Guitar Chord Inversions

If you’ve been looking for a way to change things up a bit, I suggest studying up on your chord inversions. That’s what this lesson is about (of course!). Let’s start with what exactlyis a chord inversion?

Basically, inversion means reversal, so what we’re actually talking about here is reversing the order of the notes in a chord.

We’re not changing the notes that are being used, we’re just changing the order in which they’re played, or the order that they appear as you write out the chord.

Chord inversions are useful in all aspects of your playing, from rhythm work to soloing, to writing new material; chord inversions are a great way to get a different flavor out of your guitar.

Let’s do a quick example before diving into the lesson with Colin.

The standard configuration of a major chord is the standard 1 3 5 arrangement. For the G chord (major) that produces these three notes: G, B, and D. (A G minor would be G, Bb, D, or 1 b3 5).

The first inversion then, of that G major chord, would simply be arranged starting from the second note of the chord, thus would look like this: 3, 5, 1 or B, D, G. That’s all we’re talking about here, and although it sounds complicated at first, I think you’ll pick it up ok from the lesson. Question and comments are always welcome at the bottom of the page!

Chord Inversions Lesson

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  • Fenderer2

    This guy is drab, slow, and annoying.

  • Verareznikova

    i think i need to start way from the beginning.. how do we know which note is the the first or second or third…

  • Vera

    hey, maybe for you… but remember we are all different…smarty 

  • Vamajk

    Good lesson but I don’t get the 2nd inversion – too difficuot to see on this video- a TAB would help!

  • Tale

    2nd inversion is middle finger on third string bar 6 and pointer lying on 1st and second string bar 5.  You just play 3 strings giving 3 notes thus triad.  

    1st inversion is ring finger on string 4 on the 7th fret, middle finger as middle finger in 2nd inversion and pointer just on 2nd string in fret 5.  Play only the strings 4,3 and 2.  

    3rd inversion is ring finger on string 5 fret 7, pinky on string 4 fret 7 and middle finger as in both above.  Only play string 2, 3 and 4.  

    On third inversion if you add pointer lying on all strings on fret 5 that is the bar chord with all three inversions.  Thank you Colin and Jonathan.  That was enlightening.

  • Tale

    2nd inversion is middle finger on third string bar 6 and pointer lying on 1st and second string bar 5.  You just play 3 strings giving 3 notes thus triad.  
    1st inversion is ring finger on string 4 on the 7th fret, middle finger as middle finger in 2nd inversion and pointer just on 2nd string in fret 5.  Play only the strings 4,3 and 2.  
    3rd inversion is ring finger on string 5 fret 7, pinky on string 4 fret 7 and middle finger as in both above.  Only play string 2, 3 and 4.  
    On third inversion if you add pointer lying on all strings on fret 5 that is the bar chord with all three inversions.  Thank you Colin and Jonathan.  That was enlightening.

  • Alberto

    Good lesson thanks

  • EMudgeSr

    You forgot to mention this video is for BEGINNERS and that it is informative. But what the hey, I guess you didn’t have time to include those aspects of the lesson.