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Thread: How do I become fluent with inversions?

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    Default How do I become fluent with inversions?

    I'm bored with theory and would rather like a practical approach. I think I'd prefer slash chord notation but it's hard to find lots of music where this notation is prominently featured. Can someone recommend me where to look for lots of music with slash chords? (It can be either classical or pop songs!)

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Don't worry about inversions. A lot of music - folk and pop - uses the I IV and V chords. If you want to play at speed, you don't want to move your hands so you naturally play inversions. In G, you want your right hand over middle C so you typically play inversions, I is B D G IV is G C E and V is A D F# - all under the hand. If you need them, (still in G) you've got II at A C E III at B D F# VI at B E G and VII at A C F#. The left hand can play the root note or a selection of notes from the chord or a walking bass.

    Inversions happen naturally.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    What about a chord progression that goes Eb-B-Bb7-Gm-Bb7 ?

    Obviously the most facile and comfortable inversions to play would be the following: 2nd-3rd-3rd-1st-3rd

    But this leaves seventh is lodged up in the middle of all the rest of the tones. Which can sound awkward?

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter where the 7ths are located. It only matters how you move out of them
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    (On the inversions, I meant 1st-2nd-2nd-rootposition-2nd)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    It doesn't matter where the 7ths are located. It only matters how you move out of them
    Well, don't you think the seventh is kinda 'drowned out' by the other tones, if it's located the middle of the chord?

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    Well, don't you think the seventh is kinda 'drowned out' by the other tones, if it's located the middle of the chord?
    Absolutely not. A seventh adds color. It's resolution is important in Common Practice Classical music. In Pop, Jazz, Contemporary Classical, etc it's not
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    What about a chord progression that goes Eb-B-Bb7-Gm-Bb7 ?

    Obviously the most facile and comfortable inversions to play would be the following: 2nd-3rd-3rd-1st-3rd

    But this leaves seventh is lodged up in the middle of all the rest of the tones. Which can sound awkward?
    You seem to be thinking in terms of block chords, but vertical spacing, irrespective of the inversion does not have to adhere to a construction that simply piles up of thirds. As Vask says, the 7th can appear anywhere within the chords 'height', even as a bass and in scoring let's say a 2nd inversion maj7th chord, there is no reason why the voicing (spacing) of the 7th cannot be at the top of the chord.
    Spacing can be open, closed, both or more imaginative and is an essential and expressive characteristic of music.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-07-2020 at 09:31.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    Absolutely not. A seventh adds color. It's resolution is important in Common Practice Classical music. In Pop, Jazz, Contemporary Classical, etc it's not
    I was talking about where you vertically place the seventh tone. For example, a Bb7 chord in the 2nd inversion would have the following order: F, Ab, Bb, D.

    I think the 7th tone (Ab) is rather inaudible when its there in the middle of things. On the piano, at least. Would prefer if it were placed either higher, or in the bass. (But then you'd have to greatly move your left hand!)
    Last edited by Gargamel; Apr-07-2020 at 11:14.

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    Member mrdoc's Avatar
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    How do I become fluent with inversions?

    Practice x 3 and you will find it is so easy you will be able to do it standing on your head

    Sorry I couldn't resist it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    I was talking about where you vertically place the seventh tone. For example, a Bb7 chord in the 2nd inversion would have the following order: F, Ab, Bb, D.

    I think the 7th tone (Ab) is rather inaudible when its there in the middle of things. On the piano, at least. Would prefer if it were placed either higher, or in the bass. (But then you'd have to greatly move your left hand!)
    So how about I leave out anone one of the tones in this chord, so the seventh is left sounding more pronounced....?

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    Junior Member TalkingPie's Avatar
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    If you want to get fluent with inversions, practise part-writing. Do exercises like this:
    https://www.cengage.com/resource_upl...9350_78633.pdf

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