Chord inversion settings


I wanted to add chords to my melody and unfortunately I noticed that the chord by default is played in the first inversion. If I try to change the inversions on the right hand side only the bass note changes. It would be helpful if I could play the chord normally and then do actual inversions if my music piece needs this.

Maybe I use a wrong setting? Can I just create chords and all inversions somehow freely on the keyboard?

I hope my screenshot explains what I mean.

This is a G chord. The rout note (without inversion) should be G, then 3rd note B, then 5th D.

I hope this is just a matter of a setting. I really need this to use Hookpad effectively :confused:

Thanks so much ahead for your time and support on this!

  • Stefanie

(Another example:)

This here is not the second inversion, it’s just the bass note that changed, but for the 2nd inversion the B should go above the G.

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Hey Stefanie,

thank you for your questions. I think there are a couple different things going on here:

  1. An inversion of a chord is only defined by the chord’s deepest bass note. So indeed the order of all other chord notes which might be played multiple times in different octaves doesn’t matter.
  2. The voicing of the right hand is counted from the top note. For a standard triad C major chord there are three positions: octave position (top note: C), third position (top note: E), fifth position (top note: G).
    The top note can be adjusted by using the octave slider in the band browser. Again this doesn’t say anything about how all the other chord notes are voiced. There might be a compact voicing which would use just the next notes under the top note which are needed for the chord. In C Major with octave position we would get C-E-G-C. Or there might be a drop 2 voicing which would drop the second highest note by an octave which would get us C-G-E-C. Different harmony instruments in Hookpad are using different voicings.
  3. Hookpad tries to play chord progressions in a way that prevents the chord’s top notes from jumping around with huge intervals from one chord to the next. This is a simple 1-6-4-5 progression in C Major. You can see each chord using a different octave position to give a smooth chord experience.

This would be the same chord progression with an octave slider moved to 0.4

  1. As you might have different harmony instruments with different octave settings and different voices playing at the same time, the piano view can’t show every exact note that is played but instead just shows the chords in a standard position. So you’ll have to trust your ears to hear which notes are exactly used or you just export the midi or scores which let you have a closer look on how your chords are voiced.

Please let me know if this helped and what it is you’re exactly trying to do.



Hi Dennis,

thank you very much for you comprehensive resonse!
I’m trying to build the chord progression based on my melody. I know this might not be common but it’s my approach.
I try to find chords based on a melody note and choose a chord based on the highest note that is played in that chord (e.g. my melody has a G and I search for a chord that has G as the highest note) G is the highest note in C Major.
And indeed everything works fine when I enter a C Maj. chord.

As expected the highest note is G - all good here!

But then for other chords it’s not the same:

Here I would’ve expected my highest note to be D. But the highest note in this case is G.

I wanted to start with basic chords in their normal formula and then look if inversions make sense manually. Is there a way to turn Hookpads automatic prevention-from-note-jumping off? It’s a cool feature for the smoothness, but it would be helpful for me to be able to switch that on and off when I want to start with the most basic triad chords in the first place.

I didn’t fully understand the octave slider yet. What does 0.1 or 0.4 or -0.1 stand for? And just to confirm, with ‘top note’ you mean the highest note in the triad or the lowest? I can see on the screenshots that C3 became C4 with the octave slider on 0.4.

Thanks ahead and regards,

Hey Stefanie,

thanks for your answer. I think now I’m understanding better what you’re trying to do, but let me first answer your last questions.
Yes, I refer to the top note as the highest sounding note of a chord. The octave slider affects those top notes. If you increase its value gradually the chord’s deeper notes get octavided upwards to form new top notes. With a value of 1 the whole chord is octavided upwards. The same goes for the opposite direction for negative values.

If I understand it right you want to write some kind of harmonised melody you can play with your right hand on a piano in a closed voicing and perhaps put a bass note for the left hand so you get a consistent sounding harmony without the need of inversions. Unfortunately this isn’t something Hookpad was built to do, but I think there might be a few workarounds here.
First you could write your melody in the melody section and add a harmoniser as second instrument to it. I think the "Chord Tones 2-Note patch should be the right one. It should put the next two chord notes under your melody note. Then you still write your chords underneath but mute the harmony instrument and use only the bass instrument. For the piano view here you would either see only the melody or the chords in standard position.
Another possibility would be to use all four voices and write out all your chords without using the harmony stave at all. Or you can also write the chords down there, for activating the chord guides but mute the harmony and bass instruments. If you have a look at our Demosong “Wie Schön Leuchtet Der Morgenstern” from Bach you can see this approach there. Here the piano view would display all the four voices as you’ve written them.

I know this is not ideal but perhaps this is something you could work with. Please let me know if you have any questions.


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I did not fully understand this part.

Here the piano still plays the chord with the G as a top note and not the D (as in the melody).

That the piano shows either chords or melody is ok for me!
To use the four voices to freely build chords is a great idea, thank you for that.

So to summarize how chords are built in Hookpad again: I understood now that by default chord notes are chosen in a way that shorten the way to another chord in order to make the sound more smooth and prevent note jumps that wouldn’t sound that great. Can you confirm that’s correct? I assume that depending on the key that I choose e.g. a G chord would possibly sound a little different each time cause the notes would be played always in a way that has overall the smallest note jumps to other chords in that key?

Thanks ahead for all the support!

  • Stefanie

You’re on the right way with your example above.
You should mute the harmony Piano as you want to listen to your own harmonies created with the harmoniser. If you want the harmonised voices to be as loud as the original voice you should crank up the volume of the harmoniser to 1. But of course you can also use lower volumes to hear the melody better. I would also use a sustain version for the piano bass as you probably won’t need the dotted rhythm.
I’ve exported a midi version of your example to show which notes are played.

I think this should be what you wanted but you won’t be able to display that on Hookpad’s piano view. The piano view either shows the melody without harmonisers or octavided melodies or a standard chord view which doesn’t take into account any of the different voicing methods the harmony instruments might provide. The piano view is more like a simplified representation of the melody or the chords of the song. After all if you’re using a fuller band instrumentation, throwing every played note note onto that piano would lead to absolute chaos. But of course you’ll hear every note you wrote like I displayed it in the midi file.

If you want to see every voice on the piano you would need to write down every voice by your own.

I’m sorry for the confusion, perhaps we should describe somewhere what the piano view does exactly.

Please let me know if this helped!


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Is this correct? Root position top note is actually G, first inversion top note is C, and second inversion top note is E. But you wrote it differently. Which is correct?

Yes, it is correct. You’re mixing two different concepts:

1. Inversion of a chord:

This concerns only the deepest note. For a standard C-Major chord the deepest note can be C (root), E(1st inversion) or G (2nd inv.). But as chords can be played with some of their notes doubled in higher octaves this doesn’t say anything about the top note.

2. Top Note/Octave Position:

This concerns only the highest note of a chord. Again in a wider spread chord this doesn’t concern the bass note. So you could have a chord in fifth octave position but also in first inversion. A typical voicing for a C-Major chord like this from bottom to top would be E - G - C - G.

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

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