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spots
06-09-2009, 04:07 AM
:confused:

(I have searched the forum, and used Google, and have not found an answer.)

I've seen some chords written with a slash before a lowercase letter such as "/b", "/c". What does this mean?

Also...

Is something written like "F/c" different than "F/C"? If it is what is the difference?

Thanks.

Tsani
06-09-2009, 04:58 AM
Usually the slash indicates that you could be playing the song in another key, and the second chord is for the alternate key. Sometimes there is more than one chord that will work also. Sometimes one is more simple and one is harder - but prettier or more correct, so people use the slash to give you the alternate chord.

:music:

cpatch
06-09-2009, 05:44 AM
Usually the slash indicates that you could be playing the song in another key, and the second chord is for the alternate key. Sometimes there is more than one chord that will work also. Sometimes one is more simple and one is harder - but prettier or more correct, so people use the slash to give you the alternate chord.
Sorry, but this is not correct. The note before the slash indicates the chord and the note after the slash indicates the bass note. C/G indicates a C chord with a G as the bass, for example (which, if your uke is strung with a low G, is technically what you're playing when you play 0003...in reentrant tuning you're playing a regular C). If you search the forums for slash chord you'll find several discussions that go into more depth as towhy it matters (the most recent is here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14308). The bottom line, however, is that while these chords are useful for guitar (which has two extra bass strings) you can usually ignore the bass note on the uke and just play the chord indicated by the first note.

Brad Bordessa
06-09-2009, 05:57 AM
Someone should make this topic sticky. This gets asked a lot.

spots
06-09-2009, 06:08 AM
I appreciate the responses, but I think something may have been missed in my original post.

In my first example there is no chord preceeding the slash. It's just /b. It's not "C/b". It shows up on the sheet music as just "/b".

I am not sure what this means or how it is played. Is it short hand for a slash chord meaning one builds a slash chord by going back to the previous chord and then adding a "b" bass?

In both my first and second example the letter after the slash is lower case. Is there a difference in upper and lower case with slash chords? For example, is a lower case letter ever used to show a minor chord? Would "D/A" be the same as "D/a"?

Thanks.

cpatch
06-09-2009, 06:30 AM
In my first example there is no chord preceeding the slash. It's just /b. It's not "C/b". It shows up on the sheet music as just "/b".
Sorry, I missed that. I've never seen that before...do you have an online example you could provide a link for?


In both my first and second example the letter after the slash is lower case. Is there a difference in upper and lower case with slash chords? For example, is a lower case letter ever used to show a minor chord? Would "D/A" be the same as "D/a"?
To the best of my knowledge, yes (they're the same). They should both be capital letters, but I think some people use lowercase for the bass note to make the chord stand out.

Ukulele JJ
06-09-2009, 06:52 AM
Is it short hand for a slash chord meaning one builds a slash chord by going back to the previous chord and then adding a "b" bass?

Yup.

I hardly ever see that sort of notation used, but when I do, that's how I interpret it.



For example, is a lower case letter ever used to show a minor chord? Would "D/A" be the same as "D/a"?

Generally, chord charts are case-insensitive. I suppose it's possible that someone's "homegrown" style of notation would differentiate between upper and lower-case. In classical harmonic analysis, minor chords are often designated with lowercase roman numerals. But it'd be pretty weird for a regular chord chart.

So I seriously doubt that the "a" in this case means anything other than someone was lazy with their shift key. (Besides, as CPatch pointed out, the bottom of the slash is merely an indicator of a single bass note. It cannot be minor or major.)

All that said, the ultimate test of any notation-related question is this:


Try playing it in the way you think it means
Does it sound right?
If so, then that's what it means. :D


JJ

spots
06-09-2009, 07:06 AM
Thanks to all for your replies!

The site (http://dylanchords.info) won't allow one to link directly to the page (I don't want to post the text as code since it is someone else's work). If you look under "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" on the menu on the right, then select the song "Blowin' in the Wind", we see that the chord list contains both C and C/b, but above the lyric text it's split out "C" and "/b".

I've never seen this done before and wasn't sure if it's normal or an oddball case.

In this case we have the chord list, but wasn't sure how to approach it if there was no chord list provided.

JJ - There are a lot of things I think sound right (and look right) which I'm told are just plain wrong...

ukulelebadass
06-09-2009, 07:37 AM
This is for guitar:

They are saying to start playing a C chords at "roads", and then C/b when you get to "must"

If you look at the list of chords used at the top C/b is listed, but never written out in the music..

On the uke just play the C.

cpatch
06-09-2009, 07:46 AM
The site (http://dylanchords.info) won't allow one to link directly to the page (I don't want to post the text as code since it is someone else's work). If you look under "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" on the menu on the right, then select the song "Blowin' in the Wind", we see that the chord list contains both C and C/b, but above the lyric text it's split out "C" and "/b".
OK, in this case it's indicating that you should change the bass note. So you're playing C and then C/B where it shows /b. If you notice you're then playing D/A and G so the effect is that the bass note is walking down from C to G. This is the primary reason for using slash chords in the first place...when you want a specific bassline. You can't achieve this effect on the uke unless you're playing with a low G string, in which case you still have to move a few chords around: C (5433), C/B (4433), D/A (2220), G (0232). Notice that on the G string (your bass note) you're moving from fret 5 (C) to fret 4 (B) to fret 2 (A) to the open string (G).

Tsani
06-09-2009, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the correction Cpatch!

ukulelebadass
06-09-2009, 08:08 AM
in which case you still have to move a few chords around: C (5433), C/B (4433), D/A (2220), G (0232). Notice that on the G string (your bass note) you're moving from fret 5 (C) to fret 4 (B) to fret 2 (A) to the open string (G).

That C/B 4433 is a little funky sounding. I might just play 4033 for that half a beat.

Ukulele JJ
06-09-2009, 08:34 AM
The site (http://dylanchords.info) won't allow one to link directly to the page


Ta-da!!!! (http://dylanchords.info/02_freewheelin/blowin_in_the_wind.htm)

Note that those chords presume a capo on the 7th fret. When it tells you to play a "G", it's really meant to come out as a D chord.

To play this song in the original key on a uke, the best way to go about it would be to forget about a capo and just transpose each chord. The G becomes D, C becomes G, etc.

The walkdown probably becomes easier that way too.

JJ

spots
06-09-2009, 10:57 AM
Thank you all very much!

:wallbash: can't believe I didn't try opening the link to the song in a new tab to get the URL!

Ukulele JJ
06-09-2009, 11:49 AM
:wallbash: can't believe I didn't try opening the link to the song in a new tab to get the URL!

I didn't think of that either. :o

(I right-clicked and chose "Properties" to get the URL of just that frame of the page that the song was in.)

JJ