Inversions Explained, Applied, and digested. How and why to use inversions in your guitar playing

Posted by Guy Capuano - August 15, 2011 - Classroom, Getting Schooled - No Comments


Inversions

When I was a teenager everything I played was either power chord driven, clunking along, or some super flashy shred guitar meant to melt your face off. But now that I am advancing in years and my musical taste is evolving I have ventured in quite a few styles of music that draw heavily on inversions from the guitar. From R&B music to contemporary Rock music like U2, inversions are a major part of the electric guitars playing.  over the next few weeks I hope to explain inversions and how to apply play them on the guitar. I should be adding a great in depth teaching video on this as well.

Lesson Objectives

We will seek to present inversions in there most common forms. We will talk about first and second inversions, the difference between major and minor inversions (previous understanding of chord structure is necessary) and how to apply them to your actual playing toolbox. We will not present you with licks to memorize and master, but rather we will try to leave you with a working understanding of these inversions and how to apply them in any key using the Nashville numbering system. I try to teach in such a way that the student is left with a working understanding of the concepts being spoken of rather than just mechanically spitting out empty licks lacking musical understanding.

Inspiring inversion examples

Inversions sound excellent in Post Rock music as well as Praise and Worship music. I personally have been inspired with using inversions from studying the technique of players like Nigel Hendroff and the Edge. The new Hillsong CD “God is Able” is an excellent example of some great application of inversions. And it just so happens that Nigel has done teaching videos displaying all his parts for many songs of of this new CD. The Droff videos can be seen here.


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