In the previous lesson, we start learning about chord inversions, using C major chord as the example. So, now you know that we can play C major chord in three different ways, just by changing the order of the chord notes.
We can use the same concept when playing any other chord. But, why would we do that? Today we will learn one of the reasons:
Smooth and efficient chord transitions
A good keyboard player will prefer to move smooth and comfortably from one chord to the other. To do that, they will always play some chords using inversions. Let’s consider the following example:
In the example, you will play the chord with your right hand and the root with your left hand. You will also use the 1-3-5 fingering for the chords, as shown in the images below:
Notice that this sequence contains just 2 chords: C and G. If we play both chords in the root position, as shown in the images above, we would perform unnecessary hand movements, going from C to G and from G to C.
The music notation shows how the right hand jumps from one chord to the other:
Now, let’s play C major in the second inversion and keep G in the root position:
It will be easier and smoother to go from one chord to the other. We can play the sequence using the minimum effort. It’s possible to see the difference in the music notation:
It’s also possible to keep C in the root position and play G in the first inversion:
The chord inversion applied to G major will change the fingering for the chord (1-2-5), as seen on the image above.
Using music notation:
Now, you might ask: ‘how I know if it’s worth to invert a chord or not?’
The golden rule of inversion is: it will be worth to invert if both chords have at least one note in common. In the case of C and G chords, G is the common note. So, always check for common notes before inverting chords.
With that said, the best way to master chord inversions is to practice. You will soon be able to memorize the chord notes so you can invert it.
That’s it! Chord inversion is an extremely important topic for keyboard players and producers.