A book full of memory devices for learning inversions.
Learning chord inversions can be a slow and difficult process – much like learning a foreign language. Guy's Inversion Immersion was written to help guitarists become "fluent" in the "foreign language" of inversions. When learning a foreign language, "immersion" means being surrounded by others who speak that language. In the context of this book, it means playing progressions with lots and lots of inversions.
Inverted chords (or simply "inversions") are chords that are not in "root position" — i.e., chords not having the root in the bass. As commonly understood, a "first inversion" places the 3rd (or 3rd or sus4th) in the bass. A "second inversion" places the 5th (or #5th or ?5th) in the bass. And the "third inversion" places the 7th (or ?7th, ??7th, or 6th) in the bass.
Commonly, guitarists learn root-position chords and then use their knowledge of these to understand and recognize inversions related to such root-position chords. In Guy's Inversion Immersion, the author presents several memory devices — similar to that shown above — for those specific chord forms which were most challenging to me. And, I have left plenty of room for the reader to add to these memory devices as needed.
This book is organized in five sections:
Section 1: One progression featuring inverted major and minor triads.
Section 2: Three progressions featuring inverted maj7, m7, and dom7 chords.
Section 3: The same three progressions from Section 2, with all maj7 chords being replaced by maj6 chords.
Section 4: One progression featuring inverted m6 chords.
Section 5: Two progressions featuring inverted m7(?5) and dim7 chords.
Please note that many chords presented as inversions in this book have another correct name. (Note: two chords with different names but the same spelling are said to be "enharmonic") For example, a G6 chord with an E in the bass (i.e., a 3rd inversion G6 chord) can also be properly labeled as a root-in-bass Em7 chord. Indeed, this book presents several inversions that you would rarely find presented as such in written music today. However, these chords are shown as inversions in order to help the student see the relationship of inversions to other chords.
Each progression in this book is presented in three locations on the fretboard. Generally, the first one is low on the fretboard and utilizes available open chord forms. The second one is further up the fretboard, and the third one is even further up the fretboard. Only the most useful chord forms are presented — and these "favorite" chord forms show up throughout the book repeatedly. This repetition is intentional and serves an important purpose. As Norman Vincent Peale once wrote, "Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex."