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# what does this mean? D/Ab

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(@michhill8)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter

What chord is D/Ab, in a powertab, I have a hunch it might be the bass note along with it? Or am I completely wrong?

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Pat

(@call_me_kido)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 188

Yes thats a Bass note addition

Kido

(@michhill8)
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Topic starter

which one is the bass note?

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat

(@slothrob)
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Posts: 477

Edit: Sorry, Ab, or apparently G# (see discussion below), is the bass note. Hope I didn't confuse anyone.

(@alex_)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 611

D over Ab..

it means its a chord with both them notes..

im 99% positive its a diminished chord..

D and Ab is a diminished 5th interval..

so it would be

D F Ab.. so a D diminished in second inversion where Ab is the root note.
D is the bass note. I can't help but wonder if this song is in drop D tuning.

no it isnt.. when you see Note/Note.. the last note is the bass note..

A/C..

C is the bass note

B/F#

F# is the bass note..

**

first note is the chord being played.
second note is the bass note of the chord indicated by the first note.

(@michhill8)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter

thanks guys

I still have a lot to learn about theory, so the last post went a bit over my head. But.. I am learning. Thanks.

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat

(@alex_)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 611

sorry.. ill do a short and simple, i didnt mean for it to be difficult..

Y/Z ..

Y = chord
Z = note of chord in the bass..

so..

C/E..

Y (C) = is the chord.. so we have C major (C E G)
Z (E) = is in the chord.. the second note.. so it would be E G C

which is called first inversion

(@taso)
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Posts: 2852

so basically, Ab is the bass note.

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Yes D is the chord and Ab is the augmented bass note.

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(@alex_)
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Posts: 611

augmented bass note?!??!?!?!?!?!!?

how can a bass note be augmented?

you have a chord.. the bass note is one note of that chord that is the lowest sounding.. augmentation has nothing to do with it..

****

you need to be more specific with chord naming..

"D" is not "the chord" because there are so many types of chords you cant say a letter and "chord" and expect people to know what it is..

could be D major/minor/aug/dim/dom7/half-dim,6th/9th etc etc..

when you say a name like D chord people take it as major.. its a default thing.. its the only way people know what chord your talking about without saying what it is..

seing as this is a diminished chord.. "D is the chord", basically says D major with Ab being the 'augmented' bass note.

its D diminished, with Ab as the bass note.

diminished chords have diminished intervals (not augmented).

(@planetalk)
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D is the chord, Ab the bass note. Ab is the flat 5 of D, so it's an odd sounding chord, probably part of a descending bass-line section of the tune. I don't think I'd call it diminished as the rest of the chord is pristine. I don't think I've ever encountered such a chord ... it sounds godawful.

Kirk

Kirk

(@noteboat)
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One problem with chord symbols is that people who use them don't always understand what they're saying. That leads to some confrontation with people who do understand what they're saying... as with Alex above.

When you play a number of notes at the same time, you have some sort of chord voicing. In this case, the notes are D-F#-A (from the D chord), and Ab (from the bass notation). You can't have two different tones with the same note name, so one of those As has to go... the bass note should really be noted G#.

That gives us D-F#-A-G#, or 1-3-5-#11. Raised 11th chords are common enough - Kirk, you've probably run across voicings like A13+11, which has both the fifth and raised fourth in it. They sure can sound godawful - but they can still be used with the right resolution.

It's likely the notation occurs in a moving bass line, as Kirk suggests. Proper notation would still be D/G#, though.

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(@planetalk)
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Thanks for that Noteboat, I was only responding to the original post with the Ab. I do know it's G#.

But, doesn't any mention of a number greater that 7 mean in the next octave ... above? How can a +11 be a bass note? I've never heard of that either. To me, that's a sharp four/flat five.

Kirk

Kirk

(@greybeard)
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I would have thought that to have been what you say it is, Noteboat, it would have to be called a D#11/G#.

The chord is (without the slashed extension) a D chord and I've only ever seen (not that I've seen everything, by any means) a slash showing an inversion of the chord not it's extension.

Is this notation common?

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(@noteboat)
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Any chord can be played with any note in the bass - they're just different voicings as long as they have the same notes... so it's quite proper to put the 11 in the bass if you feel like it. The same is true of the 9th or 13th.

(Please note - I'm not getting into the intricacies of harmony and counterpoint here - there are times when you shouldn't have a note in a particular voice... but in the context of chord progressions like this it doesn't matter much.)

One more thing about the D/F#, just so we don't get confused - it's not a D+11 chord; it's missing the neccesary b7. If you wanted to write it as a chord form, it would be Dadd+11 (or #11 if you prefer)

Greybeard, the evolution of it, at least in what I've seen, is the other way around - 'slash' chords started out to indicate a non-chordal bass note. It's true that we often see notations like D/F# now, and in a way it irks me - I think the whole purpose of a chord notation is to indicate the skeleton of the harmony, then leave it up to the performer's discretion as to how it should be carried out. Although slash notation of inversions may make it 'easier' to duplicate the exact sound on a recording, in my opinion it takes some of the fun out of things.

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