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Minor sus2 chords

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JSnood
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I'm trying to learn the Strawbs song Hero and Heroine and the tab I've found calls for a couple of minor sus2 chords, namely Dmsus2 and Amsus2.

The online chord finders I've found show those in their major forms but not minor ones (at least as far as I can figure).

So, I have two questions, I suppose. What do those two chords look like? And, if I know the major form of a sus2 chord, how do I figure out what the minor form would be. My theory is minimal.

Thanks!

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste


   
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Fretsource
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It actually says "minor"sus 2? There's something wrong there. It can't be both. SUS (as far as modern chord notation is concerned) means that the "3rd" note of the chord is absent, having been displaced by the neighbouring 4th (or 2nd if it's a sus2). Just play the SUS 2 chords you know and it'll work.
The 3rd is the chord note that defines the chord as being major or minor. Without it, you can't say the chord is major or minor - but you can imply it, especially if those two chords are followed by Dm and Am, respectively - but it's not standard practice to name them that way.


   
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kingpatzer
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Just so it's stated in a theory post, a couple of pedantic points.

In traditional tertiary theory, a suspension does not exist as a chord. It is an event where a tone is held over a chord change, and it is never a second.

As for the chord, when I see something like Amsus2, I try to think of what the notes are, in this case:

A B C E

and I try to make sense of those notes in an harmonic context.

In this case, what I see is a Cmaj6/7 chord with no 5th: C E (G) A B

As the 5th is an optional tone in any chord voicing, this makes the most sense to me.

But context is really important in naming chords so without seeing what surrounds this chord in context, it's very difficult to figure out a precise name. That's one of the problem with tab, the tones are the same, but the notes you have there might be A Cb Dbb E. Not that I know for sure what that chord is either, but it's name would be vastly different from my previous suggestion.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Fretsource
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I have to disagree a little KP. If I wanted a C maj7/6, I'd never think to call it an Amsus2, instead. I can't think that anyone else would either. Sus implies that the chord is thirdless, traditionally, for the reasons you stated, or in chord notation for the reasons I stated.
So if I see an Amsus2, I'd assume the notes are A B E, and that the writer doesn't care too much about accuracy.


   
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kingpatzer
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I have to disagree a little KP. If I wanted a C maj7/6, I'd never think to call it an Amsus2, instead. I can't think that anyone else would either. Sus implies that the chord is thirdless, traditionally, for the reasons you stated, or in chord notation for the reasons I stated.
So if I see an Amsus2, I'd assume the notes are A B E, and that the writer doesn't care too much about accuracy.

Oh, I don't really disagree with you, I'm just providing another way of looking at it. From my perspective the question I have to wonder is why call it minor?! The only reason to call it minor, in my mind, would be that the presence of a C note. Now, that's being said without seeing the tab, which is why I certainly concede that your point is not without merit. But having seen how most tabs are done, I think mine is pretty good guess as well.

I absolutely agree that the naming makes no sense. So given that it is a fundamentally confusing name, I have to assume that there is some misguided logic at work. The confusion that makes the most sense to me is that someone has come to confuse adding a 2nd as a suspension without real regard to the third.

Which, gets to another option: Am (add 9), again providing the C is present.

Is this chord named and tabbed? If it's tabbed, what is the tab?

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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hbriem
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But in pop and rock, sus2 and sus4 chords are predominantly (almost exclusively?) used as temporary decorations of ordinary major and minor chords.

In that context, the minsus2 designation makes perfect sense. A minor chord alternating the minor 3rd with the 2 (9).

Here are a couple of examples of extremely common pop flourishes:
e|---2--3------0---0------------
B|---3--3------1---0------------
G|---2--2------2---2------------
D|---0--0------2---2------------
A|---x--x------0---0------------
E|---x--x------x---x------------
D Dsus4 Am Amsus2(Asus2)

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that there is no such thing as a sus2 chord, much less an msus2. It's convenient shorthand, that's all.

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kingpatzer
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But in pop and rock, sus2 and sus4 chords are predominantly (almost exclusively?) used as temporary decorations of ordinary major and minor chords.

In that context, the minsus2 designation makes perfect sense. A minor chord alternating the minor 3rd with the 2 (9).

It doesn't make sense. It is a nonsensical name.
Here are a couple of examples of extremely common pop flourishes:
e|---2--3------0---0------------
B|---3--3------1---0------------
G|---2--2------2---2------------
D|---0--0------2---2------------
A|---x--x------0---0------------
E|---x--x------x---x------------
D Dsus4 Am Amsus2(Asus2)

Precisely, it's a flourish, which makes it a passing non-harmonic tone. Calling it a chord confuses voicing choices with chord definitions. It is very common to voice something like a Cm7 in a band context using only the 3 and 7: Eb and Bb.

That doesn't make it some sort of Eb or Bb chord.
And yes, I'm perfectly aware that there is no such thing as a sus2 chord, much less an msus2. It's convenient shorthand, that's all.

It's a choice made by folks who don't understand that shapes and voicing choices aren't chords. That it may make sense to some people who are equally confused about musical theory or at least conversant with the common misunderstandings of that idiom doesn't make it intelligible in any larger context.

It is precisely equivalent to young children first learning languages. Almost all kids get confused about words related to time, for example. Just because I can understand what my daughter means when she uses the word "tomorrow" to refer to something that will happen 3 months from now doesn't make what she said coherent to anyone who doesn't already know what she's talking about because of other contextual clues.

Now, I don't mean any of this to be insulting to any individual person. I am just of the opinion that ignorant (in the specific sense of those who simply do not know better) furthering of musical theory "baby talk" provides an opportunity for education and should not be allowed to pass as in any way accepted terminology.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Steinar Gregertsen
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I googled "Dmsus2" and from the tabs I found it seems to me like it's (wrongly) used for Dadd9 - a regular D with open 1st string. How it has become a "minor sus2" beats me........ The moral is - don't believe everything you read on the Internet! :P

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Fretsource
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It's a choice made by folks who don't understand that shapes and voicing choices aren't chords.

It's also a choice made by some publishers who presumably do understand such things. The main objective of chord notation is to get the player to play the required combination of notes at the right time. Whether, technically, it's a chord or not is academic as far as they and their customers are concerned. As Helgi says, it's just a convenient name designating a collection of notes. If we accept that it's just a name and that it has very little to do with the practice of classical suspension then I don't see too much of a problem. (BTW - a suspension CAN involve the second. It's called a 9- 8 suspension and is quite common in two part counterpoint).

So, even though I know the theory which led to the misnaming of this collection of notes, I'm quite prepared to accept it in the same spirit that I accept Power chords as chords, despite having only two notes, Dominant 7ths even when they don't occur on the Dominant scale degree and strictly should be called secondary Dominant 7ths, and tremolo arms on electric guitars that can't produce tremolo but vibrato. I DO draw the line at "minor sus 2" though. I'm not THAT open to change :D


   
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kingpatzer
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It's a choice made by folks who don't understand that shapes and voicing choices aren't chords.

It's also a choice made by some publishers who presumably do understand such things.

Given some of the things I've seen in publishers' books for the last 20 years or so, I am not particularly open to granting that presumption. Seriously.
The main objective of chord notation is to get the player to play the required combination of notes at the right time.

I'm in 100% agreement, which is why proper naming is important. Not every person who picks up Mel Bay's Rock the '80s w/Tab is a guitar player. It's not entirely unreasonable to presume that since most music stores carry very little in the way of piano music anymore, that some piano player who is interested in playing their favorite Journey tune might not pick up a guitar book. Given the disparity between what guitar tab publishers choose to name things and what musicians who aren't guitarists name things, it is hardly the case that such names will achieve the objective stated. Even with folks who are guitarists, though perhaps not familiar with a particular publisher's idiocy, are not going to simply be able to follow the music and play what is written -- and that signifies a problem.
Whether, technically, it's a chord or not is academic as far as they and their customers are concerned. As Helgi says, it's just a convenient name designating a collection of notes.

I'll take a bit of issue with this. It's obviously not a particularly good name, as the meaning is not understood by the audience. Surely you and I can be counted as relatively literate guitar players and musicians, yet we are both guessing at what is intended. That is fairly compelling evidence that this fails as a name to convey the meaning intended. However convenient, it fails to achieve it's purpose.

If we accept that it's just a name . . .

While a rose by any other name will still smell as sweet, should I ask you to fetch me a blue flowering wing nut, and you aren't familiar with my convention of calling all roses blue flowering wing nuts, you'll probably fail at the task assigned.
I DO draw the line at "minor sus 2" though. I'm not THAT open to change :D

I agree there are shades of grey here and you present a few good examples. I'd counter that the difference is that those are all terms in common usage for all musicians, and not merely segmented to a sub-set of musicians on a particular instrument. Such terms in that sort of category I find quite hard to defend as legitimate, and this is one such example.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Fretsource
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If we accept that it's just a name . . .

While a rose by any other name will still smell as sweet, should I ask you to fetch me a blue flowering wing nut, and you aren't familiar with my convention of calling all roses blue flowering wing nuts, you'll probably fail at the task assigned.

I think your analogy holds up well for the minor sus 2. The fact that we've had to guess what the writer meant by it confirms it.
But the term sus 2 isn't so easily dismissed. There's a fair amount of debate over the appropriateness of the name but there seems to be no disagreement on how to play it.
Those most against the name are those who understand what a classical suspension is and feel it's incorrect and misleading to name a single chord after a three stage process, especially a chord in which the dissonant second usually rises rather than falls, contrary to true suspensions. The rising equivalent of a suspension is a retardation but I can see how the name "retarded 2nd" never caught on. :D
Those who don't know what a classical suspension is mostly assume (if they think about it at all) that the chord's name refers to the quality of "suspense" resulting from the third being temporarily replaced by the dissonant second. Maybe that's not a bad thing, given that the chord has virtually nothing in common with true suspensions in the first place.


   
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kingpatzer
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But the term sus 2 isn't so easily dismissed. There's a fair amount of debate over the appropriateness of the name but there seems to be no disagreement on how to play it.

I don't disagree with that point at all. Though I do contend that it is symptomatic of the confusion so many guitarists have distinguishing between shapes and chords, the reality is that the terminology has become part of common parlance, sadly.
Those who don't know what a classical suspension is mostly assume (if they think about it at all) that the chord's name refers to the quality of "suspense" resulting from the third being temporarily replaced by the dissonant second. Maybe that's not a bad thing, given that the chord has virtually nothing in common with true suspensions in the first place.

Actually, I think the problem is more fundamental. Most guitarists are more or less "self-taught" and they don't understand that voicings and shapes are not chords but choices about how to play chords, and as such every shape must have a name as a chord based on the tones played without regard to what notes are implied or the context in which the tones are played.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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JSnood
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The tab - such as it is - is here: http://www.tabpower.com/s31590.html .

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste


   
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Fretsource
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I can think of three separate usages of the term sus2, two of which I don't agree with:

1. When it's just a brief decoration to a major or minor chord. Technically, it's wrong because the harmony hasn't changed. Seeing Dsus4, D, Dsus2, D all in the space of a single beat is an example of confusing simple ornamentation with harmony. Harmonically, the chord is just D.

2. When it's actually an inverted sus 4 chord. i.e., calling it D sus 2 with notes D E A instead of A sus 4 with notes A D E. This is a case of mis-identifying the chord's root, which only the context can determine.

3. When the notes are held long enough for it to be perceived as a true chord in its own right, (albeit not a tertian one) composed of notes 1, 2 & 5. This is the only one deserving a name as far as I can see. What that name should be,though, is a whole other discussion.


   
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hbriem
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The tab - such as it is - is here: http://www.tabpower.com/s31590.html .

Well, that in any case answers which usage was intended in this particular case. It's a decoration on the Dm with the 2 briefly replacing the b3 as I surmised.

--
Helgi Briem
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