home > music theory > voice leading

Music Theory:
Chord Inversions - Part Two: Voice Leading

             


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

CHORD INVERSIONS and VOICE LEADING:

line

In this second follow-up video to, Music Theory: Chord Inversions, we will examine the actual use of inversions. This concept is generally referred to as, Voice Leading.

VOICE LEADING:
Voice leading on the guitar with chord patterns is similar to how the voices in a choir will lead as the melody flows along the harmony passage. Voice leading for guitar players is simply the study of smooth chord connection and melodic bass lines. It is called voice leading, due to the fact that, just as in music for the voice, the individual lines, (or voices), of a harmony of a composition can lead, (or connect), smoothly by way of the nearest available tone.

CGS

 

 

CREATING SMOOTH VOICE LEADING:
To create smooth and connected bass lines for chord progressions on the guitar, we must make a thorough study of chord tones. Each tone of a chord (including the root) presents an opportunity for one chord to move into another by way of a tone or a semi-tone. The semi-tone movement is very strong and the tone movement (albeit not as strong a resolve) is excellent for creating flowing bass lines between chords.

To examine these movements, we will apply an inversion process to a common chord progression in the key of C Major.

Ex. #1). ROOT IN THE BASS:
C G Ami G
I V VI V

Ex. #2). INVERSION PROCESS::
C G/B Ami G
I V VI V

CONCLUSION: The inversion process may be applied to any chord by placing a tone other than the root in the bass. The most common result we are going for is a smooth connected bass line. Keep in mind that slash chord notation is not exclusive to chord inversion principles.

teal_line