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Movable Slash Chords - Alternate Bass Up The Neck

In the first lesson on alternate bass chords, we learned how changing the bass note of chords changed their sound and function in a progression.

But what if we want to get a similar sound further up the neck, to replace the standard barre chord forms? This lesson will show you how to build slash chords all over the neck using movable shapes and provide you with some examples of how they can be used in chord progressions.

By experimenting with alternate bass in your songwriting, you can create fresh sounds and invoke certain moods that wouldn't be attainable using more typical chord shapes. Start with the presentation below...


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Movable Alternate Bass Chord Shapes

Just like barre chords, we can build slash (alternate bass) chord shapes that can be positioned at any fret. In the video, I showed you how to locate the position of these shapes.

Here's a chord chart showing you the fingerings for the main major and minor shapes on one tab and the intervals on the other tab (this is primarily so you can see where the root lies in the shape).

Major Slash Chords

Starting with the major 3rd (3) in the bass...

Now with the 5th of the chord (5) in the bass...

Minor Slash Chords

First placing the minor 3rd (♭3) in the bass...

And finally, the 5th in the bass...

Using Slash Chords in Progressions

Some examples of how you could modify a standard progression to include alternate bass. The root bass is in red, the alternate bass in blue.

Of course, if you're playing with a bassist, they will determine where the bass goes for each chord. But as a songwriter, or if you're just playing by yourself, you can use alternate bass positions to create the mood you're trying to convey. Let your ideas flow freely and try changing each chord to hear the different possibilities.

Think about how the bass line flows through the chord changes - slash chords can help you find a more melodic bass line, which is especially useful for fingerstyle playing.


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