Technique Focus Slash chords
A slash chord has its usual root replaced with another note. The most common slash chord is called an inversion, where the new root comes from within the chord itself. Take C Major (C-E -G :1-3-5). We ‘invert’ the chord by changing the order of the notes. Re- ordering as E-G-C (3-5-1) we get C first inversion (or the slash chord C/E). G-C-E (5,1, 3) is C second inversion (or C/G). The first letter is the chord; the second tells us the bass note. Often they are used for a smooth transition between chords. Take a C5 powerchord with the root on the 3rd fret, fifth string, and the 5th on the 5th fret, fourth string: to change to G, simply drop the C bass note a semitone to B. B and G played together make a G/B chord – or G first inversion, as moving C’s root down a semitone it becomes the 3rd of G (B). We don’t have to use notes from within the chord to create slash chords, and the Young brothers use this approach too. In For Those About b7) To Rock, we find B5/A – a B5 chord with A (the in the bass – also referred to as a third inversion. Try experimenting and see if you can perform smoother changes with the use of slash chords.