#1
I've got a song I need to learn how to play but have some questions.

1: My sheet says "G" but there are also "(Em)" above the G chord. Does that mean I can use both of them?

2: "G/H" or "G/D" what is that? May I use both of them or is it a chord?

3: When the sheet says "(G)" or "(G/D)" does that means I can just continue with the chord I'm playing and not care about the chords in the paranthesises?

It would be fantastic with quick response,
Thank you!
#2
They're called slash chords, or in the real world, inversions. What it means is that you play the chord to the left of the slash (or on top of the slash) with the note to the right of the slash (or underneath) in the bass. So Em/G means an Em chord with G in the bass.
#3
What do you mean, the 'Em' is above the 'G's? Can you post a picture of your sheet?

A 'D/G' would mean you play the D triad (D,F#,A) over a G bass.
#4
Some sheet music is written for piano and guitar, so it will list two different chords. Additionally, some music will provide alternative chords. Jazz is quite popular for doing this. My old Standards book is full of songs with chords in parenthesis.

Not sure what G/H is, but G/D is considered a slash chord. A slash chord means that we're playing, in this case, a G, but putting a D in the bass. In piano, we'd call this a second inversion. We don't call it an inversion in guitar, because the notes don't always line up as they do on a keyboard. Again, I would think that a (G/D) is an alternate chord that can be played. Play it or not - it's up to you.
#5
Quote by KG6_Steven
Not sure what G/H is, but G/D is considered a slash chord. A slash chord means that we're playing, in this case, a G, but putting a D in the bass. In piano, we'd call this a second inversion. We don't call it an inversion in guitar, because the notes don't always line up as they do on a keyboard.

As far as I know, we still call them inversions, regardless of the instrument. The order of the notes is arbitrary, as long as the right bass note is played.

And in Germany (or possibly elsewhere) they call a B an H. So G/H is G/B.
#6
Quote by sickman411
As far as I know, we still call them inversions, regardless of the instrument. The order of the notes is arbitrary, as long as the right bass note is played.

And in Germany (or possibly elsewhere) they call a B an H. So G/H is G/B.



Perhaps in Germany and among guitar players this may be called an inversion, however in the strict and true sense of the definition, it is not. An inversion refers to the strict ordering of the notes. An inversion indicates we are inverting the notes. In a C/G, the note order must be G C E. This is a second inversion. In a C/E, the note order must be E G C. This is a first inversion.

In both my guitar and piano training, I have been taught that note order isn't arbitrary. Again, feel free to call it an inversion, however keep in mind that if you're talking to a keyboard player, their idea of an inversion and yours are slightly different. A slash chord is more appropriate, because it indicates the note ordering isn't as important, as long as the correct note is in the bass - hence the difference between inversions and slashes.
#8
Quote by KG6_Steven
Perhaps in Germany and among guitar players this may be called an inversion, however in the strict and true sense of the definition, it is not.

I'm not actually from Germany (I'm from Portugal), but I knew about the H thing and decided to answer that for you

But you haven't quite convinced me with the inversion thing. You can have different voicings for a root position too. I can't see why you wouldn't have them for inversions. I've always heard that the order of notes in inversions was arbitrary, including in these forums (where it's always quite consensual).
Last edited by sickman411 at Jan 22, 2012,
#9
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
^You've been taught wrong. Inversion just refers to which note is in the bass, it's irrespective of what the ordering is above it.

This.

An Em chord with a B in the bass, is always going to be an Em/second inversion. That's what I've been taught.
Last edited by Y00p at Jan 22, 2012,
#10
I can back up the inversion claim;

If we'd follow the logic of a set order of notes, then for it to be sound, a root position chord should also follow the "correct order of intervals in 3rds of a given chord so that the sound is relatively "correct".

Now when playing an open Em chord on guitar, the order goes R, 5, R,(5),(3),(5).

This chord wouldn't be an Em chord then, and thus the guitar would not found it's place in music.

The fact that guitar has been proved to work in almost every if not all genres, should conclude that the lowest note is the note the sound is measured to, if not played by the instrument with the lowest sounding pitch.

Our ears structurally hear things from low to high, and thus we always hear all the high notes in reference to the lowest note, which dominates.

The matter here is actually about voicings, and I do agree that a lot can be said how (inner and outer) voicings move from one to another.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 22, 2012,
#12
fixed^

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#13
One problem though: you can have slash chords that are not inversions such as G/F. Inversions are just the subset of slash chords that use non-root chord tones in the bass.
#14
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
^You've been taught wrong. Inversion just refers to which note is in the bass, it's irrespective of what the ordering is above it.

This. The only time the order is relevant is if you're specifically playing a closed voicing.
#15
Quote by bouttimeijoined
One problem though: you can have slash chords that are not inversions such as G/F. Inversions are just the subset of slash chords that use non-root chord tones in the bass.


G/F is G7 (*shudder*) in third inversion...