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#2454827 - Yesterday at 02:05 PM Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve musc...
Visalia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 84
Do you challenge yourself with what inversions you play to improve your overall muscular memory on the instrument?

Let's say you were on an F chord for example and you had to go to an E min. Would you choose the expected way to move to the chord - by moving the root note down a semi-tone to get your E min. Or would move up to the first inversion, or even the 2nd inversion? My guess is that pianists often might end up playing nearly all the chords of a song in the same inversion.

Even though one might be well capable of moving up to the 2nd inversion Em, it's unlikely he/she would consider doing this, and would have his/her mind would be elsewhere.

It's not possible to really know all the notes in each chord off the top your head. So if for example I'm at an F chord, and about to move up to a Cmin 2nd inv(and if I've my eyes closed), I mightn't even be aware that the highest note I'm already holding would be a C. If I was, it would make moving to the Cmin 2nd inv a lot easier.

So would it be best to get familiar with the notes of the chords, as well as trying to improve my muscular memory?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERWK74v0YGE


Edited by Visalia (Yesterday at 06:19 PM)

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#2454881 - Yesterday at 05:40 PM Re: Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve muscula [Re: Visalia]
Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 125
Originally Posted By Visalia

It's not possible to really know all the notes in each chord off the top your head.


Yes it absolutely is, if you keep at it long enough.
I guarantee you will end up being able to play any inversion of any chord, without even thinking about it - if you're patient enough.

You just have to identify which chords you're not yet comfortable with (problem chords) and work on those. After a few weeks or months, the number of problem chords will go down and down

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#2454890 - Yesterday at 06:09 PM Re: Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve muscula [Re: Visalia]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6031
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
For keys I play in often, yes, I can use any inversion I want. And since those keys overlap it gives me a pretty wide array of chords I can use inversions on. I often see the notes of a chord in my head and it's easy to invert them.

In less often used keys - F#minor for instance - I more often have to find them before hand. Then I go up and down the keyboard in consecutive inversions to get a little more familiar before I start playing.
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Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

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#2454931 - Yesterday at 09:25 PM Re: Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve musc... [Re: Visalia]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 813
Loc: Israel
Originally Posted By Visalia


Even though one might be well capable of moving up to the 2nd inversion Em, it's unlikely he/she would consider doing this, and would have his/her mind would be elsewhere.

You write about beginners pianists? Chord Inversions are not only different order of notes, but also other timbres as well as other sopranos ,which has the connotation of a simple counterpoint.For example, the 1-st inversion is the most dissonant ; the 2-nd has the most widespread full sound.

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#2454950 - Yesterday at 10:46 PM Re: Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve musc... [Re: Visalia]
Groove On Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 245
Originally Posted By Visalia
Do you challenge yourself with what inversions you play to improve your overall muscular memory on the instrument?

I know it seems daunting at first to internalize inversions, but with practice and some "chunking" of the information, you can slowly whittle down that mountain.

My teacher's best advice was to "Stop thinking of chords as the root inversion". Instead, see the chord as a pattern repeating across the keyboard. Once the overall pattern is set in your mind, practice it as an arpeggio. It starts to make a whole lot more sense when you "chunk" it this way. Eventually, you stop seeing "inversions" and start to see the chord patterns which can be played in any order.
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#2455034 - Today at 07:38 AM Re: Do you challenge yourself with inversions to improve musc... [Re: Visalia]
AndrewJCW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 168
Loc: Middle of nowhere, Australia
In my experience you do get a handle of them pretty quick with some focused work. Pick a chord progression and play it through all 12 keys. Then do so focusing on small section of the keyboard so you have to voice it smoothly.

It's not so much memorising all chords, it's about just getting really familiar with them, and then you can construct them super quick when needed. I guess that is memorising, but it's more about your fingers knowing than your brain knowing if that makes sense.

Wait till you're doing chord extensions and substitutions. You don't want to be sitting down with flashcards every day memorising it, just have a good understanding of how to construct them and lots of practise using them and before long you'll comfortably be able to play any chords.

You definitely want to break out of playing everything first inversion, and only in 'easy' keys as quick as possible. It's very limiting.
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