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Basic Inversions of Major Chords

Christopher Sung (9641) · [archive]
Style: Acoustic/Folk · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

A great way to add some interesting textures to the way you play tunes is to use inversions of chords you already know. An inversion is when you play a chord using a bass note that is not the root of the chord. This is often notated like G/B, D/F#, A/C#, etc. In these examples, all of the inversions used are first inversions, which means that the third of the chord is used in the bass. For a G chord, the notes that comprise its inversions are:
  • No inversion: G (bass), B, D
  • 1st inversion: B (bass), D, G
  • 2nd inversion: D (bass), G, B
What might something sound like where you use 1st inversions of major chords instead of their root voicings? In the following example, the chord progession is D - A - C - G, but for the A in the 2nd measure and G chord in the 4th measure, we use their first inversion. Thus, our progression is now D - A/C# - C - G/B.
Basic Inversions of Major Chords