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#1424142 - 04/25/10 08:33 PM Chords inquiry from a new member
limeade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 3
Hello, I am new to the forums and am learning from fakebooks...my question is when you see two chords above a note, like C/F, do you play the C or the F chord? It normally just shows one chord but sometimes seems to give two options and not sure if its up to me to choose or there is a meaning in there that I don't know about that tells me which to play? Listening does not help much because often I don't know the music to be able to tell what the song should sound like.

So sorry if this does not make sense!! Thanks so much in advance!!

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#1424155 - 04/25/10 08:53 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: limeade]
joyoussong Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Canada
I think the C/F marking means "C over F" - that is, you play the inversion of a C chord that has F on the bottom (so it's F-G-C instead of C-F-G).
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)



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#1424195 - 04/25/10 10:19 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: joyoussong]
limeade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 3
Oh my goodness, thank you so much!! I never would have known this, I really appreciate it:)

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#1424273 - 04/26/10 01:07 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: limeade]
bpmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Canada
It means you play a C major triad (C-E-G) with an F in the bass.

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#1424274 - 04/26/10 01:17 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: bpmusic]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3621
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: bpmusic
It means you play a C major triad (C-E-G) with an F in the bass.


Just to be clear: This is correct, and the earlier response about playing "the inversion of the C chord that has F on the bottom" is not. A C major triad doesn't have an F in it, for one thing. smile

-Jason
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

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#1424275 - 04/26/10 01:30 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: beet31425]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: beet31425
the earlier response about playing "the inversion of the C chord that has F on the bottom" is not. A C major triad doesn't have an F in it, for one thing. smile
But a C7 does which makes it a 3rd inversion.
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#1424283 - 04/26/10 02:06 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: keyboardklutz]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: beet31425
the earlier response about playing "the inversion of the C chord that has F on the bottom" is not. A C major triad doesn't have an F in it, for one thing. smile
But a C7 does which makes it a 3rd inversion.
?? A C7 chord has an F in it? Am I missing something?
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#1424284 - 04/26/10 02:09 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: Elissa Milne]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
C7 is C E G Bb. No F

Ron
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1424286 - 04/26/10 02:15 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: RonO]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Oops. Pardon my dsylexia! I'm thinking C's dominant 7th!
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#1424287 - 04/26/10 02:18 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: Elissa Milne]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
C7 third inversion should be B-flat - C-E-G. We need to start a PW theory group. laugh But I once had an examiner ask me to play an f# minor arpeggio starting on the third inversion. I sat there blankly until the other examiner reminded him that it doesn't exist.

C's dominant 7th is G-B-D-F, no C in there. Seems more like an F9 chord if you omit the E.

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#1424288 - 04/26/10 02:21 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: keyboardklutz]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Oops. Pardon my dsylexia! I'm thinking C's dominant 7th!


I knew that was what you were thinking.

Ron
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1424291 - 04/26/10 02:26 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: RonO]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: RonO
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Oops. Pardon my dsylexia! I'm thinking C's dominant 7th!


I knew that was what you were thinking.

Ron

You did? But that's not it either, at least not to my knowledge (see above post). Maybe someone can enlighten me.

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#1424297 - 04/26/10 02:37 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: Frozenicicles]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
Oops, oops, oops. Frozenicicles you are quite right. Maybe KBK was thinking Fs dominant 7th which doesn't have an F either, but perhaps that is where the F came from. He has certainly got some of us confused.

Ron
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1424301 - 04/26/10 02:44 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: RonO]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Haha, no worries. The chord as written (F-C-E-G) is quite dissonant without flattening the E. I'm wondering whether the OP didn't mean F/C instead. smile

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#1424303 - 04/26/10 02:49 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: bpmusic]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1432
Loc: Australia
Hi Limeade,

If you are confused even more, by now, I wouldn't blame you laugh

This was the correct answer to your question.

Originally Posted By: bpmusic
It means you play a C major triad (C-E-G) with an F in the bass.


These chords are commonly known as 'slash chords' (for obvious reasons)
The letter after the slash, is always the bass note.
_________________________
Rob

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#1424311 - 04/26/10 03:11 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: RonO]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: RonO
Oops, oops, oops. Frozenicicles you are quite right. Maybe KBK was thinking Fs dominant 7th which doesn't have an F either, but perhaps that is where the F came from. He has certainly got some of us confused.

Ron
No, the F came from C's dominant 7th- G B D F. It takes an understanding of dyslexia to work out wat I did. RonO's got it (the 3rd inversion of G7 is F in the bass - I started from that fact, leaving rather a lot of other stuff out).

Jeez, you shoulda seen my arithmetic in grade 6!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1424315 - 04/26/10 03:29 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: keyboardklutz]
bpmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Canada
I love how this thread turned out. laugh

Bonus theory: C-F-G is a legitimate triad, Csus.

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#1424325 - 04/26/10 04:18 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: bpmusic]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Agreed (both counts).
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1424408 - 04/26/10 09:59 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: keyboardklutz]
joyoussong Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Canada
Whoops! I think I'm the one who's dysexic! That was my original answer that started all this confusion. But my teacher writes inversions that way when I've been working from a lead sheet printed with chords & she advises me to use a particular inversion of a printed chord - she puts a diagonal slash under the chord, with the bottom note written under that. So when I answered, I didn't even think about what notes were actually in the chord! (Key words there: didn't even think?)
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)



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#1424448 - 04/26/10 11:26 AM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: joyoussong]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1432
Loc: Australia
Not to worry smile

I get the odd dialsexy moment, myself laugh
_________________________
Rob

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#1424504 - 04/26/10 12:33 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: limeade]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
Frozenicicles, Kbk and others seem to be thinking of slash chords as inversions, but I don’t think this is the right way to think of them.

For instance C/E means to play a C chord in the right hand. It could be in root position or in any inversion and the base note would be E

Often the base note is not from the chord, for instance C/F. That means a C chord in any position with an F in the base.

Sometimes you will see a series of chords something like this C, C/B, C/A, C/G, F. That is a C chord in the right hand, maybe spread over several bars, while the base notes step down. (using passing notes)

Sometimes a slash chord is used as an alternative notation to an extended chord. For example Fma9 has the notes FACEG. It is difficult to play all the notes in extended chords so it is normal to leave off some of the bottom notes. So you could play CEG in the RH and F in the base. So Fma9 could be written C/F.

Ron
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1424598 - 04/26/10 03:14 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: RonO]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
^Agreed - I got too caught up in the chord analysis (which is pretty much impossible to do without seeing it in context of the rest of the progression). Slash chords can be guides on how to shape the bass line.

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#1424644 - 04/26/10 04:35 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: Frozenicicles]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
While a chord can often be restated without the slash, like FMaj7(9) instead of C/F, the typical use of slash chords is to indicate a specific voicing or inversion (strongly indicated).

This is a more general statement than simply indicate moving bass lines (which is a common use when you see multiple slash chords).
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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
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#1424786 - 04/26/10 09:08 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: jazzwee]
limeade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 3
Hi everyone, thanks for the responses, I have learned a lot just reading everything you all wrote:)

So... now my question becomes, if the meaning of C/F is to play a C chord and an F note in the bass, how does one do this if your right hand is doing the melody notes of the song, thereby making your left hand the one that has to play the C chord? How can you simultaneously play the F note in the bass? I tried but my hand does not stretch enough.

Wow, thank you all very much for reading my question:)

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#1424813 - 04/26/10 09:44 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: limeade]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Use two hands and play the melody as the top note. Split the chord so you share between the two hands. Like I said, when an arranger/composer indicates a slash chord, he/she is indicating that this voicing is an important component of the sound. So if I can, I will play it as indicated, at least at some point.

When it is not possible to always play the slash chord (as in improvisation), then, pick the important components of it. The F is definitely the most major component here.

You may also need to do an inversion of the C triad depending on what the melody note is. Takes a lot of thinking initially but becomes automatic after time. Just a natural part of reading leadsheets.


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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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#1424815 - 04/26/10 09:46 PM Re: Chords inquiry from a new member [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
BTW - another interpretation of the slash chord is that the F is a pedal tone.

Meaning hit F, step on the pedal, and then hit the C triad. That way you are able to do it sometimes with just the LH alone.

All of this depends on the tune.
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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
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