What's An Inverted Chord - Open and Close Voicings
- By Stef Ramin
- On 12/16/2018
- 0 comments
What's An Inverted Chord?
The notes of a chord whether it is a triad (containing just three notes) or a tetrad (built with four notes) can be reshuffled in different order. The name of the chord will still remain the same, but the bass will not necessarily the root note. This is the lowest note (the bass note) that determines the name of the inverted chord. So, chord inversion simply refers to which note is in the bass. You will find here some example for a better understanding of what are inverted chords.
What Are Inverted Triads?
Let's take an example with a C major triad. The root position is spelled C (root) - E (major third) and G (fifth). This root voicing can provide two other inverted chords :
- In the 1st inversion the bass note (C) is now on the top of the chord so, the third (E) becomes the bass note. This inverted chord will be renamed C/E.
- The 2nd inverted chord is built by putting the bass note (E) of the previous inversion on the top. Thus, giving a chord with the fifth in the bass wich is written C/G.
This also naturally applies to all types of triads (minor, diminished and augmented).
What Are Spread Voicings aka Open Chord Voicings?
Please note that the triad chords previously seen are named "close voicings" because all notes are placed within one and unique octave. There also other combinations of triad chords called "spread voicings or open chord voicings". The notes of are spread out over more one octave.
As you see in the examples below, an open triad voicing is built by dropping a note of a close triad chord voicing an octave higher thus, giving a new chord spread over more than one octave.
- When moving the third (E in the example) of a close triad in its root position we obtain an open voiced triad.
- When moving the fifth (G) of the first inversion of a closed triad we get another open triad chord with the third in the bass.
- When dropping the root (C) of the second inversion of a closed triad we get a spread triad voicing with the fifth in the bass.
Seventh Chord Inversion
How To Invert Seventh Chords?
Seventh chords are built with four-notes, these are commonly named tetrad chords. Like triads, seventh chords can be inverted by moving the bass note up an octave, thus providing three other inverted voicings.
The example below explains how to invert a close voiced seventh chord. To create the 1st inversion you just need to put the root note (C) at the top of the chord which gives a new 7th chord with the third in the bass (Cmaj7/E). The second inversion (Cmaj7/E) consists of putting the third (E) at the top of the chord, thus giving a chord with the fifth in the bass. The third tetrad inversion (Cmaj7/G) has the seventh (G) in the bass and the fifth is now the highest note of the chord.
This printable PDF eBook provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This downloadable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.
This printable PDF eBook file contains 5 jazz blues studies using only arpeggios.