Suspended Chords on Piano
How do you play a suspended chord?
There are two kinds of suspended chords. There’s a 4th and a 2nd. You’ll see them these ways:
C suspended 4th = C F G
Csus4 or Csus
C suspended 2nd = C D G
Notice what’s going on? The middle note of a “C” major chords is simply being moved either up or down the major scale.
*Members can click this link for video lessons about suspended chords.
Suspended Chord Theory
The perfect 4th interval in suspended chords is the reason for their unique sound.
C to F = Perfect 4th
F to G = Major 2nd
C to F to G = Perfect 4th + Major 2nd
NOTE: Also shown as P4 + M2
You can also look at the intervals going off of the root note:
C to F = Perfect 4th (P4)
C to G = Perfect 5th (P5)
M2 + P4
C to D = M2
C to G = P5
When to Use Suspended Chords
These are great to use in certain styles such as Modern Country, R&B, and Worship. If you want certain styles to sound right, this is a great tool to know!
*Members should also check out the Magic Shape.
Suspended 7th Chords
You will typically add in the flatted 7:
C F G Bb
A good rule about 7th chords to remember is that unless it has “major” in the spelling (CM Cma Cmaj…) it will usually be a flatted 7th that you play.
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