Home Topic Chord inversions question

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    Milen Trendafilov

    Hi Matt,
    I just watched the Basic Theory and the Piano series and I wanted to say that I find the content amazing and the way you’re laying it all out is really easy to understand.

    I’m new to music – I just started doing this as a hobby a year ago and the concept of inversions is new to me – I haven’t come across it in any of the other tutorials on reggae piano I’ve watched.

    My question is – how do you find what inversion to use when playing reggae piano – is there a general rule of thumb or anything to keep in mind? Is there a basic combination of inversions that would be a safe bet or some other approach that is most commonly used?

    I guess I’m trying to figure out what inversion would you start with to get a feeling of the chord progression before testing other inversion variations.

    When I thought about it after watching the video on inversions when you play the same inversion with both hands the chop can sound a bit too resonant and build up a lot of tension – is that something you would normally want to avoid?

    thank you

    David Doerr

    Hello Matt,
    I echo the sentiments expressed by Milen on your course content. I am not new to music, but now that I’m an old retired geezer I’ve doubled-down on music study and practicing. I’ve learned from the piano courses, and your teaching has inspired me to look beyond the courses and revisit those musical activities – like theory and technique – I wish I’d spent more time on as a kid. I’m lucky to have the time (and understanding and support from my wife!) to spend on my four instruments – piano, drums, bass, guitar – two or three hours just on piano. Thank you, Matt.

    Matt Jenson

    Hello David and Milen. Sorry for such a late reply!
    First, thanks for the compliments. I’m so glad you’re getting a lot out of the lessons!
    Second, Tuff Lion is showing up at my house in a couple of weeks and we’re going to get the guitar lesson content started. We’ll probably release it towards the end of April.
    Lastly, regarding Milen’s question about inversions:
    There is no rule of thumb as to what inversions you should use. But there IS a range that you want to stay within. There’s a lesson video on that. It’s generally around middle C and not much lower than a 5th below that. Again see the video on that. SO, to get the inversions (voicing) in that sweet spot will require different inversions depending on what key you are in. This is why I set up the lessons on this to help get used to playing ALL inversions fluently. That can take a long time to learn for a beginner as both hands have to memorize different shapes. Playing the same inversion in both hands does make for a pretty heavy sound but that’s exactly what’s needed! When you play different inversions of the same chord in each hand it might not be as heavy and that’s fine as well. A good reggae keyboard player will be able to play all inversions in both hands in any and all combinations. But just start with the same inversion in each hand at first. Then try changing just one hand’s inversion at first. Hope that helps!

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