(V7, ii7 etc.) in the grade 7 music theory exam question 1, adding a figured bass. Here are the four inversions of the dominant 7th chord in C major: seventh-. Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of musical notation in which numerals and symbols . Contemporary figured bass abbreviations for triads and seventh chords are shown in the table to the right. . If this same C major triad had an E in the bass, it would be a first inversion chord, which would be written C 6 3 or C6. Question: In the inversion of seventh chords, why are the numbers 6/5 used for the 1st Answer: The numbers come from the old practice of "figured bass" or for a G7 chord: root position, first inversion, second inversion, third inversion. It all comes from the tradition of figured bass. Edit: See Kyle In first inversion you have the intervals 3, 5, and 6 above the bass. We have just a. In practice a "6" just means that this is the bass of a first-inversion chord (more on that A seventh chord in root position would be 7/5/3 if completely figured. Following are the figured bass inversion symbols most commonly used for triads and seventh chords. (Remember that figured bass numbers represent intervals. As with triads, we can use the same symbols for any seventh chord (for more information, see Baroque Chord Symbols). The complete chord symbol of the dominant 7th chord appears below the first example. The same First inversion: . If a chord has the third in the bass, the chord is in first inversion. If a chord has the fifth in the bass, the chord is in second inversion. If the chord is a seventh chord.