Lost at the beginning!


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Hi, I am just in the process of self teaching playing an electronic keyboard and have got stuck very early on.

Probably something simple but I cannot get my head around it.

I am using a book, "The Complete keyboard Player" and when it comes to chords it shows chord examples I cannot understand.

eg.

Chord C = G C E

Chord G = G B D

Chord F = A C F

These are shown to be played by the left hand.

When I look at chord finders and chord examples I cannot see these, however, they do show as the correct chords on the display.

As do these, which all chord finders and examples show:

Chord C = C E G

Chord G = G B D

Chord F = F A C

So, they are the same notes in differing order except for G. Is there a reason for this?
 
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These are called 'inversions'. the basic C chord is C-E-G. The first 'inversion" E-G-C(middle note "E" becomes the first note, but same 3 notes make up the chord); the second 'inversion' is G-C-E (last note "G" becomes the first note, but same 3 notes make up the chord).
C-E-G is the basic C chord
E-G-C is the first inversion of the C Chord
G-C-E is the 2nd inversion of the C Chord

Because the bottom note is different the "timbre" of the sound is a little bit different to the ear but it is still considered a C Chord, you're just inverting the order of the notes.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Besides changing the sound of the chord slightly based on the highest/lowest notes used, inversions can be important for playing chord progressions smoothly and easily-- e.g.:

C-E-G (C major) followed by C-F-A (F major)

G-B-D (G major) followed by G-C-E (C major)

and so on.
 
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These are called 'inversions'. the basic C chord is C-E-G. The first 'inversion" E-G-C(middle note "E" becomes the first note, but same 3 notes make up the chord); the second 'inversion' is G-C-E (last note "G" becomes the first note, but same 3 notes make up the chord).
C-E-G is the basic C chord
E-G-C is the first inversion of the C Chord
G-C-E is the 2nd inversion of the C Chord

Because the bottom note is different the "timbre" of the sound is a little bit different to the ear but it is still considered a C Chord, you're just inverting the order of the notes.

Thank you for that explanation. Could you now tell me why inversions are used in this case when the 'normal' chord notes could be use?

Is it because of the lack of available keys on a 61 key keyboards. I do notice that the 'normal' chords use the last key (C) at the left.

Also, which is best to learn for the future, inversions or 'normal'.

Personally, I don't notice any difference in the output but may as I gain experience.

Thanks again.
 
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Besides changing the sound of the chord slightly based on the highest/lowest notes used, inversions can be important for playing chord progressions smoothly and easily-- e.g.:

C-E-G (C major) followed by C-F-A (F major)

G-B-D (G major) followed by G-C-E (C major)

and so on.

Yes, I noticed that when I first started and then got confused by finding the standard chords. There is virtually no movement of the left hand. 'Normal' chords require moving the hand quite a way to the left to get to C chord. As I will only ever be playing an electronic keyboard with 61 keys, it appears that the 'inversions' are the way to go.
 
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Aside from Michael's well-made point about economy of motion, another reason that it's good to become comfortable with various inversions is that if you play every single chord in root position (what you are calling "normal"), it often doesn't sound quite as nice as if you use inversions. As Dave has already pointed out, different inversions change where certain notes pitch and therefore alter the overall sound of the chord.

The reason I say it may not sound as nice is that If you play everything in root position, is that you'll be wandering up and down the keyboard quite a bit. This will cause quite a differentiation in the range in where the various chords are pitching. Given that we generally play chords to accompany a melody line, whether it be a melody we're playing/singing or one that is being played/sung by another musician, the less variation in the sonic frequency of the backing, the more easily the melody will stand out and the more pleasing the overall sound of the tune to the ear.

The above is something of a generalisation and you can certainly find exceptions, but if you play around with various inversions verses root position chords, you should be able to hear what I mean.
 
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The Y_man

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As Dave has already pointed out, different inversions change where certain notes pitch and therefore alter the overall sound of the chord.

The reason I say it may not sound as nice is that If you play everything in root position, is that you'll be wandering up and down the keyboard quite a bit.

Not sure if anyone mentioned above, but on an arranger, it will not make any difference to the sound - the onboard processor simply recognizes all inversions (unless you are using one finger chords! :p)

The Y-man
 
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Hi, I am just in the process of self teaching playing an electronic keyboard and have got stuck very early on.

Probably something simple but I cannot get my head around it.

I am using a book, "The Complete keyboard Player" and when it comes to chords it shows chord examples I cannot understand.

eg.

Chord C = G C E

Chord G = G B D

Chord F = A C F

These are shown to be played by the left hand.

When I look at chord finders and chord examples I cannot see these, however, they do show as the correct chords on the display.

As do these, which all chord finders and examples show:

Chord C = C E G

Chord G = G B D

Chord F = F A C

So, they are the same notes in differing order except for G. Is there a reason for this?
 
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Rayblewit

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I found that learning chords and remembering them (left hand as an acmp't) was a huge challenge. However It is worth the effort and most rewarding in the end. I found that the inversion method works best. The Dm and Fare often played one after the other and moving one finger does it using the inversion method. There are lots like this. The C inversion played on 2nd and 3rd octaves is very convenient.
Also, I found that a lot of chords needing 4 fingers can be played with the same sound using just 3 fingers. I can work with 3 finger chords but i get into a real tangle trying to use the 4th finger.
 
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