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How to Invert Triads in Fingerstyle Guitar

Learn how to invert triads from guitarist Adam Smale in this online fingerstyle guitar lesson from Howcast.


Triad inversions. Let's first explore strings one, two and three. I'm going to start with, here at the third position, with my finger on C on the third string, E with my fourth finger on the second string fifth fret, and then a G with my first finger on the first string.

Now, inversions are when you flip the notes around in different order. So, you keep the same three notes, you just flip them around. So the easiest way to do this is to move up to a new position where you can find all three notes. So, start with your lowest note in your voicing. That's going to be C. We move up to the next note in the scale, that's going to be E. So we have two notes missing. We still need a G and a C. So that, I'm gonna play my E here at the ninth fret, and here's my G at the eighth fret, and my C happens to be right there at the eighth fret as well. So now we have our first inversion. Root position, first inversion. And because there's three notes, you can move them around two more times.

So let's put the G on the bottom, that's the second inversion. So, I moved up to the twelfth fret and found my G and now I still need notes C and E, so there's my C and there's my E. Now a lot of you might recognize this chord shape as being a D down here. But when it's moved up here, it's a C chord, just in one of its inversions.

So practice going up and down your different chord inversions and you can even go lower because I can play this exact same shape twelve frets lower down here. And you can even keep going if you want. Up here, it's starting to get into like ukulele territory but...

That's your triad inversions on strings one, two, and three.

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