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D minor chord doubt

Rui Barata

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Hello my friends


I'm learning music theory and I have some doubts. I'm now trainning C Major scale and all that comes with it.

I already understood the basics of triads construction and how to classify their quality (major, minor, etc).

I also learned that there are 3 types of triads:


- A Root position triad is a triad in which the root is on the bottom.


- A 1st inversion triad is a triad in which the 3rd is on the bottom.


- A 2nd inversion triad is a triad in which the 5th is on the bottom.


For example, in C major Ionian scale (the only one I've studied, so far), if you try to find the D chord, you'll get D F A (D minor) .

In this case, what is the first string to be played?


Thinking in terms of root position triads, the D note would be the 4th string, which is true. Then you try to find the F on the 3rd string but it's too far, in the 10th fret. So I thought that probably this is not a Root position triad but it doesn't fit in any of the other two triads categories (1st and 2nd inversions).

If we see the open D minor cord and check each string note, starting by the 4th string, we get D A D F.

Clearly, this doesn't follow the same string order as in the open C chord.


If you start the chord by the 5th string, which is an A, maybe we were lucky to find that this is a 2nd inversion triad (and probably is, I don't know) but what is confusing me is the fact that the third triad note (F) is in the first string when it should be in the 3rd.


Can you explain this?


I'm sorry for asking for what, probably, is a basic question for you but I want to learn this and I must start somewhere.[blink]



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Your root doesn't have to be on an open string. Don't play the D string and you have your second Inversion. Play......


A string = 5th fret (pinky)

D string = 3rd fret (Ring Finger)

G string = 2nd fret (index Finger)


...and you have your Root Position D minor Triad.


D string = 3rd fret

G string = 2nd fret

B string = 3rd fret


You have your 1st inversion.


Hope that helps. [blink]

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Thanks for the reply.


One more question....why is usually teached that the D minor chord is the one that corresponds to the second inversion triad? Why not the root triad?

Is it because the second inversion is easier? Or is it more harmonic?


I tought that we should always use the root triad...for every chord, is it possible to find always the three triads(root, 1st and 3nd inversion) near each other, in the fretboard? Or it happens only in certain cases?

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That would work out on a Piano Keyboard, the guitar will usually have repeated notes in the chord. Which is why an Open D minor doesn't follow that basic triad theory to the letter, but all the notes in the triad are represented.


DADF, FAFD, AFAD, all spell out D Minor. Keep in mind; Theory is there to explain music, it's not a law to follow or a calculus problem to figure out.

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