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Watch the Slash Chord Science online guitar lesson by Brad Carlton from Guitar Lab: Slash Chord Science

Slash chords are an effective way of notating inversions of triads, extended harmonies, and tension oriented sonorities. The concept of a triad over a bass note serves not only in the solo guitar realm, but also in an ensemble situation in which the bass note is played by the bass player thus freeing up the guitarist both technically and texturally to use major or minor triads in various inversions as a springboard for melodic fills. Another added benefit of viewing harmony via slash chords is the ease of determining what scale or scales apply for comping and soloing.

This course will develop your skills in the following areas: visualizing major and minor arpeggios and chord voicings over the entire fingerboard, understanding street key versus theoretical key analysis, chromatic bassline options under major and minor chords, and common slash chord formulas applied to bichordal progressions.

You will be challenged from a technical standpoint by looking at all of your fingering options when playing these slash chords. These options include: one finger per note fingerings, double stop fingerings with one finger, crossbarres, pivot and guide fingers, and barres of various sizes.

Slash Chord Soloing will present 13 bi-chordal vamps that are common building blocks for compositions across all styles. Each progression will be analyzed according to both the street key and the theoretical key. In some cases, more than one theoretical key will be an option. By understanding these vamps using the number system, you will be able to play them in any key and also recognize them by ear.

Diagrams will be provided for each lesson which will be color-coded using red scale degrees for the chord tones (arpeggios) and black scale degrees for the remaining notes available in the applicable scales/modes. You will learn how to enhance your rhythm playing in a pianistic style by using the theory as it applies to each chord. This same theory will be used for soloing over these progressions. I will demonstrate both horizontal and vertical approaches based on stylistic considerations.

You will receive two jam tracks for each lesson, one consisting of just bass and drums which you will use for your rhythm playing, and one with bass, drums, and guitar for practicing your soloing.

Slash Chord Workouts will focus on the seven diatonic triads in the key of C and the slash chords produced when these triads are played over any of the seven notes in the key of C. You will learn to visualize the arpeggios for these seven diatonic triads through a one note per string format for all three inversions. Various examples of bi-chordal progressions will be demonstrated with specific emphasis on moving voices and chord embellishments. You will learn how to play the slash chords with the bass lines thus enabling you to approach the guitar and piano style. This will present technical challenges that will help you understand harmonically the " big picture". Lesson eight will provide jam tracks which include a bass line thus freeing you up to play in more of a band context.

This workout will help your ears, your hands, and your brain.