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JJFN
06-23-2015, 12:44 PM
I came across a chord symbol I've never seen before, Dm(v). I think this means a Dm chord, 5th inversion. I looked it up in Ukulele Tool Kit, they showed it as 7550. DFAA. Has anyone seen this before? Is this correct?

stevepetergal
06-23-2015, 01:39 PM
There have been a few threads in the last year about inversions. Inversions do not really apply to ukulele playing.

JJFN
06-23-2015, 04:40 PM
Bill1, DFAD was a typo, sorry for the confusion. I was playing DFAA. It is a chord from Ellington and Strayhdorn's Lush Life, a beautiful and complex melody. Thank you for explaining what the (v) meant. I had never seen this chord description before.

stevepetergal
06-23-2015, 05:18 PM
Okay, I stand corrected. Inversions technically do apply to ukulele playing. But, as ubulele correctly points out, you just can't play them.
Make of it what you will.

stevepetergal
06-24-2015, 02:51 AM
Perhaps instead of thinking about inversions as such it would be more useful to look at the melody, in this case written by some amazing jazz composers, and put some appropriate notes around the melody which will result in a chord. Play the chord and let someone else worry about if it is an inversion and what to call it.

Bill1 is right. Inversions (chords with a specific note in the bass) are really intended for keyboard or ensemble (band, orchestra, quartet...) playing. On keyboard and in ensemble, it's relatively easy to simply throw any bass note you like in at a given time without jarring the listener or killing the performer. Let's be real. With the ukulele, you really have to play where you are. There are amazing players like Lyle Ritz and Sarah Maisel who are capable of jumping up and down the neck while still making music, but even they don't change direction to get to a G9/F when the G9/B is right there and the melody is conveniently there, too. Play the G9 in whatever inversion will work, nearest your hand position on the neck. Skip the inversion notation, because it's not there for the ukulele player. The theory is real. Every chord we play on ukulele is either a root chord or an inversion (most are inversions) but trying to fit specific inversions into playing on ukulele can not work in the real world.

Ukejenny
06-24-2015, 06:37 AM
I love the subtle colorations of moving chords around on the neck. I don't worry about which note is in the bass or which notes are doubled. I just go by what feels and sounds right. It's nice, especially at the end of a song, to go up the neck and find something sweet.

pulelehua
06-24-2015, 09:07 PM
Inversions can very much be part of ukulele music, but there are some things to remember:

1. If any other instrument is playing, that will almost certainly determine the inversion, as the inversion is simple telling what the bottom note is. So, any note below middle C will determine the inversion. So, if you want the ukulele to determine the inversion, you probably need to play solo. Or with flutes and oboes...
2. The power of inversions lies in the effect of the bass note on the rest of the chord, and how harmonics above that note create tension. Because of acoustics, different inversions have different characters, especially 2nd inversion chords (with the 5th of the chord in the bass). Because ukuleles are such high pitched instruments, the effect of inversions is greatly reduced, as a lot of the tension created happens above the range of human hearing.

I find it much more useful in ukulele composing to think about voicing; that is, which note goes where, and how close different notes are to each other. Ukuleles tend toward very tight voicing given their tuning and limited range. Again, their high pitch suits this really well.

katysax
06-25-2015, 05:39 AM
Inversions can very much be part of ukulele music, but there are some things to remember:

I find it much more useful in ukulele composing to think about voicing; that is, which note goes where, and how close different notes are to each other. Ukuleles tend toward very tight voicing given their tuning and limited range. Again, their high pitch suits this really well.

Thanks - that is very well put. I was going to make the same point. Moving the chord to a different voicing on the uke can change the coloration. Every instrument has its strengths and weaknesses. On the guitar, altering the bass note can have dramatic effect. But using a lot of chords up the neck is not only challenging on the guitar - it doesn't always sound that great. On the other hand, the strength of the uke is that many many alternatives for chords are available without the need to mute strings.

In some ways I think the absence of the bass strings is a strength of the uke. When you mix guitars together, and each has a bass string, you muddle the bass line. I think it sounds better to have the bass note established by a bass. If you have multiple treble instruments playing different, but compatible, things the music sounds richer. But multiple bass sounds just come out like mud.

k0k0peli
06-25-2015, 02:23 PM
But using a lot of chords up the neck is not only challenging on the guitar - it doesn't always sound that great. On the other hand, the strength of the uke is that many many alternatives for chords are available without the need to mute strings. As always, we have trade-offs. Standard or slack 'uke tuning gives a characteristic re-entrant sound. Linear tuning in 5ths gives a rather wide tonal range and easily-movable chords in limited forms. Linear tuning in major 3rds shrinks the tonal range but gives many, many ways to build chords and place notes. Linear tuning in 4ths plus a 3rd (as in guitar and 'uke) compromises between the two. I just (like, day before yesterday) got a Puerto Rican cuatro-prima whose five doubled courses are tuned in straight 4ths -- BEADG -- and I'm having a lovely time adapting my guitar-chording habits to it. Something more to learn...

UkerDanno
06-25-2015, 04:57 PM
to me an inversion chord would be going from G - G7...:shaka:

UkerDanno
06-25-2015, 05:05 PM
to me an inversion chord would be going from G - G7...:shaka:

k0k0peli
06-26-2015, 09:12 AM
to me an inversion chord would be going from G - G7...:shaka: I do that all the time on guitar. Guess I'm heavily inverted. Hey, which way is up? [/me peers into periscope] Okay, it's *that* way. Inversions ahoy! BTW 'invert' used to be a polite euphemism for 'pervert'. Just look at all the perverted chords we're playing! Probably illegal in some places.