SMG Guitar Lesson #29: Understanding Chord Inversions

In the next series of lessons, we’re going to cover the basics of chord inversions; multiple ways to play a given chord using alternate voicing. Pay close attention over the next few weeks and you’ll be zipping through your inversions and arpeggios like a pro in no time. But first, you’ll need to brush up on your knowledge of the five octave positions.

Positions of Common Open Chords

Chances are if you’ve been playing the guitar for a while, you’re already aware of quite a few of the chord inversions we’re about to learn about, because many of them are found in common chords of the open range. In fact, many of the first chords you ever learned to play on the guitar are actually just inversions of a certain type of chord. So, if you study closely, you’ll notice that many of the chord forms and shapes will seem familiar.

For example, let’s review how the five positions translate into what I call the “open range” of the neck (within the first four frets), where your most familiar chord forms are found:

Position 1 – In the open range, the notes E, F, and F# are found in first octave position (when a root note is found on the first, fourth, and sixth strings), and the chords E, em, F, fm, F#, and f#m are all major and minor chord inversions in first octave position.

Position 2 – In the open range, the notes D and Eb are found in the second octave position, (when the root note is found on the second and fourth strings), and the chords D, dm, Eb, and d#m are major and minor chord inversions in second octave position.

Position 3 – In the open range, the notes, B, C, and C# are found in third octave position, (when a root note is found on the second and fifth strings), and chords like B7, C, C#, cm, and c#m are major and minor chord inversions in third octave position.

Position 4 – In the open range, the notes A and Bb are found in fourth octave position, (when a root note is found on the third and fifth strings), and the chords A, am, Bb, and bbm are major and minor chord inversions in fourth position.

Position 5 – In the open range, the notes G and Ab are found in fifth octave position, (when a root note is found on the first third and sixth strings), and the chords G, gm, Ab, and g#m are major and minor chord inversions in firth octave position.

This has been an excerpt from my book on chord inversions. To get your copy of the full program, complete with audio examples, go HERE:http://www.helloguitarmethod.com/chordinversions.html

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