How To Play First Inversion Chords On Your Guitar

Most songwriters find that their songs start to sound similar after a while. Why this happens?

You can see how bad things are just by realizing that in a given key you only have 6 nice-sounding triads. In C major for instance you have C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am.

It's quite obvious that with only 6 'colors' at your disposal:

  • It's not easy to write something original
  • Your own songs will eventually start sounding all the same

The solution is to find ways to use other sounds that work together well with the chords you already know. On of the songwriter's secret weapon to do this is to use first inversion triads (even if you know what those are, I bet there are tricks in the video that you do not know yet.)

Adding first inversion chords gives you 7 new sounds to work with. Yes, it more than doubles your palette of sounds!

In the video below you will learn what first inversion triads are, how to play them on your guitar, and 3 different ways to use them on your own compositions:

Now that you know what first inversion triads are and how to use them, try your hand a it. Write a few chord progressions, and let me know in the comments if they are doing it for you.

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio