Inversions

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Inversions
Part IX


The term inversion refers to the lowest sounding note (bass note) in a chord whether it is the root or not. If the root is the lowest note, the chord is said to be in the root position. When the third is the lowest note, the chord is said to be in the first inversion. Likewise, if the lowest note is the fifth or seventh note, the chord is said to be in the second or third inversion, respectively. Inversions are particularly useful in creating ascending, descending, and pedal point bass line movement as shown in the three examples below.

(1) Original Progression

C / / /C / / / F / / / G7 / / /

Substitute Progression (Ascending Bass Line)

C / / /C/E / / / F / / / G7 / / /

(2) Original Progression

C / / /G / / / F / / / G / / /

Substitute Progression (Descending Bass Line)

C / / /G/B / / / F/A / / / G / / /

(3) Original Progression

Am7 / / /D / / / F / / / Am7 / / /

Substitute Progression (Pedal Point)

Am7 / / /D/A / / / F/A / / / Am7 / / /


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