Dominant 7th suspended 4th chords (7sus4) | Drop 2 and drop 3 voicings with guitar diagrams

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Chord formulas chartA Dominant 7th suspended chord, also known as "seventh augmented fifth" chord or "seventh sharp five chord", is a dominant 7th chord whose third is replaced by the perfect fourth. The absence of the third deletes the tritone between the 3rd and the b7. Dominant 7sus4 chords are neither minor nor major they are intermediaries between major 7th  and minor 7th chords. This gives a very open sound.
 

What's the difference between a dominant 7th and a dominant 7sus4 chord ?

The main difference lays in the chord tones. Dominant 7th chord tones are root (1), major third (3), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7), whereas the chord tones of a 7sus4 are root (1), perfect fourth (4), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7).

C7 C E G B
Chord tones 1 3 5 b7
C7sus4 C F G B
Chord tones 1 4 5 b7

 

Why use the 4th instead of the third ?

The fourth creates a suspension , a sound in which listeners are expecting to hear a resolution to the 3rd degree (the 3rd is suspended). A 7sus4 chord can resolve to the third of a dominant 7th chord but, it can also not resolve.

7sus4 guitar chords | Drop 2 voicings with diagrams

Here are twelve 7sus4 guitar chord diagrams based on drop 2 voicings. The first line provides drop 2 chords built from the E-string. The second line includes drop 2 chords build from the A-string. The third line shows drop 2 chords built from the D-string.

Root chord  R 5 b7 4
1st inversion (fourth in the bass) 4 b7 R 5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R 4 b7
3rd inversion (minor seventh in the bass) b7 4 5 R

Drop 2 7sus4 guitar chords built from the E-string

Root position - 7sus4 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 6th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 3

1st inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Fourth in the bass - Bass on 6th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram

2nd inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 6th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 12

3rd inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Minor seventh in the bass - Bass on 6th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram

Drop 2 7sus4 guitar chords built from the A-string

Root position - 7sus4 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 5th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 8

1st inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Fourth in the bass - Bass on 5th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 9

2nd inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 5th string7sus4 guitar chord diagram 2

3rd inversion  - 7sus4 chord - Minor seventh in the bass - Bass on 5th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 11

Drop 2 7sus4 guitar chords built from the D-string

Root position - 7sus4 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 4th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 4

1st inversion - 7sus4 chord - Fourth in the bass - Bass on 4th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 5

2nd inversion - 7sus4 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 4th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 6

3rd inversion - 7sus4 chord - minor seventh in the bass - Bass on 4th string

7sus4 guitar chord diagram 7

Drop 3 dominant 7 suspended 4th chords - Voicings and guitar diagrams

Drop 3 chords have a particular way of stacking the notes in the chord. Like drop 2 chords they are very useful devices in music arrangement. Drop 3 means to drop the third top note of a chord down an octave. If your initial voicing is C-E-G-B (Cmaj7 chprd) the E will be dropped, then the drop 3 voicing will be E-C-G-B (Cmaj7 third in the bass). Here are the dominant 7sus4 voicings and their respective guitar shapes.

Drop 3 root voicing R b7 4 5
Drop 3 1st inversion (fourth in the bass) 4 R 5 b7
Drop 3 2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 4 b7 R
Drop 3 3rd inversion (minor seventh in the bass) b7 5 R 4

Root position - Bass on 6th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord shape

4th in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord position

5th in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 jazz guitar chord diagram

minor 7th in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 jazz guitar chord shape

Root position - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord diagram shape

4th in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord

5th in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord 2

minor 7th in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 7sus 4 guitar chord diagram

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Last edited: 09/08/2017

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