Suspended fourth chords (sus4) - Guitar shapes and voicings
What are suspended fourth chords ?
In music theory a normal minor or major chord consists of a root (1) a third (major or minor) and a perfect fifth (5). The third determines the quality of the chord (major or minor). If we take the C major chord for, example, we have C (root), Eb (minor third) and G (perfect fifth). A C minor chord will be built with a root (C), a major third (E) and a perfect fifth (G). Here’s where the suspended fourth chords come in.
Suspended fourth chords are neither major nor minor, because the third (that determines the chord quality) is replaced by the fourth, giving the formula (1-4-5). The fourth and fifth creates tension so sus4 chords have to resolve. That’s why they are generally combined with a parent major or minor chord, even if sometimes they can also last without resolving.
Comparison with dominant 11 chords
Suspended 4th chords can be confused with dominant eleventh chords. Dom11 chords are built with 6 notes, including an eleventh (11) which can be considered as the fourth (4). The difference is that a dominant 11 chord contains a major third (3), a minor seventh (b7), a ninth (9) and an eleventh (11). There are six tones for the 11th chord and three tones for the suspended fourth chord.
|Suspended fourth chord||1||3||4||X||X||X||X|
|Dominant 11 chord||1||3||X||5||b7||9||11|
Comparison with dominant 7 suspended 4 chords
There can also be confusion between sus4 and 7sus4 chords. The difference is simple. Dominant suspended 4th chords have a minor seventh (b7) unlike sus4.
Suspended fourth guitar chords and voicings
Here are twelve guitar diagrams to play suspended fourth chords on the guitar with roots on the E, A, D and G strings.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||4||5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||5||R||4|
Suspended 4 guitar chord - Root in the bass - Bass on E string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (1st inversion) - 4th in the bass - Bass on E string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (2nd inversion) - 5th in the bass - Bass on E string
Suspended 4 guitar chord - Root in the bass - Bass on A string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (1st inversion) - 4th in the bass - Bass on A string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (2nd inversion) - 5th in the bass - Bass on A string
Suspended 4 guitar chord - Root in the bass - Bass on D string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (1st inversion) - 4th in the bass - Bass on D string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (2nd inversion) - 5th in the bass - Bass on D string
Suspended 4 guitar chord - Root in the bass - Bass on G string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (1st inversion) - 4th in the bass - Bass on G string
Suspended 4 guitar chord (2nd inversion) - 5th in the bass - Bass on G string
Did you know that there are several pentatonic scales ? This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines built with common and rare pentatonic scales.
The 2-5-1 sequence is the most common chord progression found in jazz music.It's a must know for anyone who wants to learn jazz language.This method is a printable PDF eBook with 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines both in major and minor keys that will help you expand your improvisation skills over this chord sequence.
A printable PDF eBook with tabs and standard notation containing five guitar studies that will help you to master arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. Many topics are discussed, dominant 7, minor 7, diminished arpeggios.
How to comp a II-V-I chord progression on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This efficient method is a printable PDF eBook that contains 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation that will help you to play the essential jazz guitar chords over the famous II-V-I progression.
This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation,analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music. The purpose being to hear, play and understand the main jazz blues changes
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale. How to develop the altered scale, how to apply it to the V of a II-V-I sequence.
40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks with tabs and standard notation in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson.These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook
Last edited: 04/03/2018