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Sheet music closeup showing musical staff, notes and chord names

Guitar Inversion™ – Chord Theory for Guitarists

  • Do you feel like you will never understand all the various, seemingly random contortions of your hand that you need to fret chords?
  • Have you been playing guitar for a while but still don’t see the symmetry between chords?
  • Have you learned the CAGED Method but still feel like you are missing something?

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Guitar Fretboard

Several years after I started teaching, I began to notice something very special about chords on the guitar. It was something I had never realized before. More importantly, it was something that I have never heard another guitarist mention in my 40+ years of studying the instrument.

What I noticed was a couple of distinct patterns in how guitar chords are formed. And they differ from standard chord forms and inversions on other instruments. Based on a few calculations, I realized that somewhere between 85%-93% of guitar chords are voiced the exact same way. Why is that important you ask? Well, if you understand the formula, then it becomes very simple to create a desired chord on demand, even if you have never played it before. And again if you understand the formula, then learning and memorizing chords becomes immediately simplified. No longer are guitar chords “seemingly random contortions of your hand”.

Beyond that, one’s understanding of chords directly relates to their understanding of scales and modes.  Chords and scales are different ways of looking at the same thing.  This understanding is vital to unlocking the fretboard.

It was also through this process of discovery that I realized the many shortcomings of the CAGED Method. While CAGED is certainly a useful tool, it is nowhere near the importance that many people would have you believe.

Guitar Inversion™ is the term I coined for my unique approach to learning chords on the guitar.  You can only find Guitar Inversion™ at Arvada Guitar!