In this free guitar lesson, I explain what slash chords are in music, why composers use them, and when you might choose to skip them while reading a chart. Slash chords do not refer to the guitarist known as Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame. The term slash refers to the use of a forward slash in a chord name such as G/B, C/G, or D/F#. Whenever a chord name includes a forward slash, the letter before the slash is the basic chord and the letter after the slash is the alternate bass note. Normally, when you play a G chord, you have a G note in the lowest or bass position. The chord G/B is a G chord but with a B note in the bass position. This means you would begin strumming on B and leave the G note below it (as well as the 6th string) out. You would call any version of a G chord with B in the bass “G with B in the bass” or “G over B” or “G/B.”
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