Generic "Slash Bass" Leadsheet Notation Codified

J.Brent©2005

The number symbol after the slash is a Bass Note.

Ex:  Dm7/G (D minor seventh chord over a G bass note)

* * * * * * *

Writing a "chord over bass note symbol" using roman numerals
and "Generic Slash Bass Notation"

Dm7/G (in C) is written as iim7/4

The "4" after the slash represents the bass note's degree
in relation to the root of the chord

G is the 4 of Dm

* * * * * * *

Naturals

Bass notes without a flat or a sharp in front of them are considered "naturals"
in relation to the major scale built off the root of the chord:

2 = M2 = 2 half-steps from the root

3 = M3 = 4 half-steps from the root

4 = P4 = 5 half-steps from the root

5 = P5 = 7 half-steps from the root

6 = M6 = 9 half-steps from the root

7 = M7 = 11 half-steps from the root


* * * * * * *

Complete Generic Slash Bass Notation Chart

Slash Bass Notation
interval
half-steps
/b2
m2
1 half-step from the root
/2
M2
2 half-steps from the root
b3
m3
3 half-steps from the root
/3
M3
4 half-steps from the root
/4
P4
5 half-steps from the root
/#4
aug4
6 half-steps from the root
/b5
dim5
6 half-steps from the root
/5
P5
7 half-steps from the root
/#5
aug5
8 half-steps from the root
/b6
m6
8 half-steps from the root
/6
M6
9 half-steps from the root
/b7
m7
10 half-steps from the root
/7
M7
11 half-steps from the root

 

* * * * * * *

Simple examples:

C/D = I/2

G7/B = V7/3

Am/G# = vim/7


Examples in common progressions:

1:
Am:

| Am  AmM7/G# | Am/G    Am6/F# |
| im  imM7/7  | im7/b7  im6/6  |


2:
Am:

| Am  C/G    | D7/F#   F  |
| im  bIII/5 | IV7/3  bVI |


3:
G:

| Am7  Am7/B  Am7/C   Am7/C# | D7 |
| iim7 iim7/2 iim7/b3 iim7/3 | V7 |


4:
C:

|       C      |    E/B      | A7   A7/G   |
|       I      |   III/5     | VI7  VI7/b7 |

| A7/E   A7/C# | D7   D7/Ab  | G7    G7/B  |
| VI7/5  VI7/3 | II7  II7/b5 | V7    V7/3  |


* * * * * * *


Tunes That Change Tonal Centers

Some tunes start out in major and then move to the relative minor
at the bridge (and vice versa), and then there are tunes like "Giant Steps".


"Giant Steps" (in 2/4)
by Tonal Center

B:   (| C#m | F#7 )| BMaj7 |
(| iim | V7 ) | Imaj7 |
   
G: | D7 | GMaj7 |
| V7 | Imaj7 |
   
Eb: | Bb7 | EbMaj7 | EbMaj7 |
| V7  | Imaj7  |   %    |
   
G: | Am  | D7 | GMaj7 |
| iim | V7 | Imaj7 |
   
Eb: | Bb7 | EbMaj7 |
| V7  | Imaj7  |
   
B: | F#7 | BMaj7 | BMaj7 |
| V7  | Imaj7 | Imaj7 |
 
Eb: | Fm | Bb7 | EbMaj7 | EbMaj7 |
| iim | V7 | Imaj7  |   %    |
   
G: | Am  | D7 | GMaj7 | GMaj7 |
| iim | V7 | Imaj7 |   %   |
   
B: | C#m | F#7 | BMaj7 | BMaj7 |
| iim | V7  | Imaj7 |   %   |
   
Eb: | Fm  | Bb7 | EbMaj7 | EbMaj7 |
| iim | V7  | Imaj   |   %    |
   

Specify the tonal center above each relevant juncture


"Giant Steps" (in 2/4):
in Generic Slash Bass Notation

 

B: G: Eb:
(| iim | V7 )| Imaj7 | V7 | Imaj7 | V7 | Imaj7 |   %   |
     
G: Eb: B:
| iim | V7   | Imaj7 | V7 | Imaj7 | V7 | Imaj7 | Imaj7 |
     

   
Eb: G:
| iim | V7 | Imaj7 | % | iim | V7 | Imaj7 | % |
   
B: Eb:
| iim | V7 | Imaj7 | % | iim | V7 | Imaj  | % |
   

* * * * * * *

Thanks to Barry Dallman, Rick Zelle, Ryan Cullen, Sid Thomas and
Scot Ranney of the Piano Guild at http://LearnJazzPiano.com
for their inspiration, comments and observations during the stages of this article.

7



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