Which Inversion Should I Use?

Recently replied to a question about chord inversions, thought it might be useful for all :) For more, check out:
Part 1 - Root chords
Part 2 - 1st Inversions
Part 3 - 2nd Inversions

Q: "I wanted to focus more on the ability to play chords, esp. inverted chords and was pleased to see that you had a section on it.. I know the theory and the construction of inversion but am not sure when or how to use them. For example when you have a song with lead sheet (with just chord progression information) when should you use 1st degree and 2nd degree inversion? I see some people using combination of 1st, 2nd and non-inverted chords."

A: There's no hard and fast rule about which inversion to use, but it sounds nice when you use inversions that are close to one another. For example G chord 2nd inversion, followed by C chord 1st inversion, and then F root chord:

-7--8--8-----
-8--8--10----
-7--9--10----
-------------
-------------
-------------

By minimising note movement, the accompaniment sounds more organised and tighter (subjective of course). Hope this helps!

1 comment:

Colin said...

yeah thats not really something that someone can say "this is what sounds good and this is what doesnt." I recommend you watch musicians that you admire and just find what you think sounds good by trying out things. Like what kenny said though some guys play a ton of dif. inversions and it just sounds terrible but if you like it then thats all that matters.