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Personal Piano Professor, Issue#005 -- Use slash chords in "Piano Man"
October 26, 2012
Hello Friends

How to understand and use Slash Chords

Hello to all my Keyboard friends!

Several visitors to Piano Lessons for asked for a lesson on Slash Chords.

If you come across slash chords in popular piano music it will usually indicate in what inversion a chord will be played.

It is indicated by a slash after the chord name and the letter name of the note that is to be played in the bass.

So in the example of a C major triad if the note C is the bass note (root position) it will usually just be written as C.

The first inversion would be written as C/E and spelled from bottom up E-G-C.

The second inversion would be written as C/G and spelled from the bottom up as G-C-E.

In popular music, where the particular arrangement of notes is less important than some other forms like classical music, slash chords are generally used only when the specific bass note is important.

A common example in many popular songs is in the I-V-VIm progression. By placing the third of the V chord in the bass, a descending scale, also known as a walkdown, is created in the bass.

A great example of a walk down chord progression using specific chord inversions indicated by slashes would be the hit from Billy Joel "Piano Man"

To see and hear how slash chords are written, used, and played in the song "Piano Man" click the link below.

See the entire lesson and video on Slash Chords here!

I want to remind you that many of the ideas for lessons come from those of you who contact me with questions. I encourage you to let me know what you need.

I am grateful for all of you, and wish you the best success in your playing!!

Thanks, Greg

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