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Introduction to Suspended (Sus 2) Chords

C Major Open form

Let's look now at some more chord types that are very useful alternatives to the open position chord forms. These chords will allow us to add some dramatic tension to our chord progresions. However, they may be more challenging at first. But with practice, you will eventually play them effortlessly!

A suspended triad chord involves an alteration to the third interval note where we replace this note with a second interval or fourth interval note. This substitution creates a certain tension, or suspense, in the chord. We may resolve this tension by changing back to the third interval note, or we may leave the chord in suspension for a dramatic effect.

We will continue by examining our C major triad chord in the open position. Letís take a look at the intervals of this chord. We have the root note of C, then the third interval of E, then the fifth interval G note. Then we have the repeat notes of C and E.

C suspended 2nd

Now, letís turn this into a suspended second chord. Lift the middle finger off the E note on the fourth string. We will then have a D note, which is the second interval of the C major scale. Play the chord, avoiding the open E note on the first string, or muting it by slightly rolling your index finger over onto the E string. You may find this fingering hard to master at first. Keep working on it and you will get it.

This process of substituting the second interval for the third interval is the same across different chords. With any case where we want to employ a suspended second chord, we simply replace the third interval note with the second interval note of the scale the chord is built from.

Now play this chord and then play a C major in the open position. You will hear the tension of the suspended chord and also hear the sense of resolution as you change back to the major triad chord.

Now let's look at some other suspended second chords. We have already examined the theory behind the suspended chords, so we will simply post them here for your use and future reference. Go through each chart and examine the intervals and compare these chords to the major triads from which they are created.

Suspended 2 chords, open position

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