Example 1 Inversions
Our first example shows how inversions can create more colour when playing chords and progressions. The general idea here is that the first inversion of a triad (1, 3, 5) will have the 3rd in the bass, thus the order of the chord tones has been inverted to 3, 5, 1. We call that ‘C over E’ or ‘C, with E in the bass’. A chord’s second inversion will have the 5th in the bass and so forth if more notes are in the chord. Notice how the progression itself is really simple (C F G F), with the first four bars being a basic I- IV-VIV sequence in C major, followed by four bars that just move from the II to the V. But the added interest brought by that moving ‘bass line’, stems completely from using inversions. Use your first finger to barre the 12th fret in bar 9 (C/E) and the same finger to barre all of the following triads, which handily use three notes within the same fret.