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ToneGym

Inversionist Difficulty
I'm still in level 1 of Inversionist. I'm flying through most of the others, but, as I said elsewhere, this feels like identifying a rock based on the sound it made hitting pavement. Doable, but I don't really know what I'm listening for, and I wonder if it's just a matter of throwing a lot of rocks.
Judging from the fact that my high score, just shy of passing level 1, is in the 49th percentile, it seems most people struggle with this game.

Are there good resources for learning this? Do I really just need to keep smacking the pavement? Are there piano exercises that could help?

Is there good value in being able to do this? What's the typical use case?
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ben hesketh
Jun 12
I wish i could give you an answer but i'm in the same boat and following this in the hopes someone has any tips.
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Thomas Folks
Jun 12
I brought up the same frustration about Inversionist on this forum about a month ago and got some helpful suggestions. Somebody mentioned the usefulness of the Chord Player tool in the Gym as a resource to play the sounds of the different inversions. I've been playing around with that, and it's very helpful, but so far, the different sounds haven't stuck. Another person suggested using a keyboard as a crutch to help sound out the inversions with the exercise. I haven't tried that yet, but I think I'll give it a try. It does seem like Inversionist is a common problem for single note players like myself; so, there is some comfort knowing that you're not alone, and it's going to be tough and will take time and patience to hear the differences.
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 13
In case you haven't read this before, here are

'THE SEVEN STEPS' (for inversions recognition)
by dear friend Yooval Mann:

1) So since this game is advanced I encourage you or I
would recommend using a musical instrument or even an
app on the phone like a virtual piano, don't fret and
don't feel guilt about it, over time you will be able
to drop this aid (promised)

2) use your instrument to detect the lowest note you hear
(the bass)

3) observe the name of the given chord, play the chord
for yourself if needed and observe its structure.

4) determine which degree of the chord does the bass
represents

5) over time when it becomes easier to hear and separate
the bass note, try to detect the next stage's bass by
comparing it to the previous bass you heard, eventually
that would enable you to forego the use of a musical
instrument. But there's no rush.

6) this game requires you to sweat, decide on how much
time you're willing to invest in it and then stick to
the training religiously it doesn't matter if you
finish a level or not but stick to the workout on a
dedicated DAILY religious like routine

7) please report back on how do you do
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Thomas Folks
Jun 13
Thanks @Cuantasvacas. That’s great advice about getting the bass note. Everything should fall into place after that. I was also thinking of being able to hear the interval between the top and bottom notes of the chord:
Major 5th: root position
Minor 6th: 1st Inversion
Major 6th: 2nd Inversion
However, being that I’m still struggling with this game, my advice is meaningless until I crack the nut. It would be great if an instructional video could be supplied as part of ToneGym. I was also thinking I might need better speakers or headphones to hear the notes better..
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Hey everybody! I also struggle mightily with this game. But something that has recently helped is listening for the intervals of the top notes. If I somewhat hear a 4th interval (like the Wedding Song) I assume its in a 1st Inversion. If I hear a third on top then I can assume it's a 2nd inversion. If the triad sounds relatively stable then I can assume its in root position. Hope this helps, but this has always been the hardest exercise for me.
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 13
@Thomas Folks : Since its crucial to be able to hear every note in the chord you're analyzing, I would agree that the best gear you can get might help, but I think it's more important to have your instrument or a MIDI keyboard along with any DAW where you can repeat the chords over a good quality virtual instrument. That allows you to 'see', not only hear, all the notes you're playing and the internal intervals of every chord and its inversions. It's also very helpful to slightly 'arpeggiate' those chords in order to get familiar with the relationship between the notes.

'Keyboardin' ain't cheatin', my friend!'
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Ultimately, inversions are all about the note in the bass. This is where one's focus should really be. In this particular game, all the chords are in 'closed position,' meaning they are contained within one octave. As one's skills progress and there are chords with three OR MORE notes which extend outside of a single octave, or 'open position,' one still needs to know the bass note to identify the inversion. After a while, one can hear the color of an inversion. The further away the lowest note is from the chord's root, the 'weaker' the chord sounds. It may take a while, but these 'colors' will become very distinct to the ear and the inversion will be much easier to identify.

It is frustrating at first. I, myself, am struggling with this game, and I think it is primarily that I am having a hard time hearing the bass note due to the quality of sound the sound generator is making. When I listen to chords on an acoustic instrument, such as a piano, I have no difficulty hearing the bass, and thus identifying the inversion.

I hope this helps.
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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the responses.
I'll apply Yooval Mann's method and hopefully that will help! 😁
Thanks again!
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 14
Go for it and good luck!!💪
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It took me a very long time to get past the first level or two of this game. What has worked for me is that I open the chord player (from the tools menu) in a separate tab and I play the different inversions there and find the one that sounds like the one the game is presenting. I often have difficulty *hearing* the bass note, even when I use the hints (I think it depends on the chord and the tones, and that maybe my hearing is going too, which is not surprising at my age.) In any case, listening to the whole chord in its various inversions has worked for me and I've made a lot of progress this way. I think once you get past the first few levels, it actually does begin to make more sense. And from there, hearing the intervals is improving for me too. (Some of us have to work backwards.) What I do wish is to be able to pause the game to analyse the chords and intervals more thoroughly so it's not just a listening skill but a comprehension one.
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Catherine, I would even go on to say to open the chord player, listen to the inversions of a chord many, many times. Really get the feel and intervals of each inversion. Each one definitely has its own characteristics. Study those, and only then play the Inversionist game. In a sense, one is cheating one's self a bit if using the chord player while playing the game.
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My advice would be to learn your major and minor triads by memory. Be able to sing a major triad, and a minor triad (relative pitch - specific root note is not important).

Then when you are playing the game, listen to the lowest note of the chord. Sing the triad (major or minor) in your head, and identify which note of the triad it is. If it is the root note, it’s in root position; if it’s the third, it’s in 1st inversion; and if it’s the 5th, it’s in 2nd inversion.

Even sit down at a keyboard and use it as an aid for the first while. Keep consistent and I guarantee you will see results.

Wishing you luck! C
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Thomas Folks
Jun 16
So I've used a keyboard to help me alongside Inversionist two times now, and I have to say it's helped me to sail through two levels so far! I still feel a little like I'm cheating, but I like the progress. Thanks to everyone who suggested that it's o.k. to use a keyboard. My plan going forward is to try it once without the keyboard and then use the keyboard as a follow-up, if necessary, which I'm guessing will probably be the case for a while.
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
Using every tool available in order to understand and eventually learn a difficult skill -like recognizing inversions is- can never be cheating, not even to yourself! @Thomas Folks : If my words are not enough, then I'd suggest you can use keyboard, writing, singing, you name it, in order to pass 5 or 10 levels, and then go back and try to pass them again without any help, just with your ears and the knowledge about inversions structure you've been acquiring previously. I'm still doing it this way. Progress is slow, but it works.

Good luck!
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Thomas Folks
Jun 17
Thanks @Cuantasvacas! I appreciate the voice of experience.

(As an aside, how do you make @somebody content red? It seems like another important detail I haven’t yet learned.)
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
Haha! I've been like 10 sec. looking at '@somebody content red' thinking 'I might be experienced but I can't figure out what the elf does he mean with that...' 😅

Now I get it, you're talking about tagging someone. Well, it's funny because a few hours ago I was chatting with 'Support' about some strange behaviours I've experienced on this particular feature, but as far as I know it works like this:

You want to make reference (tag) to a ToneGym member named 'Thom Corke' ,for example, in the middle of your text. When you have the text cursor at the right place (be sure it's one space away from the last written word), you just type '@t' and wait for a second until a list of members whose names start with a 't' unfolds right below. Then it's time to select the one you're looking for, either with your mouse or navigating with cursors. If the list is too long, try adding characters as in '@tho' and then select. Once selected, @Thom Corke + an added space will be inserted and you can go on with your text. Two warnings at this point:

- Make sure both spaces, before and after your tag, are present and remain 'untouched' until you finish your text and post it! These tags are somehow quite delicate and it's easy to unintentionally break their functions if you treat them like regular text.

- The tag you insert remains grey until you post the whole text. Only then it will turn red and work as a link. But again, if you need to edit the text once posted, it is likely that every tag loses functionality and will be displayed in grey when you're done editing and re-post the text. I really have no idea why does this happen or if it's the same way for all of us... When I get an answer from Support I'll let you know.

I'm sorry for the lenghth of my explanation, but I've had some trouble myself with tagging and the details are important. I hope it helps, please feel free to ask if something is not clear enough.

Good luck!
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Thomas Folks
Jun 17
Thanks @Cuantasvacas 👍

Great instructions, but it only half-worked. I didn't get the red font in the posting.
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
What!!?? I'm almost sure I didn't miss any step... but I have to tell you that combining emojis and tags...is playing with fire 🔥. I encourage you to give it another try, just writing the tag!
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
Like that
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 17
Just changed my name a bit...try now!
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joe geraci
Jun 18
You should be able to instinctively hear the root note of the chord. Playing the chord, hum the lowest note, and compare that to the root.
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Thomas Folks
Jun 18
@Cuantas Vacas Hope it worked this time. I also put in a service tag with the Tone Gym tech guys if it doesn't.
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Thomas Folks
Jun 18
Hallelujah! I feel like I just cleared another Tonegym level. Thanks @Cuantas Vacas for hanging in there with your help.
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IAN TANG
Jun 18
I changed to a better computer with better audio. I suddenly could hear all the notes.
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 19
I can see my name in red! You made it! If only I knew how to change it to green...😂

Now, @Thomas Folks , it's time to go back to the Gym!!💪
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Cuantas Vacas
Jun 19
Sorry, @Zachary Laster , for 'stealing' your post...
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Chance Graff
Jun 21
I've been throwing myself at this game for a while without any progress but my ear is finally starting to remember what the root notes sound like because of Solfègiator!!! Highly recommend it and other vocal training exercises. Then when you're playing Inversionist try to hum out the sound until you hear the ringing.