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> Inverted Chords
reallylongnickna...
post Dec 26 2008, 03:01 AM
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Theory books describe stacking the notes of a chord in different order as inverting the chord. The root note now longer becomes the dominant note. My question is... although the theory books don't say anything about the other instruments, is the inverted chord still relying on another instrument such as your bass player or rhythm guitar player is defining the root note of the chord?

Example: C chord has notes; c, e, g. If u inverted the chord so that the order is g, c, e, now the g note has the dominant sound, but is another instrument like the bass, gonna play the c note to define the root note?
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Gus
post Dec 26 2008, 03:57 AM
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Hi,

When referring to inversions, one is usually referring to a single instrument

Actually it is commonplace in styles such as funky for a guitarist to play inverted chords including only the 4 treble strings and let the bassist complement the harmony.

Whether the bassist will "complete" the chord again, is totally up to him and his style. There is no rule here. wink.gif


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Zephyr
post Dec 26 2008, 04:02 AM
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Well, inverting a chord and having the root in the bass is a little self-defeating. The purpose of inverting a chord is to produce a different harmony, which doesn't really happen if you have the same note in the bass. On the other hand, for instruments such as guitar, this may happen just because a inversion might be easier to play, and he/she often doesn't need to play the root as the bass, as the bass player can do that.

Ex: () is the bass player.

( C) C E G is root form.

(G) G C E is the second inversion, which produces a different harmony.

( C) G C E will still harmonically sound like root form.

(G) C E G will still sound like the second inversion.

Harmony is all about the bass! (By bass, I mean the lowest line - not necessarily a bass guitar player.)

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 26 2008, 04:09 AM
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Ian Bushell
post Dec 26 2008, 09:05 AM
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You can split a chord up amongst instruments to make one harmony.
But when you're doing this across instruments, what in theory should work doesn't always sound good.
As a basic idea, try and avoid having too many notes in the same register or octave.

For example:
Don't have your bass playing a low E while you're playing a G on the third fret low E string and a C on the third fret A string.
Yes in theory this will imply a C major chord but won't be as nice sounding as some of the other possible inversions/voicing's.

There are no rules really to what instrument should be playing the root note or chord tones.
Let theory be a tool and your ear a guide.

Music should always sound good first in my opinion whether the theory behind it is complex or simple.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 26 2008, 12:23 PM
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QUOTE (Ian Bushell @ Dec 26 2008, 09:05 AM) *
Music should always sound good first in my opinion whether the theory behind it is complex or simple.


Yes, this is very nicely said.
In general when you play inverted chords, it doesn't matter if you are going to complement the root on another instrument. What does matter is the harmony flow, and top notes of the chords. The audience will often hear top notes the best, so with inverted chords you can make a top melody while playing all kind of inverted chords. Even if you leave one or even two notes out of the chord, it can be useful, cause you leave the audience to "fill" the remaining notes. This is what makes them more involved in the listening process.


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Pedja Simovic
post Dec 26 2008, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (reallylongnickname @ Dec 26 2008, 03:01 AM) *
Theory books describe stacking the notes of a chord in different order as inverting the chord. The root note now longer becomes the dominant note. My question is... although the theory books don't say anything about the other instruments, is the inverted chord still relying on another instrument such as your bass player or rhythm guitar player is defining the root note of the chord?

Example: C chord has notes; c, e, g. If u inverted the chord so that the order is g, c, e, now the g note has the dominant sound, but is another instrument like the bass, gonna play the c note to define the root note?



The bass player defines the final sound of the chord!

So if you have C E G , and bass player plays E note thats C/E chord which means C major triad with E in the bass

If bass player mimics guitar voicing then he might play exact same Root in the bottom as your voicing has.
In this example E G C , bass player could play E and you still get C/E chord but sounding a bit different because your top melody is C note while in the previous example was G note!

Now , lets say you perform SOLO , then you determine the sound of your voicing.

G C E , that means C/G = C major triad with G in the bass .


Hope that helps


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reallylongnickna...
post Dec 26 2008, 10:48 PM
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Great feedback! Many thx to you all. This site is always helpful.

Everyone have a Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year and all that stuff.
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Ian Bushell
post Dec 27 2008, 08:11 AM
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Glad to help. Same to you:)


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 27 2008, 12:32 PM
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Marry Christmas to you to mate smile.gif


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