Using "Sus4" & "Sus2" to Embellish Open Chords

• An easy way to add color and variety to major chords. Includes brief description of theory.

  • Lesson

Points to Remember:

Probably everyone has heard "suspended" chords in popular music. You can use them when you're "camping out" on an open chord for several beats in a song to add variety.

• To make the "sus4" chord, replace the 3rd of a chord with a 4th. (Go to this lesson to learn how basic chords are constructed.)

• To make a "sus2" chord, replace the 3rd with a 2nd.

• "Sus2" chords can also be called "add2," "add9" or "sus9" chords. (A "2" and a "9" are the same note in music theory; just one octave apart.)

• It's easy to make an Esus4 open chord, but hard to make an "Esus2" chord, since you can't lower the 3rd down two frets (or, a whole step).

• In order to play a Gsus4 open chord, you need to play a G chord with your third finger on the bottom E string. This allows you to use your first finger to play the sus4 note on the B string. Also: Mute the A string with the fat part of your third finger.

• Suspended chords have been used almost forever, but I especially remember them in the music of The Beatles and The Byrds.


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