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Watch the Major Triad Inversions on High Strings online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Chord Revolution: Foundations

We've talked about inversions of triads already a bit, focusing on a different root note in the triad. We've talked about how E can be played with the third in the root. It can be played with the fifth in the root. Basically the notes are just changing position. Third is now higher or lower; the tonic, third, and fifth are just moving around being inverted. Now we're going to look at higher string voicings of these chords. They will also be inversions of chords. Sometimes when I play a triad, the tonic, third, fifth - or third, fifth, tonic - or fifth, tonic, third, it's the same idea but we're playing higher inversions of these things.

What I want to show you is virtually the same thing, only we're using higher inversions. When you play the harmonized scale. Key of E major. There's another version of the same thing. It can be played here. Now I would never do that. I might, but it's a little awkward. You're playing those inversions way up here. It just gets awkward. It's the same thing, it's just in a different position on the guitar. There it is in this position starting with the fifth below, tonic, and third. And then you just harmonize everything in the same way that you did here. You're just learning to do it all over the guitar.

Those are the chords that you use. Those are the voicings that you use. Just these triads all over the fretboard. If somebody plays an E, you can play all of that. You can play all of those triads over that E. Somebody plays A, you can play all those triads against A. That chord comes right of the E major scale in this case. Therefore, all of those notes are good. All of those triads are good. All of the time. You have all of those things to play on every one of those chords. Somebody plays F# minor, all those same voicings, that's what you play. You play the triads of the harmonized major scale on every single one of these chord voicings. There's no exception. Some things sometimes sound a little better than other things.

If I play G# minor chord and I play that on top, it's no longer a G# minor chord. It's an E chord with the third in the root, which is good if that's what you intended, but that may not have been what you intended. That's just about the only one that is just a little bit dicey. But I do it. G# minor, I'll just use it for a minute, and it's more of a passing thing or a little trill. Something like that. See how all these same things work. It's just beautiful. You have so much that you can do on every single one of these chords, and it's all one harmonized scale.