CHORDS & INVERSIONS
If you love jazz, blues, or soul music, you probably have heard of augmented chords. These are chords that have a sharp fifth, which means they sound brighter and more tense than regular major chords. Augmented chords are great for creating contrast and drama in your music, and they can also lead to other interesting chords and scales. In this paragraph, I’ll show you some examples of when to use an augmented chord in your songs.
One common use of augmented chords is to spice up a dominant seventh chord. A dominant seventh chord is a major chord with a flat seventh, and it usually resolves to the tonic chord (the first chord of the scale). For example, in the key of C major, the dominant seventh chord is G7, and it resolves to C. But if you want to make the resolution more exciting, you can replace the G7 with a G+7, which is an augmented chord with a seventh. This creates more tension and anticipation for the C chord. You can hear this in songs like “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles or “Misty” by Erroll Garner.
Another use of augmented chords is to create smooth voice leading between chords that are a half step apart. Voice leading is the way you move the notes of one chord to the next, and it sounds better when you minimize the distance between them. Augmented chords can help you do that because they have symmetrical intervals, which means you can move any note up or down by a half step and still get an augmented chord. For example, if you want to go from C to Db, you can use C+, which has the same notes as E+ and Ab+. So you can move any note of C+ up by a half step and get Db. This creates a smooth transition between the two chords. You can hear this in songs like “Michelle” by The Beatles or “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers and Hart.
A third use of augmented chords is to modulate to a different key. Modulation is when you change the tonal center of your music, and it can make your songs more interesting and expressive. Augmented chords can help you modulate because they are ambiguous, which means they can belong to more than one key. For example, C+ can be the tonic chord of C augmented scale, the third chord of A harmonic minor scale, or the fifth chord of F melodic minor scale. So you can use C+ as a pivot chord to switch between these keys. This creates a surprising and adventurous effect in your music. You can hear this in songs like “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane or “Blackbird” by The Beatles.
As you can see, augmented chords are very versatile and fun to use in your music. They can add color, tension, and variety to your songs, and they can also open up new harmonic possibilities. I hope this paragraph has inspired you to experiment with augmented chords in your own compositions. Happy playing!
Chords and inversions are an essential part of music theory. Chords are a group of notes played together to create harmony. Inversions are when the notes of a chord are rearranged so that the lowest note is not the root note. This creates a different sound and can add more depth to a piece of music.
Chord inversions are named based on the chord tone that replaces the root note as the bass note. Chords with the chordal third featured as the bass note are in first inversion, chords with the chordal fifth in the bass are in second inversion1.
Inversions can be used to create a smoother transition between chords and to add more interest to a piece of music. They can also be used to create tension and release in a piece of music2.
For example, if you play a C major chord in root position (C-E-G), it will sound bright and stable. However, if you play it in first inversion (E-G-C), it will sound more open and airy. If you play it in second inversion (G-C-E), it will sound more tense and unstable1.
Guitar chord inversions are a way of playing the same chord in different ways. They are used to add variety and interest to your playing. Inversions are created by changing the order of the notes in a chord. The most common chords have three notes, so there are three possible inversions for each chord.
The first inversion places the third of the chord in the bass position. The second inversion places the fifth of the chord in the bass position. The third inversion places the seventh of the chord in the bass position.
Inversions can be used to create smooth voice leading between chords. For example, if you are playing a C major chord and want to move to an A minor chord, you can use an inversion of C major that has an A in the bass position. This creates a smooth transition between the two chords.
Inversions can also be used to create interesting bass lines. For example, if you are playing a G major chord, you can use an inversion that has a B in the bass position. This creates a descending bass line that can add interest to your playing.
To use inversions effectively, it is important to understand how they relate to each other. For example, the first inversion of a major chord is always a minor chord. The second inversion of a major chord is always a dominant seventh chord.
Inversions can be used in any style of music, from classical to jazz to rock. They are an essential tool for any guitarist who wants to add variety and interest to their playing.