SMG Guitar Lesson #32: Minor Chord Inversions

Minor chords are a common type of chord in three part harmony consisting of a root, a minor 3rd, and 5th interval. Minor chords are popular for their distinctively moody, melancholic, and somewhat darker sound.

Because they are so common, it’s important to be able to invert minor chords into each octave position. Below is a chart that shows you how to do this with the five positions labeled as “P1-P5″ and root notes represented as squares. Notice that, because these are movable shapes, each inversion can be used anywhere on the neck depending on which root note you choose. Study this chart carefully and make sure you can connect the octave positions along the fret board for any root note.

Test your ability by taking the three minor chords of a major key (vi, ii, and iii) and inverting them up each segment of the fretboard. Pay close attention to which positions are used in each segment. Here, we’ll play a minor, d minor, and e minor, all from the key of C Major, just to keep things simple. Eventually though, if you want to master the guitar, you’ll need to be able to do this in all 12 keys.

If you’re into lead guitar, you’ll also want to practice your minor chord arpeggios in each octave position, as they are like the bread and butter of lead guitar playing. And for those of you who are metal heads out there, minor chord arpeggios are most popularly used for sweep picking. The exercises below are written for the root note of G, but, of course the same shapes and patterns will apply to all major chord arpeggios.

This has been an excerpt from my e-book on Chord Inversions. If you’re ready to learn more, you can get your copy HERE

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