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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.