Do you want to know what really gets me out of bed in the morning? It’s inversions! Yes, those fabulous reorganiziations of root position chords. I love to run up a good root, 3, 5 as much as the next bassist but when we start to turn them around, flip them upside down, slide in sideways, that is when I feel I am moving closer to having real command over my fretboard which in turn gives me freedom in my playing.
What inversions offer us is smoother transitions between chords when soloing or constructing bass lines. They also offer a new sound and breathe new life into a chord you may be overly familiar with already.
If you are not sure what diatonic triads are and need a more in depth study then please refer to my previous lessons covering them. The more familiar you are with the root, 3, 5 structure the easier it will be to manipulate it.
In a traditional root position triad we will play the root first next the 3rd and then the 5th. In our first inversion we will play the 3rd first then the 5th and now play the root above the 5th. The second inversion will start on the 5th, next you will play the octave and then the 3rd above that. You want to always keep moving up in pitch from your starting note.
In some of the exercises below I dropped the chord down an octave but always moved up in pitch from my starting note. I have notation and a recommended tablature underneath each chord and its’ inversions and have kept everything in the key of G major.
Above the manuscript you will find the exercise at 4 different tempos: 60 BPM, 90 BPM, 120 BPM and lastly 180 BPM. Start at your most comfortable tempo and increase to the next level.
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s lesson on diatonic triad inversions.
Enjoy your BASS!!!