©2014-2020 All Rights Reserved - Simplifying Theory. Sus2 chords work the same way, except the second degree of the scale is used in place of the third. Suspension is a great way to make your music sound different and interesting. It looks to me like the major I chord appears a bit, which would make sense as we’re suspending the resolution. Basic G Triad = G B D 2. Major 2nd or Perfect 4th. Suspended fourths (sus4) chords are more common than suspended seconds (sus2) chords. You can hear a gear 9sus4 chord at the end of the phrase “mellow as the month of May” (at 0:30) in this great Carol King hit. Great, then it is explained: the G7sus4 chord has no tritone and has many notes in common with the Dm7 chord. Piano Suspended Chords (Sus2 & Sus4) There are two commonly used types of suspended chords. So what Bacharach and David do instead is to suspend the E from that C major chord over to the next chord —, Cadd9     Bsus4     B We build them the same way we build sevenths: C-F-G-Bb-D. Once you start getting into these extended chords, however, they start to lose their identity as suspended chords and start to sound more like eleventh chords. Your email address will not be published. A suspended chord—abbreviated sus on music sheets and tabs—is a musical chord which is a variation on the major or minor triads. The chord progression over the melody essentially goes from C (technically, Cadd9) to B. For example, this progression: People want that initial Gsus4 chord to resolve, and when it does, it’s very pleasing. Another very common use for the suspended chord is over the sixth degree chord of the major key. Another way to use suspended chords is to borrow a trick from classical music. The uppercase letters you will see in chord symbols are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. When we suspend the relative minor, we feel an interesting impact, because the sensation of “minor chord” is very necessary in this chord, after all it is in this format that it has a lot of affinity with the main tonic (1st degree). Video Cliffs: 0:00 – Intro 0:47 – How to Create Sus2 and Sus4 Chords 1:34 – Movable Chord Shapes for Sus2 and Sus4 Chords 9:39 – How/When to Use Sus Chords in Chord Progressions. Sometimes, one chord is all you need (P.S. These letters (with and without accidentals) represent all of the notes on the staff. So now that we’ve looked into this chord type hopefully you have a better understanding of when to use suspended chords in your songwriting. Traditionally we would resolve a Sus2 or Sus4 by moving the 4th or 2nd to the 3rd which was our 'suspended' note (hence the name behind Sus chords). A sus2 or sus4 chord has no major or minor quality. They work as interesting substitution chords, they can smooth out chord progressions, and they can add unexpected tension to your music. Perfect 5th. This second way is the most common way to use them so the best way to play them is with their ‘parent' chords (both major and minor). Suspended Chords (or Sus Chords) are chords where the 3rd has been replaced by a 2nd or (usually) 4th. For example, look at the sequence below, which is in the E major key: Read the continuation of this article and many other full articles in the Simplifying Theory PDF Booklet. Or is it one of the others that are most often suspended? See the reason for this in the example below, which is a very common cadence (already studied) to resolve in minor chords: As the key here is that of C minor, the second degree has the flat fifth (Ab note, in this case). We can think of using it as a second degree when the intention is to keep the bass stationary (pedal point) in a II – V cadence. Suspended 7 – Drop 2 Chords . In practice Suspended chords have the tendency to resolve. All Rights Reserved. I too have found sus4 and sus2 chords very useful in my own songwriting. Suspended chords have a rich tradition as jazz chords, and can be found in a phenomenal number of jazz recordings from the 50s and 60s up to modern day. Scott can be reached at storybookediting@gmail.com. His new audiobook, Rivals! © 2019 Disc Makers Blog. You'll miss out on the with a suspended chord. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sometimes when we listen to musicians playing a musical arrangement, we here an open sound that creates tension that want to resolve quickly to a stable sound, you can be sure that they are suspended chord sounds created by the 4th tone of the chord. The components used to make them involve these intervals: Root. Two chords can make a song When you hit them with that next suspended chord, Spice up your musical arrangements with substitution chords, Fifth time’s the charm: The Carpenter’s smash hit, “Close to You”. We have already learned that a suspended chord is the one that does not have the third, that is, it cannot be classified as a major or minor chord. For the left hand, use fingers 5, 4, and 1 for sus2 chords; use fingers 5, 2, and 1 for sus4 chords. Another thing we’ve seen is that a chord with a fourth (tension note) usually appears as 4sus, as the fourth ends up replacing the third. When using popular-music symbols, they are indicated by the symbols "sus4" and "sus2". A-String . Using one or the other is just fine. (15 seconds in). We will start with a common suspended chord format: the V7sus4 chord. Pants series of graphic novels for kids. a little frilly something to add to your music. The Mamas & Papas were famous for unresolved sus4 chords, which they often held to build the tension at the end of phrases. The music and tab below includes all the chords and inversions posted above using the C suspended 7 chord as an example. But suspended chords offer more than just being a little frilly something to add to your music. The origin of suspended chords was the 16th century Renaissance period, no less. Suspended chords create dissonance and tension and are found in many popular songs. Brilliant article and analysis pointing to some tunes we all know and love. Suspended chords are a three-note chord used in countless forms of music. Playing the major 2nd instead of the perfect 4th, you will create a sus2 chord, whereas if you choose the … In classical compositions, a suspended chord features a note that is held over, or suspended, from the previous chord. Is the simple or obvious use: V, Sus I, I. A suspended chord typically shows horizontal motion for voice-leading. Take Tom Petty’s song, Free Fallin’ for example, which uses a combination of D, Dsus4, and Asus (depending on where you play it). Required fields are marked *. The sus2 chord replaces the third with the second note. You often hear dominant 9sus4 chords in jazz. Since the difference lies in the 3rd, the fingerings for the majority of suspended chords can be easily derived from your basic chords by rearranging your fingers in the major chord shapes. Playing suspended chords as open chords is very common on the guitar. When you hit them with that next suspended chord, in this case Dsus4, they are doubly expecting it to resolve, since you gave them that expectation already. If the resolution were C minor instead of C major in the previous example, we would need to add one more tension note. Therefor sus chords can be applied to both major and minor chords. Suspended chords can be used in place of a major chord but not so much in place of a minor chord. Suspended fourths are abbreviated [key] "sus" [type of suspension], so a suspended second in G is abbreviated Gsus2, and a suspended … it will be the sus4 version. This is mainly due to the fact that the tritone of the G7 chord disappeared when we removed its third (it was formed by the F and B notes, but now we removed the B); therefore, the G7 chord decharacterized its dominant function by becoming suspended (G7sus). When should a producer get a publishing split? For example, a Csus4 is spelled C-F-G, and a Csus2 is C-D-G. Why do birds suddenly appear. Sus4 chords can be used on their own or in figures where the suspension resolves down to the third. Frenemies Who Changed the World, has been described as “drunk history for middle-grade kids” and is available on Audible. In this context, the sixth degree is the relative minor . The song “Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock uses extended (meaning with additional notes) suspended chords. However in modern day usage anything goes on where you should resolve your Sus chord. And about a millisecond after that, they discover that vacillating between a D, Dsus4, and Dsus2 is a lot of fun. For instance, the C chord in bar 5 is approached from two chords higher (D and Db). Therefore, the chord that will replace this Dm7(b5) must also have the Ab note (the previously used G7sus4 chord does not have this note). The lack of a minor or a major third in the chord creates an open sound, while the dissonance between the fourth and fifth or second and root creates tension. Another very common use for the suspended chord is over the sixth degree chord of the major key. This is because suspended chords are unstable, and the music will sound incomplete until a suspended chord at the end of a piece of music is resolved. (Fifth, sus one, one) a pretty common use? Here, suspending that note adds a yearning tension. And finally, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” which uses suspended chords for almost the entire tune: F, Fsus4, F, Fsus2. The I chord, IV chord or V chord in a major progression. 2. And because the suspended note in this type of chord is the fourth above the root, this type of triad is called a suspended fourth. You can always slide into chords from above and below. “Pinball Wizard,” by the Who, is a famous example of suspended chords alternating with major chords. In “Care of Cell 44,” they use parallel suspended 4th chords (Bbsus4 to Asus4), which you first hear during the phrase “while you are far away” (0:13). Notice how this replacement looks: Great, this was a possible application for the suspended chord (replacing the second degree). Your email address will not be published. I’ve posted a PDF with charts and more at my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/30192877 Get my Ultimate Modal Poster! So, a C7sus4 would be voiced: C-F-G-Bb. Let’s look at the following song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.The letters you see represent the root or tonic (the first note o… As I mentioned above, simply alternating between suspended chords and major or minor chords can be a pretty fulfilling chord progression. If you are using the correct fingerings you just have to lift one finger or add a finger depending on the chord (see easy chordsfor diagrams). So if you see just a sus chord with no number after it, it implies a sus4 chord. Suspended chord shapes on the guitar can come in many different shapes and sizes. What is a Sus Chord? A suspended chord is neither major nor minor because the third has been replaced with either a fourth or a second. When we suspend the relative minor, we feel an interesting impact, because the sensation of “minor chord” is very necessary in this chord, after all it is in this format that it has a lot of affinity with the main tonic (1st degree). Sus2s want to resolve a little less strongly than sus4s, but they can still resolve up to complete a major or minor chord. Spice up your musical arrangements with substitution chords How the Suspended Chord is Made The basic definition of the suspended chord is taking away the 3rd and adding the 2nd or 4th. In fact, they are easier to play than barre chords. Using suspended chords will allow you to both expand your skills and increase your knowledge of your instrument. This trick can also be used to smooth out progressions that might otherwise feel awkward. — and suddenly the progression feels great. So, we need to add this extension, forming the G7sus4(b9) chord. Examples of Suspended Chords. As stated earlier, using triads from a tone below of the chord in question is a good way to place inversions of suspended fourth chords. A suspended chord is a musical chord in which the third is omitted, replaced usually with either a perfect fourth or a major second although the fourth is far more common. Gnarls Barkley uses a G sus 4 to G in his wonderful song, Crazy. There are actually three parts to a suspension: the preparation, the suspension, and the resolution. Match that emotion with your lyrics and you can create something very powerful. The lush world of eleventh chords Known as ‘sus’ chords for short, they can be particularly effective in adding a melodic structure to a chord progression. Or is it more likely one of the ii, iii, or vi chords that you would suspend? Generally speaking, you can test them out and use suspended chords wherever they sound good, except as the very last chord in a song. For the right hand, use fingers 1, 2, and 5 for sus2 chords; use fingers 1, 4, and 5 for sus4 chords. E-String . This type of chord, known as dominant with a suspended fourth, usually appears replacing the second degree. Suspended chords are mainly used to substitute minor or major chords, providing more interesting tones. Now that we are more advanced, we will see the most common cases where these chords appear. In this series of lessons, we started with basic open chords, then moved on to barre chords, and now we’re looking at suspended chords. Just add a seventh note and you’ve got a fresh approach to a dominant chord. 1. But the question still remains, “when do you use suspended chords?”. D-String . I’m wondering if some chords in a progression are more “suspendable”, as in what chords in a progression are most often suspended? Fingering suspended chords is easy. “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Composers grew bored of endless, pure chords and wanted to … First up is the Zombies, who used them all the time. “Cold as Ice,” by Foreigner, alternates between suspended and minor chords (Ebsus4 to Eb minor). The awesome power of power chords. Of the two, the sus4 version is much more popular – so much so that if you ever see the chord just written as Gsus (or Esus, Dsus, etc.) However, we have not yet talked about the application of this type of chord, since we needed a theoretical base for this. You may see “Free Fallin’” notated as using a Csus4 chord instead of Fsus2, though they are in fact the same chord: Csus4=C-F-G, Fsus2=F-G-C.). You also don't end a song with a suspended chord. Gsus4 = Gsus = G C D The sus4 chord is much more common than the sus2 chord, so the ‘4’ is often dropped. This “impact” of suspending it is usually explored when you want to keep the song without resting, giving an idea of “continuity”. Gsus2 = G A D 3. In this exercise, we are going to make use of 3 chords… Using suspended chords in your songwriting. Maybe the most famous use of a 7sus4 chord is in “Hey Jude.” You can hear a C7sus4 briefly on the word “song” in the first verse. 1. These types of chords can stand on their own, however, more often than not, they are used in a way that embellishes the parent. Scott McCormick is a musician and the author of the Mr. Sus chords can be used either as a cool-sounding chords in their own right or as ‘ornamental' chords that you might use to embellish a simple chord progression. Here’s two of my favourite examples: Sus 4. The most common use of suspended chords is using a sus4 chord and resolving it to its major counterpart (Csus4 - C or Fsus4 - F etc.) About 30 seconds after learning how to play a D chord on a guitar, most beginners are likely to discover the joy of adding their pinky finger to the third fret of that high E string, thus creating a Dsus4. Csus2 = 1 - 2 - 5 = C - D - G. Csus4 = 1 - 4 - 5 = C - F - G; There is some controversy surrounding the use of Sus2. If you play those two chords and try to sing along —, Cadd9     B Knowing this, you can play with people’s expectations and create some nice tension. Each of these letters may also be accompanied by a sharp (♯) or flat (♭). Another way to use suspended chords is to borrow a trick from classical music. It has been included to give context to the shapes above if you are not … Substituting a suspended chord for a major chord — and not resolving it — is a neat trick that can make a mundane progression sound fresh. I’ll leave you with two great songs that feature prominent suspended chords. This can add urgency to your music without including chords that people might feel are “unpleasant.”. For example, replace a G chord with a Gsus4: C, Am, F, Gsus4, C. Suspended chords can be expanded beyond simple triads. Why do birds suddenly appear, — you’ll notice how harsh the progression seems. (What’s more, the very next chord is a B minor, so that suspension highlights some nice chromatic movement, E to D# to D.), Although few would classify suspended chords as especially dissonant, they certainly feel unresolved, and people really want them to resolve. In addition, it is interesting to notice that the B note does not belong to the Dm7 chord, so its withdrawal allowed an even greater similarity between these chords. So, for example, rather than use the progression C, G, C, a composer might want to hold on to the tension a little longer and linger on that C note, using this progression: C, Csus2, G, C. The next thing they’re likely to learn is that by removing all fingers from that E string, they can play a Dsus2 chord. The more you know about the guitar, the easier you will find it to write perfect songs, as you will be able to throw in suspended chords whenever necessary to create bold and appealing pieces of music. They have a really cool, “open” sound to them. Suspended chords. If you were to refuse to resolve that chord, you leave people hanging. Suspended Chord formulas. The first thing to understand in chord symbols is the letters. For example, the suspended fourth and second chords built on C, written as Csus4 a They are the sus4 and the sus2 chords. See the example below: In this progression, we could put the G7sus4 chord in place of Dm7, with: Note that these two chords have 3 notes in common: C, D, and F. Since they are very similar, one can perform the function of the other.

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