Slash Chords

Slash chords


The left side of the slash, the numerator if you will, represents the chord. The right side of the slash, the denominator, represents a single note, usually played deep in the bass. Here's some examples:


C/G = CEG/C


C/E = CEG/E


Bb/C = BbDF/C


Here's a chord progression with an independent bass line. The gospel piano style typically features a separate bass line such as this:


C = CEG/C


G7/B = DFGB/B


F/A = CFA/A


C/G = CEG/G


F = CFA/F


C/E = CEG/E


G7/D = DFGB/D


C = CEG/ Low C


This next example shoes how much this bass line can influence a chord. Without the bass line all we have are five Cm chords and a G7. With the bass line added the sound really changes. This chord progression is found in such songs as "Blue Skies", "Feelings", "This Masquerade", and the introduction to "Michelle."


Cm = CEbG/C


Cm/B = CEbG/B


Cm/Bb = CEbG/Bb


Cm/A = CEbG/A


Cm/Ab = CEbG/Ab


G7 = DFGB/G


Often times the lowest note surrounded should be considered the root of the chord even when it may not seem logical. For example an F/G would function more like a G11 than it would any kind of F chord. An Am/D is really a D9 (with the F# missing.) Exceptions to this concept occur when the bass note is part of the chord.


Dvd resource: Jazz 101



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