Slash Chords

Slash Chords

Slash chords are a powerful addition to the rhythm guitarist’s library of tricks.  Most contemporary music now includes a lot of slash chords, but even if you’re sheet music doesn’t; you can add them in the right places to make a noticeable difference.  Basically a slash chord is a chord with an alternate bass or root note.   So a “D/F#” chord, pronounced “D over F#”, is really a D chord having an F# note as its bass (or lowest note).  Note that the F# is part of the D chord (DF#A) but it’s placed in a different position, and the root is a dominant position that will change the sound of the chord.  Slash chords are especially useful in emphasizing bass runs over a chord progression.  For example,  If you are strumming a D chord and the next measure changes to a G chord; that’s an ideal place to play a D/F# on the beat just before changing to the G chord because the F# bass will resolve up to the G chord.  Musically, it will look like this: | D   /   /   D/F# |  G  /  /  /  |

Similarly, you can also use slash chords in the opposite direction:
| G   /   /   / |  D/F#  D  /  /  |

Here are some finger patterns for commonly used slash chords:
D/F#    – 200232 (use your thumb to play the F# note on the low E string (second fret)

Or I like to play it 20023x and use my first finger to grab the F#.

Em/G   – 322000 (use your pinky to grab that G note on the low E string (third fret)
F#m/A – x04222
A/C#    – x4222x (use your first finger to bar at the second fret and your third finger to grab the C# (fifth string forth fret)
Bm/D   –  xx0432
A/E – 002220
A/G – 3×2220 or x02223
C/D – xx0010
C/E – 032010
C/G – 332010
D/A – x00232 or 554030
D/C – x3x232
D/G – 3×0232
E/A – x22100
E/G# – 4×2400
F/A – x03211
G/A – 300003
G/B – x20033
G/C – 330003