7sus4 chord

Suspended Chords - Guitar Lesson With Charts and Theory

Suspended chords are chords derived from triads and tetrads, the third is replaced with a fourth (most of the time) or a second, making them chords that are neither major nor minor. This lesson with charts, tabs and shapes explains how suspended chords are built and how to play them on guitar.

SUMMARY

Sus4

► 7sus4

► Sus2

► 7sus2

► Extensions

► Exercices

Suspended Fourth Chords (sus4)

Sus4 chord on guitarSuspended fourth chords are labelled "sus4", they can be seen as triads whose third is replaced with the fourth (4), giving the formula : root (R), perfect fourth (4) and perfect fifth (5). 

Sus4 chords are more common than sus2 chords, that's why if you see just a suspended chord written "sus" with no number, it involves a suspended fourth chord (sus4).

Notice that before tackling suspended chords it is better to have a strong knowledge of triad chords and seventh chords.

 

Csus4 C F G
Formula R 4 5

 

Here are three ways of playing a Gsus4 chord on guitar. The root position and its two inverted voicings. Notice that all the positions discussed in this lesson are movable, meaning that you can play them anywhere on your guitar neck.

Sus4 chords on guitar

7sus4 Chords

7sus4 chordDominant seventh suspended fourth chords (7sus4) are built by raising the third of a dom7 chord by a half-step, thus giving the formula root (R), perfect fourth (4), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). They can also be seen as sus4 chords with an added b7.

C7sus4 C F G Bb
Formula R 4 5 b7

 

The tab below show four positions for C7sus4 with bass notes on the fifth string (1 root and 3 inversions based on drop 2 chords).

7sus4 chords on guitar

Suspended Second Chords (sus2)

Sus2 chordSuspended second chords (sus2) are not used very used, however it can be useful to know them. Just as a sus4 chords, they are derived from triads whose third has been replaced with the second. The interval pattern is root (R), second (2) and perfect fifth (5).

Csus2 C D G
Formula R 2 5
Sus2 chords on guitar

7Sus2 chords

7sus2 chordDominant seventh suspended second chords (7sus2) are composed of a root (R), second (2), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). They are sus2 chords with a b7.

C7sus2 C D G Bb
Formula R 2 5 b7
7sus2 chords on guitar

Extended Suspended Chords

Suspended chords can be extended with the 9 and the 13th giving two types of chords that are 9sus (or 7sus9) and 13sus (aka 7sus13) thus giving the following two interval patterns:

G9sus G C D F A
Formula R 4 5 b7 9

 

Notice that the 5th is often omitted in 7sus9 chords, you can notate them with a slash : example with Gsus9, you can write it F/G, that is actually a F major chord (F, A and C) with the b7 (G) in the bass.

G13sus G C D F E
Formula R 4 5 b7 13

 

Here are some common positions for playing extended 7sus4 chords on guitar. Feel free to omit the fifth when playing sus13 chords.

Extended 7sus9 chords on guitar 2
7sus13 chords on guitar

How to Use Suspended Chords?

In jazz suspended chords are generally used as substitutes for m7(ii) and 7 (V) chords. Here are some examples with a 2 5 1 progression in C major.

ii V I
Dm7 G7 Cmaj7
G9sus G7 Cmaj7
Dm7 G9sus Cmaj7
G9sus G9sus Cmaj7
Dm7 G13sus Cmaj7
G9sus G13sus Cmaj7

 

Suspended chords over 2 5 1 progression
Suspended chords over 2 5 1 progression 2
Suspended chords over 2 5 1 progression 3 1
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chords voicings suspended