#1
If a second inversion of a triad doesn't have the third as the third note in ascending order, say it jumps up a fifth instead of a third, Is it still a second inversion or would it be a slash cord (D/A for example).
#2
I'm confused about what's happening here.

If it's a D major triad, it's a D major triad.

Do you mean A F# D as the second inversion instead of A D F#?
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#3
The only note that matters for slash chords and inversions is the bass note. If the fifth is in the bass then it's a second inversion chord, regardless of how the notes above it are organized. Same deal for a slash chord.
#4
No I mean if it's spelt A D A F# or A D A D F#, when it's first 3 notes in ascending order are A D A.
#5
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
The only note that matters for slash chords and inversions is the bass note. If the fifth is in the bass then it's a second inversion chord, regardless of how the notes above it are organized. Same deal for a slash chord.

Okay that answers it. Thanks.
#6
Quote by macashmack
No I mean if it's spelt A D A F# or A D A D F#, when it's first 3 notes in ascending order are A D A.

That's just a second inversion.
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#7
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
The only note that matters for slash chords and inversions is the bass note. If the fifth is in the bass then it's a second inversion chord, regardless of how the notes above it are organized. Same deal for a slash chord.


what He said
#8
slash indicates a bass tone, not necessarily inversion. It is inversion if it's a note in the chord, but slashes are frequently used specifically to indicate non-chord tones in the bass.

Usually when I think of chord inversion on the guitar neck, I think of tightly voiced chords, like on 3 or 4 adjacent strings. Slash chords, however, usually indicate a bass line, so I'd think of them as a split voiced chord with the bass in a lower register than the rest of the chord.

If asked to play a C7 in First Inversion, I would play x7658x

If C7/E, I'd play x7x586
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 23, 2013,
#9
Quote by cdgraves
slash indicates a bass tone, not necessarily inversion. It is inversion if it's a note in the chord, but slashes are frequently used specifically to indicate non-chord tones in the bass.

Usually when I think of chord inversion on the guitar neck, I think of tightly voiced chords, like on 3 or 4 adjacent strings. Slash chords, however, usually indicate a bass line, so I'd think of them as a split voiced chord with the bass in a lower register than the rest of the chord.

If asked to play a C7 in First Inversion, I would play x7658x

If C7/E, I'd play x7x586

I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure both of those are first inversion.
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Quote by captainsnazz
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#10
Quote by BladeSlinger
I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure both of those are first inversion.

They are. I was showing how a slash chord can differ from inversion. Inversion necessarily refers only to notes already in the chord, while slashes can indicate any note in a bass voice.
#11
So called 'Slash' chords refer to the lowest note in an inverted chord. Therefore the indicated note, being a sound we hear in the chord, by definition MUST be and IS a part of the chord. This has been misused so much that it seems to have caused some confusion but it's pretty straightforward. When I see someone transcribing a progression like this: C C/B Am I know that nine times out of ten it's a G/B not a Cmaj7/B <----- see what I did? When the note B is added to a C major triad, the chord becomes Cmaj7. If you truly are hearing the notes C E G and B, no matter WHICH one is the lowest, it is a Cmaj7 chord.

To sum up, the note written after the slash is a note INCLUDED in the chord that is heard as the lowest sounding note. If the root is the lowest, it's root position, if the next note (interval of a 3rd) is the lowest, first inversion, the next note (5th) second inversion, next note (7th) third inversion. However, in practical terms, most of us don't refer to which inversion a chord is in, we just indicate the lowest note after the slash.
Last edited by P_Trik at Jul 24, 2013,
#12
Inversions are the limited versions of slash chords.

Let me give you an example.

C major root position has C on the bottom in the bass
C major first inversion has E on the bottom in the bass
C major second inversion has G on the bottom in the bass

Those are all you possibilities with classical notation. But with slash notation, you can do pretty much anything for X in

C/X except for C/C, C/B#, and C/Dbb (cuz they're just silly and redundant).

All other values for X are pretty much fair game. (C/Gb and C/Db will probably piss someone off though.. haha).

Conclusion - inversion notation is more elegant, refined, and structured; slash notation is more functional, flexible, and applicable to daily use.
#13
Wait...what? What are you asking? Slash chords ARE inversions really. They're a way that many guitar players have decided to denote inversions. An inversion chord is simply a chord where the root note is NOT in the bass.
#14
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Wait...what? What are you asking? Slash chords ARE inversions really. They're a way that many guitar players have decided to denote inversions. An inversion chord is simply a chord where the root note is NOT in the bass.

Not really. Inversions are limited to two or three manipulations of the interval series of a chord (two if it's a triad, three if it's a seventh chord). Slash chords are a notation to indicate which note is in the bass, but that note doesn't necessarily have to be a chord tone. Slash chords can indicate inversion, but voicing that specific is usually left up to the discretion of the guitar player in pop/jazz. Very often they're indicating a bass line (which may or may not indicate an actual inversion).
#15
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Not really. Inversions are limited to two or three manipulations of the interval series of a chord (two if it's a triad, three if it's a seventh chord). Slash chords are a notation to indicate which note is in the bass, but that note doesn't necessarily have to be a chord tone. Slash chords can indicate inversion, but voicing that specific is usually left up to the discretion of the guitar player in pop/jazz. Very often they're indicating a bass line (which may or may not indicate an actual inversion).

Let's look at the big picture of a slash chord. Suppose you have a Camjor chord and you add a B note in the bass. So, now we've decided to notate this as C/B. What is the overall harmony of this chord? Cmaj7. (B is not normally a chord tone in a Cmajor chord, as you know).
Another example: C7 chord, add a Eb note. Notate it as C7/Eb. Overall harmony? C7#9.

While traditionally inversions are limited to 2 or 3 manipulations of the chord, you can have more possible inversions than just 2 or 3. We just don't tend to think of slash chords as inversions, despite the fact that, functionally, they most certainly are. If they functionally are so, then why not think of them as so?
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jul 25, 2013,
#16
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Let's look at the big picture of a slash chord. Suppose you have a Camjor chord and you add a B note in the bass. So, now we've decided to notate this as C/B. What is the overall harmony of this chord? Cmaj7. (B is not normally a chord tone in a Cmajor chord, as you know).
Another example: C7 chord, add a Eb note. Notate it as C7/Eb. Overall harmony? C7#9.

Okay.

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
While traditionally inversions are limited to 2 or 3 manipulations of the chord, you can have more possible inversions than just 2 or 3. We just don't tend to think of slash chords as inversions, despite the fact that, functionally, they most certainly are. If they functionally are so, then why not think of them as so?

It's not traditional, that's what inversions are. There's no such thing as fourth inversion. Like it or not, that's the way the western world has decided to codify music. C7/Eb is not C7#9 in fourth inversion. The harmony is C7#9, but in reality it's C7 with an Eb in the bass that will often be functioning as part of a stepwise bass line in the voicing.

More to the point, I'm not saying slash chords can't be inversions. What I'm saying is that classifying slash chords and inversions as the same isn't really true. They're different things for different contexts. Most importantly, slash chords are a notational tool and inversions are a principle of music. You can use slash chords to notate inversions or use them for something something else, specifically a bass line. Like I said though, usually the minutiae of chord voicings are left up the discretion of a guitarist. If a slash chord is used, it's often for the specific purpose of indicating bass line.
#17
harmony =/= chord. Assuming it's named correctly, C/F# isn't an inversion of C, it's C with a non-chord note in the bass. That's what slashes do best - indicate non-chord tones in the bass.
#18
Quote by P_Trik
Therefore the indicated note, being a sound we hear in the chord, by definition MUST be and IS a part of the chord. This has been misused so much that it seems to have caused some confusion but it's pretty straightforward. When I see someone transcribing a progression like this: C C/B Am I know that nine times out of ten it's a G/B not a Cmaj7/B <----- see what I did? When the note B is added to a C major triad, the chord becomes Cmaj7. If you truly are hearing the notes C E G and B, no matter WHICH one is the lowest, it is a Cmaj7 chord.


It doesn't necessarily become a Cmaj7 because a B appears somewhere while a C triad is being played. That's overanalyzing the harmony at the expense of melody. Slash chords typically indicate voice leading in the bass, which means there is melody involved.

In your example, that B is not a functional 7th to the C major chord. Rather, it's a melody line that leads to a different harmony. Basically, a passing tone.

Now, you could play it with such a rhythm that it does function as a 7th, but the very common bass pattern you're referencing has the characteristic sound of a passing/non-chord tone.

If you're analyzing ONLY for chordal information, sure, it's a Cmaj7, but in actual usage function matters and there is definitely not a complete overlap between C/B and Cmaj7 in third inversion. You need more than a passing tone in one voice to re-establish the actual harmony.
#19
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
It's not traditional, that's what inversions are. There's no such thing as fourth inversion. Like it or not, that's the way the western world has decided to codify music. C7/Eb is not C7#9 in fourth inversion. The harmony is C7#9, but in reality it's C7 with an Eb in the bass that will often be functioning as part of a stepwise bass line in the voicing.

I understand that. I'm saying that they can functionally be "act" like inversions sometimes.
It's sort of a similar principle to chord substitution. A I IV V I progression is not the same as an I VI V I progression, but it can "feel" the same, if used in the right context.

More to the point, I'm not saying slash chords can't be inversions. What I'm saying is that classifying slash chords and inversions as the same isn't really true. They're different things for different contexts. Most importantly, slash chords are a notational tool and inversions are a principle of music. You can use slash chords to notate inversions or use them for something something else, specifically a bass line. Like I said though, usually the minutiae of chord voicings are left up the discretion of a guitarist. If a slash chord is used, it's often for the specific purpose of indicating bass line.

I agree with all of that.

Edit:
I'm pretty sure I explained my earlier points badly, and now I'm not sure how to say what I mean without sounding like a dumbass, lol.

Edit2:
Either the guy below me is an adbot, or he's in the habit of spouting nonsense...
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jul 25, 2013,
#21
Pretty sure this thread is proof of misuse leading to misunderstanding. Good luck to everyone studying music, talk to your professors, show them this site, make this part of your discussions.
#22
to take the easy path...for me..inversions of base chords are...1 3 5 7 this includes major minor and dominate...diatonic harmony...any other note in the base (to me) becomes a slash chord...this would include extensions and altered tones in the dominate quality chords..example: the upper partials for a E7#9 (hendrix chord fingering) becomes Bb13/E .. when working with studio lead sheets...this type of thing happens all the time...it causes confusion at the very least..but the writter may not be thinking of E7#9 because of the flow of the progression..the next chord may be in Ebmajor or Fmajor or because he/she had way too much coffee..
Last edited by wolflen at Aug 1, 2013,
#23
The discussion can go on and on and on. Point is, if you add a B to a C chord, bass note or otherwise, I hear the slightly jazzy tension of Cmaj7, if you add a Bb, the strong tension of C7, if you play the C chord and play an A for a bass note, I hear Am7, not C, and will name it that. The misuse and misnaming of chords has led to a great deal of misunderstanding and we all need to work on changing that and fixing it so the learning musicians using UG are supported and well informed so they in turn can pass along good information.