Don't realise which inversion arpeggios I play when I play them

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by To Need a Woman, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Does it ever happen to you, when playing lead lines by hear, with (lets say a backing track), that when you're just playing a bunch of notes, that you might play a major (or minor) arpeggio without even realising it. Or that if you do realise it, you've no clue which inversion it is? And when you're dealing with arpeggios with 4 notes, as opposed to 3 (so one note would be repeated an octave higher/lower) it makes it still harder. I will admit though, that the root inversions are a lot easier to know by ear.

    It's strange, in that I'm good enough to be able to play what I hear, but yet I struggle with knowing what I'm playing. If someone were to play major arpeggios as below, and have me (without a guitar), answer which inversion is being played, I wouldn't do too well. Of course, I could slow it down in my mind, and ask myself "where does that sound like it's resolving to?", and then I could answer, but that'd sort be cheating. A good guitarist should know what he's playing!

    (5th, r, 3rd, 5th), (3rd, 5th, r, 3rd), (3rd, r, 5th), etc

    But then the minor arpeggios would be even harder for me. And on the fretboard, there's quite a few shapes for each inversion too!

    Anyway, below are the only examples I know that come to mind. I can think of lots of examples for root inversions - they seem to be far more common in music! I'd like to know a few more examples for 1st & 2nd inversions

    1st inv: 'Tiny Dancer' Elton John, starting melody
    2nd inv: Towards the end of 'Here comes the bride' main melody

    The other-side point I want to mention, is that I don't consciously recognise what backing chord is being played; whether it's II or V, etc. If I think about it, I'll just about know. In fact my thought method used to be, to rely on hearing the cadences for knowing which chord being played. The V chord is very easy to tell. Which other ones would be easy to hear? Or is that a strange question?

    This one seems the rarest way to play a minor inversion!

    Code:
    --------
    ---6-------
    -----5----
    -------6----
    -------------
    ---------------
    
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  2. DotStudio

    DotStudio Senior Member

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    I only play by ear, so I have no idea what you're talking about :laugh2:
     
  3. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I think what is happening is you are using muscle memory for all the years you practice. This is what is suppose to happen. My guitar teacher often says.

    "You learn theory so you can forget it"

    Regarding your comment about a good guitarist knowing what he is playing. I highly doubt that is actually the case. I know for a fact Hendrix, Clapton and Page just PLAY.. The human mind can not and does not think of every note coming off his fingers. Not possible. It's all shapes and muscle memory.. nothing more. Completely automatic when you reach that stage. A guitarist might say

    "I'm going to play a Lydian mode over that chord"

    but then does not think of each note in the Lydian scale. He just plays the forms and shapes he practiced for years and uses his ears. To stream the notes in a player head would only confuse and slow down a player. Can you imagine Joe Satriani or Steve Vai thinking of each note as it rolled off their fingers. Not happening to a large degree. Starting point and ending point. That's pretty much it.
     
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  4. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    I don't mean that they know every note as they're playing it. But as soon as there's a chord change, they know what note they're holding is against that chord (root, 3rd, etc). So they have their bearing point to start soloing over that chord.
     
  5. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    I'm sure it does happen as I can get lost doing anything! but as a general rule, no. (also, I'm not sure the root position is technically an inversion - or is it?)

    anyway, I tend to just feel what relationship the note I'm holding is to the chord, even if not planning it - but I think maybe I get lost if I think ahead, ie I want to end on a 3rd on the V, but in between I'm not paying attention.

    I'm not saying you need this exercise, but something I did which helped a lot of this for me was to play simple triads in any song in 3 positions - root, 1st and 2nd (changing quickly to fit them in if necessary). The 3 strings D, G and B are a great starting point for this.

    But as for doubling the 3rd and 5th - its something I generally avoid if the actual notes I'm playing are important for melody (if its rhythmic texture, then I tend to do it all the time because the texture is more important), eg E shape chord with strings 1 and 6 omitted, and A (3rd in bass) shape chord with strings 1 and 6 omitted.

    I suspect I've not been much help at all - but a bump to your thread at least!


    *edit
    I also focus on the lower note first and the voice of that unless I'm specifically focusing on the melody.
     
  6. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    No, one needs to know their theory if they're going to jump position - higher/lower on the fret board.
     
  7. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    Kinda, it still all boils down to shapes and patterns!
    I played without knowing theory for years....i think learning theory made me more mechanical....but now i think I'm in the 'forgetting it' stage and can let go without getting AS lost!
     
  8. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Hey Paradice, remember hammer offs? I was playing acoustic the other day, playing something with many pull offs and found that I was doing the sideways pull thing - if not it sounded crap or too low.

    'Oh Sh*t' I thought!

    I now know I talk utter bollocks at least some of the time!

    cheers!
     
  9. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    I remember! The term 'pull off' is misleading!

    I took away something from that pull off thread actually...you mentioned becoming hamfisted...it made me pay attention to how much I was digging in with the pick etc....so tis all good!!


    Sorry needawoman for partial derail!
     
  10. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Alright guys, lets get some arpeggio examples in:

    Minor (root) - "strawberry fields forever"
     
  11. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Sticking with Beatles theme - I want you (shes so heavy).

    The second bar (if 6/8) of the 'she's so heavy' bits:

    Dm/3rd
     
  12. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Cream - N.S.U.

    opening arpegio/ main chord: C/5th
     
  13. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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  14. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    right from the intro - about 3 seconds in, or six 8th notes in from the very beginning.

    it's a Dm chord with the bass ascending up to the m3.



    edit* corrected now - I meant 8th notes, not 16th
     
  15. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Ah yeah - I'd been playing it. I don't know if it's the best because the root inversion sets the tone, as well as it being play quite fast.
     
  16. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Fine!!!

    Alright, maybe i was cheating a bit, I admit it's not a 'stand alone' type chord.

    Harder than i thought to find examples, especially in arpeggio form.
     
  17. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    Ok, I got a 1st inversion that will surely qualify!

    the guitar chords in the intro:

    A - E/3rd (for a whole godamm bar!)

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlhqA7JKEOg[/ame]
     
  18. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Of course that reminded me of 'Everybody Hurts' REM. Except different key.
     
  19. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Both descending 2nd inversion triads:

    1st three notes
    melody line on first chord
     
  20. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    Minor chord 1st inversion -
     

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