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Quiz Answer: The root note of a “D Chord” is the “D Note”.

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“An inversion is a chord where it’s lowest note is not the Root note“.

See the next page if unsure how to read the Chord Diagrams.

A Power Chord Inversion

Fig.1. The most basic example of an inversion can be shown using a 2 note Power Chord.
The “A Power Chord” is shown on the left with the Root Note “A” being the lowest (1st note) played.
The Inversion of 
the “A Power Chord” is shown on the right.  Note how the Root Note “A” is not the lowest (1st note) of the inversion.

-Try playing the “A Power Chord” and its inversion as shown above.  Note how the “A Power Chord” sounds fuller because it is anchored with the “A note”.
-Because the Power Chord has only 2 notes there is only 1 inversion.  A Triad (3 note chord) has 2 possible inversions.

For Example: The “C chord” is a Triad (3 note chord) consisting of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the “C Major” scale.
“C Major” scale: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

 

C MAJOR ROOT NOTE

Fig.2. The “C Chord”.  Major Triad made from C, E and G notes with the “C note” being the Bass note.

When the lowest note played is an “C” note, this note is said to be the Root Note and the chord is being played in its Root Position.

If the lowest note of the Triad is the 3rd or the 5th note of the Major scale, the chord is being played as an Inversion:

C Major INVERSIONS JPEG

Fig.3. Two possible Inversions for the “C Major Chord”.
Both contain the 3 Notes of the C Major Triad.
On the Left, “E” is the Bass note of the chord and on the right “G” is the Bass note of the chord. 

Video 1. The “C Chord” and its Inversions.  Played in succession to hear the difference in sound (played twice).

Note how changing the Bass Note Changes the sound of the “C Chord”.


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