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#2322781 - 09/01/14 06:07 PM Recognising Slash chords by ear
Visalia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/14
Posts: 87
Looking for some good examples of slash chords in songs. I think you're ear needs to be yet that bit more acquired to recognise them. The best example I can probably think of is that Ab maj with an Eb in the bass in the main riff of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" by Elton John. There's also a G maj/A in the Who song "The Kids are Alright".

I often get completely thrown by them when trying to figure the chords of a songs... like with the D/F# in Stereophonics' "Have a Nice Day". They can sound so familiar, but yet you don't know what the chord is!

The other thing is that there are many types. Now that I think about it, perhaps the D/F# might be more inclined to be considered an inversion, as would a D/A chord. That leaves two main types of slash chord; one using the 4th in the bass, or the 2nd in the bass. So would you guys immediately recognise one from the other, or do you think that each has it's own unique sound?


Thank you

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#2323247 - 09/02/14 04:58 PM Re: Recognising Slash chords by ear [Re: Visalia]
dire tonic Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 2601
Loc: uk south
Slash chords are yet another form of abbreviation, they don't of their own have a character as such and quite often they might have alternative non-slash names, forex, Bbm/G can also be named Gm7b5 (or G half-dim) while G maj/A has often been called A11 (although it can depend as much on the musicians you're working with).

Yes, D/F# is no more than an inversion of D major and because it's so unambiguously D major it would be hard to give it any other name (although you could call it Bm7 instead of D/B if it had a B root).

All chords have a unique sound, slash or otherwise. Familiarity provides the ability to distinguish them and to name them.

#2331801 - 09/28/14 08:27 AM Re: Recognising Slash chords by ear [Re: dire tonic]
petes1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 285
[quote=dire tonic]All chords have a unique sound, slash or otherwise. Familiarity provides the ability to distinguish them and to name them. [/quote] And there's the key to solving this -- keep working through lots and lots of songs, and you will get stronger in your abilities to distinguish the chords. Try to listen to songs over and over, listening for the bass, and then the overall chords, and then put them together.
Keys: Yamaha GC2, Casio Privia PX-3, Roland RD800
My motto: Play and Let Play!

#2332597 - 09/30/14 01:11 PM Re: Recognising Slash chords by ear [Re: Visalia]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 90
Loc: New York City
Try spending some time singing the voicings, in various inversions and with different non-chord tones in the bass. If you do this for a few months, your ear will start to recognize them a lot easier. I notice that my ear gets sharper whenever I teach vocal parts to vocal groups. It's really just good old-fashioned ear training, and the effort it takes to mentally 'hear' each pitch in order to sing it will force your ears to work hard and retain the sounds better than just listening to the chords.
Good luck!
Ron Drotos


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