Confusion about naming of G/F# chord

So I’m working on learning “Songbird” by Oasis as a module 8 song, using the Big G, Em7, and a chord that the songbook and chord library call G/F# - I’m just confused as to why this chord is called what it is.

The chord library says:
“This is a G chord with an F# bass! So, we abbreviate it to G/F# - many will say it G over F#. I call it a Slash Chord! This grip contains the notes G, B and D, and F#.”

…but the grip in the diagram (both in the Chord Library and in the beginner songbook) doesn’t have a B in it - just G, D, and F# (which would be root, 5th and 7th). I do remember that Justin isn’t a fan of the B in a regular G chord (i.e. he usually omits the 3rd) - is that why this grip omits the B (rather than, say, putting a finger on the 2nd fret of the A string instead of muting it)?

I’ve picked up that the “slash F#” indicates that the F# is the bass note, but am otherwise unclear about why this chord is named the way it is, since F# is not part of a normal G chord (G,B,D). F# is part of Gmaj7 - so why isn’t it named Gmaj7/F#?

This doesn’t affect my playing of the song, obviously, just a curiosity - I’ve had just enough music theory to be confused by it, but not enough to understand. :nerd_face:

Also, at the top of the page, under the title (G/F#), it says “Learn how to play D/F# chord and its variations on the guitar. This is an essential slash chord!” - I’m assuming this is a typo?

Edited to add screenshot of what I think is a typo:


The normal G chord has a G note as it’s bass note.

A G/F# has an F# note as it’s bass note.

That is, basically, what it means.

Note that the F# is not a note that is normally in the chord. If it was, that would simply make it an inversion.

I think the missing B is optional. For practical purposes, it’s not easy to fret the B note at the same time as the F#.

As for the D/F#, I think it’s just a suggestion. It is an important '“slash” chord to know and is, generally used far more than G/F#.



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Hello Hilary,

  1. Any note can be a bass note in a slash chord. It doesnt have to be related to the chord. It often is though, or is part of the scale.
  2. Gmaj7 implies an F#, so Gmaj7/F# is somewhat redundant.
    As Justin notes at the bottom, this fingering is often used as a transition chord, rather than hanging on it.
    Like in a chromatic walkdown baseline say from G-F#-F. I imagine this is the reason for dropping the B. It would likely muddy the sound, and make this walkdown less pronounced.

Cheers, Shane

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Agree with @Majik !

Hi Shane,
Thanks for your answer!

This is helpful to know!

I understand that Gmaj7 contains F# by definition, but I’m not totally clear on why naming it Gmaj7/F# would be a redundancy. If you just said “Gmaj7,” wouldn’t you assume that G is the bass? So wouldn’t adding the “/F#” would clarify that it’s being used as the bass?

And yes - I see it’s used as a transition chord between the G and Em7 in the song I’m learning.

I added a screenshot above - I’m not questioning that D/F# is a useful chord, just that it doesn’t belong on the G/F# chord library page.

I understood that F# is not normally in a G chord, and that the slash means it’s being used as the bass note - my confusion was elsewhere (I think I’m starting to get there with Shane’s answer below), but thank you for your answer!

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It looks like a typo. When you find typo’s or mistakes on the web site it is best to report them to the mods so it can be fix.

@Richard_close2u Can you look in to the Screen shot Southpaw6 posted
Thank You

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Definitely a simple typo. Thanks for the report and thanks @stitch too.

As regards the chord, it can of course be played without the stuck 3&4 fingers and using the open 2nd string - which gives the note B in the chord.
Playing a low B against the low F# will sound somewhat meh.
Given that B is the 3rd you could, perhaps, call it a G5/F#.
But the conventionally understood and used name is simply G/F#.

To call it Gmaj7/F# implies another F# note higher in pitch elsewhere on the chord.
Again, theoreticallly, this might not be 100% strictly accurate but is what we hear spoken and see written in common usage.

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It makes more sense now. Thanks so much for clarifying!

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someone fixed it already (Richard’s quick)

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