Dominant 7th Suspended 4th Chords (7sus4) | Drop 2 and Drop 3 Voicings with Guitar Diagrams

What's a Dominant 7sus4 Chord ?

A Dominant 7th suspended chord, also known as "dominant seventh augmented fifth" chord or "dominant 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. 

The interval pattern for dom7 chord is :

  • Root (1)
  • Fourth (4)
  • Fifth (5)
  • Minor Seventh (b7)

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

How to Play 7sus4 Chords on Guitar?

Here are twelve 7sus4 guitar chord shapes based on the drop 2 voicing chart below.

  • The first diagram provides drop 2 chords built from the E-string.
  • The second includes drop 2 chords built 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 D-string

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

What are drop 3 chords?

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 drop 3  dominant 7sus4 voicings and their respective guitar positions.

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
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Last edited: 06/20/2019