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Lesson 21 from: Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

21. Inversions

Lesson Info


Okay, let's get back to talking about inversions. So what inversions are is it's a way to make something its way to make a core progression sound a lot more musical. And what I mean by that is if we just play these chords, as is in a different order, it sounds very blocky, right? Like we play a chord and Lou playing on record and we play another court. It doesn't flow like music flows. It's not until we start to incorporate inversions that it starts to flow a little bit better. And when I hear tracks by people, um, especially people doing like dance music with, like, heavy synth line and stuff like that I hear block chords all the time, and I think this could sound so much better if they understood how inversions work. It would just make your track go Ah, from like a C minus track to like an A plus track just by incorporating inversions. It's really simple. It's a simple idea, but it's something that you need to know about, and I'm doing it. I'm trying to do a favour to electronic musi...

c world by like telling you about this about how inversions work. Um, so let's let's start by. Let's just build a core progression here, Okay? So let's take my my one chord. Leave out my two chord will use three. We'll get rid of the four chord and will use five and six. So we'll get rid of those. Let's rearrange is a little bit. Okay, let's take our six or put it right there. And then maybe our fly aboard and put it right there just because remember Like I said, we don't like core progressions. Typically, that it just kind of go in order. We like it to move around a bit. So let's now take this and I'm gonna just arrange these Teoh, get a little more time each. It was gonna stretch him out. Uh uh. Okay, now we have a core progression. Let's call this our core progression of ourselves. Let's hear. Okay. Now, what we're hearing is that thing that I call that really blocky sound, right? Ah, and it's because everything all the cords were hearing are in route position. So what route position means is that the root of the cord is at the bottom? Um, all of these we know This is a C major chord sees at the bottoms a mine record, A's at the bottom e minor chord. He's at the bottom. Ah, what we want to do here is find the path of least resistance is the way I like to think about it. So, for example, let's between these two chords our first and second court. Here we have a big leap. So let's make that leap not so big by just using octaves. So let's take this high note and shifted down an octave. Now this isn't an an inversion, right, because the route is not at the bottom. There's fancy terms for this, but for what kind of inversion. But I don't really care about that right now. What I care about is that this is inverted now because the root of the cord is not at the bottom. This is instill in Accord. This is still an a minor chord, but we have e at the bottom. But you see what that did is it made this e flow nicely between all three chords and that's going to sound better. I can actually make this even better. Watch this. Let's take the sea down inactive would look that way. See that the difference between these two chords is actually only one note, and that's going to make this just flow so much better. Let's see what we can do with this third court. Let's take this. Be down in a okay. Now this see, just moves down 1/2 step. The E stays the same g goes back to where it waas, right? It was back to a GI. That's nice. So very minimal motion between here right now, remember, I'm not changing any notes. I still have the exact same courts. The only thing I've changed is the organization of the notes. I haven't added or taken away any notes. I've just moved him around a little bit. Let's try taking this d down. Okay, that's pretty nice. I think I could get this be down also. Look at that. So now he's still require any motion. Nor do these. So let's hear what that sounds like now. Okay, Okay. So now the whole thing is more flowing. It's less blocky. Um, if I wanted to make it even more flowing, let's do this. Let's change our piano. Let's go out of a piano and let's put some kind of synthesizer on it. Um doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. Let's just dio some kind of pad. Now that's the greatest thing. Let's try that. Okay, so let's listen to what this sounds like on this path. Ah, that's a fairly nice core progression. Now let me play it for you without the inversions way are back in route position. So this is what it sounds like in route position on inverted. It's so much smoother that way and so much more held together and elegant that way than the big block way of root position. Now, keep in mind that, uh, I still have one chord, this one in route position. This is still a new position, so there's nothing wrong with root position. It's the jumping around that makes the kind of not elegant, clunky sound. So what I did is I just took this one and then I just rearrange the actives of all the other chords, tow line up to fit really nicely into that first court. And that's what inversions are. It's just jumping around the octaves of the notes. We're not changing. Any notes were just reordering the notes so that they flow nicely between each other. That is inversions

Ratings and Reviews


this is great and very helpfull class, i make and wirte music for more than 2 decades and never gave much about theory, i trusted my feelings to what sound good and what not. Bu t recently i became interested but it all seemed very difficult to me and i didnt got the points behind music theory and how everyhing works together. This class was a game changer for me.. music theory is so simple if you have somebody to explain it in words so that you finally can understand it, and thats Anthony, he is a brilliant guy and he explains it in a simple way that you can easily understand whats going on. This is perfectly the case with this course, the sections are short and to the point, not much talking around and leaving the path, you can make fast progress end learn how music theory works, this is a 5 Star ***** course and hopefully there is more to come

Emane Filali

Fabulous course. As a person with dyslexia, trying to remember the notes and chords as letters only is impossible. I love the visual way the chords are demonstrated and explained. I was originally put off by the "electronic" aspect, thinking it was only for learning how to use piano edit roller. However, as a beginner in playing the piano, this course is applicable to all who want to learn and understand music theory in an interesting visual way. Looking forward to next lesson. Will definately be purchasing the course after. Fantastic tutor and course.

Giulio Lazaretti

Very good class!! Makes it much easier to understand and apply the rules of theory. Anthony is also very wise to suggest to trust your ears, even if what you've written doesn't fit into those same rules. I am so very grateful for you putting this together, Anthony, and for making it available for the general public, Creative Live. I am also very glad I was given the opportunity to learn english in my home country (Brazil), in which many barely know how to read and write in our own native language (portuguese) due to our public education being so bad (which, by its turn, has to do with the myriad of vile creatures that inhabit our representative chambers). Tks XoXo!

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