Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement: Triads and Inversions

Many teachers are absolute sticklers for proper fingering in triads and inversions. I am one of these teachers. Witnessing an incorrect fingering creates an unreasonable anxiety, quite possibly out of proportion with the fingering infraction. Knowing this about myself, and less selfishly, knowing the importance of establishing “friendly habits,” I have begun to take special care in introducing this skill.

By just taking a few moments in each lesson, triads and inversions can be prepared over several weeks.  These videos illustrate just one way to introduce triads and inversions.  Please click on the underlined words to view the videos:



STEP ONE:  Keyboard topography through stones on the keys:  Triads and Inversions: First Step


STEP TWO:  Triads and Inversions with One Finger (Thank you to Craig Sale and Judith Jain for this great idea!)

I repeated step one for a few weeks before moving on to step two.  Finally, I moved on to the fingering we use to play triads and inversions:



STEP THREE:  Triads and Inversions with Logical Fingering


Once introduced, a lot of reinforcement was needed:


Triads and Inversions: Left Hand Blocked


Triads and Inversions: Right Hand



This student performed her first piece using triads and inversions (Inversion City, Music Tree 3 – Clark/Goss/Holland, used with permission).  She transposed to several different keys.

Inversion City, Transposed


I am confident that this student will continue to grow in her security with this important skill.



3 thoughts on “Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement: Triads and Inversions

  1. Amy, I especially like that triad and inversion exercise to reinforce fingering (3rd video under reinforcement). I loved seeing this process and the time you took between each step. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Erinn, for bringing this to our attention. When the site was updated, I believe these links became invalid. I was able to retrieve most of them and they will now work. Thanks again!

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