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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 like,
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 [SOUND] it's
really a simple thing.
[SOUND] You just take the B-flat triad,
and put it over C.
It kind of gives us a voicing too.
Some times 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 fourth and you hold onto it
it's a suspended fourth, and
a lot of times in classical music,
these suspended notes always resolve.
But in jazz, sometimes we just hang
on to them and it's a sus chord.
It has to do with the fourth degree,
or the eleventh.
I think it was the eleventh too.
Gives us that suspended sound, okay.
So that's a sus chord.
you can play a dominant scale over that.
A C dominant sounds really good.
C dominant.
That's a B-flat over C.
Now here's one that's a little more
dissonant, and this is a B over C.
[SOUND] That sounds very kind of ominous.
Sometimes for us bass players, I remember
the first time I saw this chord I thought,
my gosh,
what am I going to play over that?
Now, see it's just a B triad over C.
[SOUND] I'll give you a wonderful hint
that it took me a bunch of time [SOUND] to
find, but now you can have it right away.
[LAUGHING] It's E harmonic minor.
It 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 that we had before.
[SOUND] That's the same as E
major 7 sharp 5, E over C.
Its 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, in C, it's C, the flat
third, the major third, the fifth,
the sharp five, and the major seven.
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 an 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
it a dominant chord,
if you just add a few notes and
make it a dominant card,
which is usually what that
is spelling, that F-sharp over C is like
Then basically you are spelling
that F-sharp over C 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 seventh in there,
if you have this sound [SOUND],
then it's a different
thing than if it's just
A-flat over C [SOUND].
You can think of it as an A flat
chord with the third and the bass.
Just a major sound.
[SOUND] Okay?
But sometimes in jazz music,
what you're gonna have [SOUND] is
that B-flats in there [SOUND].
And then sometimes people call
that a minor 7 sharp 5, or
some people call it a C
minor 7 with a flat 13.
[SOUND] I've even heard it called,
when I did a lot of studio work,
somebody would call that an A-flat 2.
[SOUND] See that's
showing you the voicing.
You put the A-flat and you put a second,
the B-flat next to it.
[SOUND] They call it an A-flat 2.
That's one way to look at it.
[SOUND] It's a nice sound.
So [SOUND] sometimes people
think of that as an A-flat
major scale sound.
[SOUND] Okay.
So, or like a B-flat suss over C.
[SOUND] See that's kind of a suss sound.
B-flat suss would be here.
[SOUND] That's a suss sound
when we have the fourths.
[SOUND] You've probably
heard that sound too.
If you put the B-flat
sus over the C [SOUND],
that's looking at it more like a sus.
Then it changes kind of color.
Can think of it more like an F-minor.
Because it's a B-flat sus in your mind.
So you can approach that same
sound several different ways.
Now, if you drop the third 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.
Now you can play your D-flat melodic minor
So that's a 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 over 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.
Okay, now D flat over C.
that sound.
So that's kind of the sound of a,
some people call that sus flat two,
or D flat over C.
You know, the slash chords, they wind up
having several names, is what happens.
They sort of,
some people write them that way to
just get us into a certain voicing.
And with that sound, but
what we're getting with B flat over C is a
It's like a C
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
no it's still, that's the best use of it.
I'm not gonna go further with
the D flat C, that's perfect.
So, now D over C.
This is a popular sound,
you've heard this many times.
D over C.
Very strong major sound.
It also changes color if
you put the flat 7 in and
make it a dominant chord.
And this shows you a voicing for
the C 13 plus 11.
So you can use this for that, also.
Say there was no seventh in there, and
this was just straight major sound.
This gives you the major
sound with the plus 11.
The Lydian scale,
that's the major scale
with the sharp four.
You've heard that sound,
I'm sure, many times.
So that's D over C.
Basically it's the same as a C Lydian or
sometimes a C major seven with a plus 11.
If you have the B in there, of the major
seven, then you'll hear that sound.
So even if the B's not in there
you can still play C Lydian,
has the major seven in the scale.
Then it works.
So now,
those are the main slash chords that
I want to go over with you cuz
they're dealing with the alterations.
That gives you a nice insight into
slash chords and some of the sus chords
that happen when you start putting
this triad over this bass note.