So I'm trying to learn chords but I'm having trouble understanding these ones at the last bar.

For left hand I play
Bb/F - F-Bb-D OK!
C-7/F (I think thats a 7 or 9) - Not sure how to play this? It's not an inversion?
F7 - F-A-C-Eb

Forgive me for the simplicity of this question, I don't know any musicians

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Yes, you're right, it's C-7/F. You can think of it as an F9sus4 since it's being used as a dominant chord in the key, which is Bb major. The last bar shows a repeat sign, which means you play Bb major again.

How To Play The Chords
Here's how you can play them.

The configuration of the chord notes don't really matter as long as F is the lowest note in your LH (if you're playing solo piano, otherwise a bass player would take that note). Here's an example, when reading left to right, the notes ascend.

ex) Bb/F RH = Bb F Bb LH = FD

Here's a potential voicing for C-7/F:

RH = C G Bb LH = F Eb

Notice how the notes from C-7 (CEbGBb) are spread out between the hands? F is the lowest note in the LH.

Hope this helps. If you need more clarification just ask.

  • Ah thank you, the F9sus4 makes sense! I havent been spreading it as u suggested but ive kept it relatively simple with the chords on the left and melody on the right. Is this not an good approach for the future. And is it OK to invert thr F9sus4 or must the F always be lowest in this case – user153882 Mar 29 '16 at 2:04
  • The F does not have to be the lowest. Depending on what genre you're playing, the F doesn't even need to be in the chord. For instance, in jazz, the F would be played by the bass player and I would not play it most times. You asked if its a good approach...it's fine, but you'll probably want to learn more voicings for that chord. If you're playing solo piano, then spreading the chord out will give you a much more rich sound. There are many methods for voicing. You should look into it more. – 02fentym Mar 29 '16 at 4:56

While a slash chord typically has the bass note as part of chord, it is not required that it is part of the chord. The first slash chord is obviously a B♭ chord in second inversion where as the second slash chord just a Cm7 with an F in the bass. The F is not part of the Cm7 chord, but works well with where the progression wants to go. The Cm7 itself can be looked at as a stepping stone on the way to F7 which the F in the bass clearly shows and relays even though it is not part of the chord itself.

In both cases, you want the lowest note you play to be an F. You have a lot more freedom with the exact the voicings from there, just keep the basics of voice leading in mind and keep the closes chord tones in mind. For example, just assuming you are adding 4 more notes to your chords on top of the F in the bass you could use these notes in any order:

B♭ -> B♭ -> A
D  -> C  -> C
F  -> G  -> F
F  -> E♭ -> E♭

This is just one of many possibilities you could do.

  • Im sorry, i dont quite understand what youve written in the box. So with F lowest key in bass, i can add? F-Bb-Bb-A left hand? – user153882 Mar 29 '16 at 2:10
  • @user153882 it's a possible voicing lines you could use to minimize distance moved. The arrow represent changing notes to change chords so you would have one line the goes Bb, Bb, A in your voicing another that goes D, D, C ect. – Dom Mar 29 '16 at 2:15

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