Chord Inversions 101: Expanding Your Chordal Knowledge


One of the the things I wrestled with when I first started learning guitar was chords. If a piece of music had a Gmaj7; for example, I only knew the standard fingering on the 3rd fret.

The notes for Gmaj7 are: G(root) on the 6th string, 3rd fret. F#(7th) on the 4th string, 4th fret. B(3rd) on the 3rd string, 4th fret. D(5th) on the 2nd String, 3rd fret.

In the late 70’s, I studied with 2 brilliant jazz guitarists named Mike Gari and Rodney Jones.

Mike taught me how to invert chords I already knew so that I could discover new voicings.

This expanded my knowledge of the neck and gave me more options for comping and solo guitar playing as well. I applied the inversions I learned to jazz standards I was already familiar with such as: satin doll, all the things you are, autumn leaves, etc. The kind of standards you can find in the Real Book.

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