Slash Chords for Piano

Slash Chords are denoted by the use of a forward slash (“/”) in the spelling. For example C/E (C slash E) or F/G (F slash G). The forward slash is used to spell out an inversion of a particular chord. If you’re not familiar with what a chord inversion is or you have forgotten, use the navigation bar to your left and view our lesson on chord inversions.

When forming these chords, the base note (beginning or lowest tone or note of the chord) will always be different than the root note of a chord. The root note is the note or tone name of a chord. The root note of C major is “C”, root note of G minor 7th is “G” and so on.

The chord name will always precede or be to the left of the forward slash and the bass note to the right or after the forward slash. So, C/E is the 1st inversion of a C major chord and would have an E note or tone as the base note followed by the notes G and C. Now, this particular chord could be played using just the right hand as shown below,

Or by using the left hand to add the base note or tone as shown here.

Either way is correct it just depends on how the chord is annotated or spelled out either on a piece of sheet music, or how the composer or writer of a song or piece of music wants it played to obtain a particular sound or tonal quality.

F/G is actually one way to annotate or denote an F 9th chord. The F major chord is played with the right hand and a G note or tone is played with the left hand. The G note can be played alone as shown below, or with an octave G note.