Are you familiar with chord inversions? The concept of flipping a chord around into different positions is a fundamental concept in music theory. However, did you know that chord inversions are great ways to practice fingering in warm-ups, and also great source material for songs. Here are some suggestions:
- A standard chord warm-up plays broken chords from the bottom to the top of the piano, hand over hand. rather than playing root, third, fifth (ie – C E G), try doing the exercise in first inversion – third, fifth, root (ie E G C), and then in second inversion – fifth, root, third (ie G C E). Great fingering exercises.
- Compose a piece of music where you alternate between inversions. Or maybe keep the same inversion with different chord progressions. Try both block and broken.
For a good song to help you learn inversions and their fingerings I recommend “Black Forest Polka” from Alfreds Level 4. I often use this song before level 4 if a student shows an interest in inversions. It is also a great piece to use to teach memorization for students who struggle with memorization, simply because it is so formulaic. I enjoy the theory benefits, but the students just like how it sounds and often are excited to memorize it for a recital or show-off piece.
- Introduction to Music, Part 9 (Intervals & Chords) (jamesgilbertmusic.wordpress.com)