Major Slash Chords

In today’s lesson, we are going to explore using major slash chords. Slash chords are not named after the famous Guns N Roses guitarist, but by the way they are written. A slash chord is written ” chord / over different bass note.” For example C/G is a C Major chord, with the note G as its bass note. In the following examples I will show you how to create all the slash chords available in the key of C major and how to move them to any key. Plus we will look at some essential open-position slash chords and some practical song examples. Let’s dive in!

Slash Chords Example 1 – Single String C Major Scale

Example one shows a C major scale (C D E F G A B) on one string. We will use this scale to create all the major slash chords seen in the next examples.

Slash Chords Example 2 – C Major Scale 5th and 6th Strings

Although it is easier to visualise the C major scale on one string, for practical chord construction we need the notes to be closer together. In example 2 I have demonstrated the notes on the A and E strings.

Slash Chords Example 3 – C Major Barre Chord

Example 3 shows a C major barre chord in barre one, and just the upper three notes of the chord in barre two. The upper three notes will be used to create all the slash chords seen next.

Slash Chords Example 4 – C Major all Slash Chords

Now that you have learnt the notes of your C major scale, and know your C major barre chord shape, we are going to put all of the notes of the C major scale underneath the barre chord to create seven slash chords. I have written these as C/C (which is C major but I wanted you to think of the root note), C/D, C/E, C/F, C/G, C/A and C/B.

Slash Chords Example 5 – Hendrix style Slash Chord

Example 5 demonstrates a quick practical example of using a slash chord in the style of the incredible Jimi Hendrix. Watch the attached video to see how the fingering I use to play this example.

Slash Chords Example 6 – Hendrix in C, F and G

Now we can use our Hendrix slash chord lick in C, F and G to create a common pop chord progression.

Slash Chords Example 7 – Joe Satriani Starry Night Chords

One of my favourite major chord progressions is from the Joe Satriani song called Starry Night. This chord sequence uses C, C/D, C/E, C/F, G, Am, F, C. Perfect for practicing your new C major slash chords learnt above.

Slash Chords Example 8 – Open Major Slash Chords

Now that you have mastered all the variants of the C major slash, aim to move them into different keys. Once you have moved all your shapes into various keys check out these four common open major slash chord shapes.

Slash Chords Example 9 – John Mayer Free Fallin’ Chords

Our final example is in the style of how John Mayer plays the track Free Fallin’. This example uses a D/F#, a D/G and an open A chord to create a pretty open chord vamp. In his version he often uses a capo at the 3rd fret.

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