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Jazz Bass Lessons: Sus and Slash Chords

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Now, I'd like
to cover slash chords.
Slash chords are when you have
one triad over another bass note.
Let's start with one of
the most simple ones.
Let's say B flat over C.
And sometimes,
it's really a simple thing you just
take the B flat triad and put it over C.
It kinda gives us a voicing too.
Sometimes, I use B flat major
7 over C in some of my music.
Which is looked at as a sus sound.
Sus because that comes from
the traditional theory of anytime you have
a 4th and you hold onto it,
it's a suspended 4th.
And a lot of times in classical music,
these suspended notes always resolve but
in jazz sometimes we just,
we hang onto them and it's a sus chord.
It has to do with the 4th degree or
the 11th, I think it was the 11th too.
Gives us that suspended sound, okay?
So that's a sus chord.
And you can play a dominant scale over
there a C dominant sounds really good.
C dominant, okay?
That's a B flat over C.
Now, here's one that's a little more
dissonant and this is a B over C.
That sounds very,
kind of ominous sometimes as bass players,
I remember the first time I saw
this chord I thought my gosh,
what I'm gonna play over that, so
now see it's just a B triad over C.
I'll give you a wonderful hint that
it took me a bunch of time to find,
but now you can have it right away.
It's E harmonic minor kinda
opens up this sound great.
So you play
So that's B over C,
with E harmonic minor.
Now, there's E over C which gives us that
sound we heard before
that's the same as E major 7 sharp 5,
E over C.
And it's really the same,
you can use the same things over it.
You can use A melodic minor.
Or, you can use the augmented
scale that we talked about before.
The one with this, and C it's C,
the flat 3rd, the major 3rd, the 5th,
the sharp 5, and the major 7.
That one, I call it the augmented scale,
some people call it the hexatonic scale,
there's all kinds of names.
It's easy just to think
of it as augmented scale.
So that works over the E over C.
Then you have an F sharp over C.
Now that gives you, sometimes if you
make a domino chord if you
just add a few notes and
make a domino chord which is usually what
that is spelling that F sharp over C.
It's like
then basically, you are spelling that F
sharp over C [SOUND] gives you
a C7 with a flat 9 and a sharp 11.
Which is a great sound.
And there you can use what we spoke
about before D flat melodic minor.
So that gives
you some ammunition
over that F sharp over C.
Now we're going to go up to A flat over C.
Now, here's the thing where
it just depends on whether
you have the 7th in there.
If you have this sound then it's
a different thing, if it's A flat over C.
You can think of it as an A flat
chord with a 3rd in the bass,
just a major sound.
Okay, but sometimes in Jazz music,
what you're gonna have is
that B flat's in there.
And then sometimes people call that,
a minor 7, sharp 5.
Or, they call it,
some people call it C minor 7,
with a flat 13.
I've even heard it called,
when I did a lot of studio work,
somebody would call that an A flat 2.
See that's showing you the voicing.
You put the A flat and
you put a 2nd, the B flat next to it
so they call it A flat 2.
That's one way to look at it.
It's a nice sound.
sometimes people think of that
as an A flat major scale sound.
So, or like a B flat sus over C.
See, that's kind of a sus sound.
Like, B flat sus would be here.
That's a sus sound when you have the 4th.
You've probably heard that sound too.
If you put the B flat sus over the C.
That's looking at it more like a sus and
then it changes, kinda color.
You can think of it more like an F minor.
It's the B flat sus in your mind.
So you can approach that same
sound several different ways.
Now, if you drop the 3rd under it,
check this out.
And turn it into a dominant chord,
now you have a C7 with a sharp 9 and
a sharp 5.
you can play your D flat
melodic minor again.
Okay, so
that's the big
world of A flat over C.
now, A over C.
We were just dealing with it before when
we did our C 13 flat 9.
Here's the half step,
whole step, diminish scale.
That's what you would play A over C.
Remember how we also played C minor,
C major, E flat major, E flat minor,
F sharp major,
F sharp minor scales over it?
That's what we do over there.
[SOUND] Okay.
Now, D flat over C.
that sound
So that's kind of a,
[SOUND] the sound of a,
some people call that sus flat two.
The D flat over C.
The slash chords, they wind up having
several names is what happens.
And so some people write them that way
to just get us into a certain voicing.
They want that sound.
But what we're getting
with D flat over C is
it's like a C phrygian.
Or what you would call an A flat
major scale, starting on C.
That's D
flat over C.
How about when we put the
that's the best use of it.
I'm not gonna go further
with the D flat C.
That's perfect.
Now D over C.
This is a
Is a popular sound.
You've heard this many times.
D over C.
Very strong major sound.
It also changes color is you
put the flat seven in and
make it a dominant chord.
And this shows you a voicing for
the C 13 plus 11
you can use this for that also, but
say there was no 7th in there and
this was just a straight major sound.
This gives you the major
sound with a plus 11 so
the Lydian scale,
that's a major scale with a sharp 4.
You've heard that
sound I'm sure many times.
[SOUND] So that's D over C.
Basically, its a C.
Same as like a C Lydian or
sometimes a C major seven with a plus 11.
If you have the B in there with the major
seven, then you'll hear that sound.
[SOUND] So even if the B is not in there,
you can still play C Lydian, which
has the major seven in the scale [SOUND]
but it works.
So now those are the main
slash chords that
I wanted to go over with you because
they're dealing with the alteration.
So that gives you a nice insight into
the slash chords and some of the suss
chords that happen when you start
putting this triad over this bass note.