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Arpeggios / Inversions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by PaulMacCnj, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. In playing an arpeggio (major triad, for example) with no inversion, the notes are 1-3-5. Then the first and second inversions are 3-5-1 and 5-1-3. What if the second and third notes are reversed like this:

    no inversion: 1-5-3
    first inversion: 3-1-5
    second inversion: 5-3-1

    Is there a name for this?
  2. 20YearNoob


    Mar 29, 2012
    I think the only requirement for it to be called an inversion is that the lowest note you play in the arpeggio is NOT the root of the chord. so 315 is still first inversion, 531 is still second inversion.

    I think the difference here will be "Closed Position" vs "Open Position". Since 3-1-5 has another 5 and 3 not played in there i.e. 3-(5)-1-(3)-5, this is an open position first inversion.
  3. You're correct with the names of the inversions. As far as what notes are on top, you are correct that it doesn't affect the inversion. You might see the terms "open voicing" and "closed voicing" used; a "closed" voicing means that all the chord tones are written/played within a 1 octave range. "Open" voicing means the chord tones cover more than an octave, which would result from the chords you've mentioned (3rd root 5th, etc...).
  4. Thanks! You've cleared up the "open" vs. "closed" terms as well.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Well, we can all go home. Seriously, theory is so demonized. Inversions needn't be strict. If the root is in the bass, it's root position. If the 3rd is in the bass, it's 1st inversion. If the 5th is in the bass, it's 2nd inversion. Modify as needed.
    miles'tone likes this.

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