Chord Inversions

1st - 2nd - 3rd inversions


Chord inversions - triads

Since a triad has three notes, it can be played in three different positions or inversions:

root position - 1st inversion - 2nd inversion

  • root position - the root is the lowest note
  • 1st inversion - the 3rd is the lowest note
  • 2nd inversion - the 5th is the lowest note

Below is an example of how a C chord is played with each inversion:

C chord inversions
C chord

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Chord inversions - 7th chords

Since a 7th chord has four notes, it can be played in four different positions or inversions:

root position - 1st inversion - 2nd inversion - 3rd inversion

  • root position - the root is the lowest note
  • 1st inversion - the 3rd is the lowest note
  • 2nd inversion - the 5th is the lowest note
  • 3rd inversion - the 7th is the lowest note

Below is an example of how a C7 chord is played with each inversion:

C7 chord inversions
C7 chord

7th chords - chord inversions - sus chords

extended chords - diatonic triads - diatonic 7th chords

primary chords - secondary chords - secondary dominants


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