Learn to play ukulele : How to read ukulele slash chords

How to read ukulele slash chords

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Level: Beginner
Type: Lesson

Many ukulele transcriptions feature slashed chords, such as C/B or D/F#. They may look a little bit complicated, but these chords are relatively simple to play.

C/B slash chord  F/C slash chord

Here is how to read them :

  • The letter before the slash refers to the chord name itself,
  • The letter after the slash refers to a single bass note,
In a few words this means that the chord has an altered Bass Note. This kind of chords almost always come from the guitar, because they permit guitarists to add a certain nuance. But the problem for uke players is that a ukulele only has 4 strings, and the effect of the bass note is not easy to achieve...

Why? Mainly because most of the time the uke just doesn't have the range to do so! And when it's possible, the bass note is probably already a part of the unslashed chord... (ie. D chord is formed with the notes D,A,D,F#. D/F# would be D with a F# bass note, but the F# note is already a part of the D chord)

Let's say that you can ignore the bit after the slash and play the usual chord shape, it's less confusing. You'll surely miss a certain nuance, but it's safe. :)

List of some ukulele slash chords.

Lesson by , 26 May 2009

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