such a thing as a 3rd inversion (starting on the 7th note) or is it not considered as such?

 

Do you keep the "box" shape and always play the root as the lowest note or do you systematically move the root (and third) up an octave?

 

Also, when playing through the circle of fifths (or fourths, if you will), do you take one pattern and play it through the circle or do you play 'em all and then move through the circle like this?

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I found on the internets pointers to the series on triads and inversions that John Goldsby made recently on Bass Player.

You will find practice material there

 

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/Triad-Architecture/4808

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/Triad-Architecture-Part-2/4888

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/Triad-Architecture-Passion-Dance/4927

 

 

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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Thanks Michele for linking to those articles.

 

Eddie: Yes, it would also be good to finish your series of chord inversions with the 7135 inversion, since you're doing them all.

 

Regarding playing through patterns (or arpeggios) in all 12 keys, I would recommend taking one inversion and moving that through the circle. Then the next inversion.

 

The articles that Michele linked to deal with thinking of 7th chords, or other more complicated structures, as two triads in a pair. You might find that useful.

www.goldsby.de
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You might find that useful.

 

I remember, when those articles were published, thinking "this will be useful" but then the magazines ended up in my closet :)

 

Thanks for chipping in, John! Much appreciated, and oh I have dug up said issues and will work through the first installment today. I have a tendency to want to run before I can walk so I will (need to) tell myself to take it easy :)

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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There's a nice exercise where you move arpeggios around the cycle or chord changes using quarter notes. When you finish one bar you take the nearest chord tone of the next arpeggio (whether root, 3rd, 5th or 7th and start the second chord with that inversion, whatever's nearest. I think I got this one from John...great prep for walking bass - take it slow.

 

Another exercise I got from Ed Lucie was to take a tune and solo but limit my solo to triads or chord tones. I got a lot from that.

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They're only triads . . . nothing hard :)

 

See now, I have very little technical baggage and while I know where the notes are on the neck, I am going through the cycle of 5ths (and 4ths :grin: ) naming each note in each triad, which is taking me surprisingly longer than I would care to admit. But following Stuart Clayton's approach regarding content over pattern, I feel this will be a lot more useful an exercise than if I were to just play the patterns through the circle's changes.

 

So for me, this is kind of step 1. And step 1 is always the hardest one to take.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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They're only triads . . . nothing hard :)

I am going through the cycle of 5ths (and 4ths :grin: ) naming each note in each triad, ...

 

So for me, this is kind of step 1. And step 1 is always the hardest one to take.

 

You are going about things perfectly. It's a good idea to master simple things, but really master them. Once you get your "step one" down cold, then you'll notice how you are never lost anywhere on the neck. Very useful!

www.goldsby.de
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