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Music Theory for Guitar - Second Inversion

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Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - First Inversion Next page: Music Theory for Guitar - Chord Substitution Primer

There is no prize for guessing that you get the second inversion if you take the 3 from the bottom of a chord i first inversion, and move it up one octave. A chord in second inversion has the notes 5 - 1 - 3.

Let us first take another look at John Duarte's Three blind mice arrangement, this time ending on the chord in second inversion.

xxxx

It simply does not sound right as a concluding chord. You want to continue, even though you are at the tonic chord. The chord in it's second inversion is too unstable. But on the other hand (or other end?) the second inversion works very well as a kick off chord. There are thousands of songs that starts with the notes of the second inversion, often with the starting fifth as a pickup note.

Once again, play through the triads in second inversion, horizontally. Start with C-major on the bottom set of strings

Harmonic scale, C, 2. inv

The space between the bottom and the middle note in the music tells us that this is 2. inversion.

The corresponding chord-shapes are:

(Picture)
(Picture)
(Picture)
Major
2. inv.
Minor
2. inv
Diminished
2. inv

Listen to a recording of this harmonized scale (MP3).
It is recorded as a combination of arpeggios and chords to make it easier to hear the individual notes.

Continue with E-major:

Harmonic scale, E, 2. inv

And chord shapes:

(Picture)
(Picture)
(Picture)
Major
2. inv.
Minor
2. inv
Diminished
2. inv

Listen to a recording of this harmonized scale (MP3).
It is recorded as a combination of arpeggios and chords to make it easier to hear the individual notes.

A-major:

Harmonic scale, A, 2. inv

(Picture)
(Picture)
(Picture)
Major
2. inv.
Minor
2. inv
Diminished
2. inv

Listen to a recording of this harmonized scale (MP3).
It is recorded as a combination of arpeggios and chords to make it easier to hear the individual notes.

And finally D-major:

Harmonic scale, D, 2. inv

(Picture)
(Picture)
(Picture)
Major
2. inv.
Minor
2. inv
Diminished
2. inv

Listen to a recording of this harmonized scale (MP3).
It is recorded as a combination of arpeggios and chords to make it easier to hear the individual notes.

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Previous page: Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - First InversionNext page: Music Theory for Guitar - Chord Substitution Primer Next page:

Previous page: Next page:
Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - First Inversion Next page: Music Theory for Guitar - Chord Substitution Primer