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Help with Chords?

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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

I see sus4 in my little chord book (Asus4), but what does sus2 mean? (whats the difference/ what do you do?)

Thanks in Advance


   
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(@ldavis04)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 228
 

SUS stands for suspended...

A SUS4 chord replaces the 3rd degree of the chord (1 3 5) with the 4th, and the SUS2 replaces the 3rd degree of the chord with a 2nd, so

SUS4 is 1 4 5
SUS2 is 1 2 5

Take a C major scale (CDEFGABC), build a C major from the 1 3 5 degrees of the scale, you get a C E G. Just replace the E with a F for SUS4, and with D for SUS2.

I may grow old, but I'll never grow up.


   
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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

I understand that for playing piano and stuff, but how do you do that on guitar?


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

EADGBE
xx0232 - D
xx0233 - Dsus4
xx0230 - Dsus2

In each of the sus chords above, you're replacing the F# - the third note in the D scale - with a G (fourth) for the sus4, and an E(2nd) for the sus2.

EADGBE
x02220 - A
x02230 - Asus4
x02200 - Asus2

here, you're replacing the C# with a D for the sus4, and a B for the sus2. Note also that the notes used in the Dsus2 - D,A D and E reading from left to right, are the same notes in the Asus4 chord - A E A D E, again reading from left to right. A lot of people would argue that there's no such thing as a sus2 chord, it's just an inversion of a sus4th. THAT particular debate has been argued around these forums for a while now, with no sign of any resolution.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

but.. why do you move the 5th (2nd to thinnest) string? is that just the way it is?


   
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(@voidious)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151
 

It's really about which note you're moving. In one of those examples, the 3rd degree note is on the 6th string; in the other, the 3rd degree note is on the 5th (2nd thinnest) string. There are some good lessons on scales and such on this site that might make some of that basic music theory stuff clearer for you.

-- Voidious


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

Your are picking a different note for each chord moving your finger in the second string.

For example, for the A, Asus4 and Asus2 chords. A chord is composed by A, C# and E. If you see which tones are sounding in each string, they are (from 6th to 1st) x-A-E-A-C#-E, five tones but all are in the A major chord.

For Asus4, it is A, D and E, you need to add the D tone and to remove the C#. It is made moving your finger to the 3rd fret (really by using your pinky). We get: x-A-E-A-D-E.

For Asus2, it is A, B and E. You need to change C# by B. Just remove your ring finger. We get: x-A-E-A-B-E.

Try to follow a similar reasoning and try to get the tones for the D, Dsus4 and Dsus2 chords. Vic wrote how are they fingered.

Nuno


   
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(@fretsource)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

Note also that the notes used in the Dsus2 - D,A D and E reading from left to right, are the same notes in the Asus4 chord - A E A D E, again reading from left to right. A lot of people would argue that there's no such thing as a sus2 chord, it's just an inversion of a sus4th. THAT particular debate has been argued around these forums for a while now, with no sign of any resolution.....

I'm glad you mentioned that Vic because any time it comes up I can never think of a good example to illustrate my point, which is that the chord is NOT ALWAYS an inversion of a sus4. But now I've got a great example. It's THE WHO's "Behind blue eyes". Every verse ends on a long drawn out A sus2 chord. The root of that chord is definitely A, not E. We can be sure of that because the following chord (to begin the next verse) is E minor and the strong root movement between them is apparent.

Here's the chord progression if anyone's interested
Em --- G ----D ---- D----- C ---- C----- Asus2 ----- Asus2 ----
Em, etc

Another argument against SUS 2s is that like SUS4s they are usually just brief, transient decorations to the chord that contribute nothing to the harmony (like in Stairway to Heaven) and so shouldn't be given any name. That's often true, but in the WHO example - The chord is long and the harmonic effect is strong and important so HAS to be named.

The third argument is that the chord (also like the sus4) is mis-named as it has little in common with the classical suspension from which it was named and that really it should be called A add9 (no 3rd). That's a different argument. I haven't made up my mind about that one yet - I kind of like the name sus2, although it's technically wrong. But lots of things are like that, e.g. - the tremolo arm, produces vibrato, not tremolo but I never hear anyone call it a vibrato bar.


   
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(@fretsource)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

Duplicate post - sorry


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Posts: 3995
 

Thread bookmarked!

Fretsource, thank you very much! You are great! :D


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

but.. why do you move the 5th (2nd to thinnest) string? is that just the way it is?

For the A/Asus2/Asus4 chords, you're changing that note on the second string (In case there's any confusion - the thickest E string is the 6th strng, the A string is the 5th string, and so on to the thinnest E - the first string.) because that's where the C# note - the one you need to alter to D for a sus4, or B for a sus2 - is. For the D/Dsus2/Dsus4, you change the F# note on the 1st string.

It gets complicated when you look at an E chord....

EADGBE
022 100 - E
022 200 - Esus4...OK so far, but now you've got to find a way of playing E F# and B for the sus2....
024 400 - Esus2. This time you've had to change more than one string!

It gets even more complicated when you start using E-shaped barre chords and you have to start muting strings....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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