Teach Guitar Logo
 Teaching Skills

Music Skills

Business Skills Aspiring Teachers New Teachers Experienced Teachers
Music Skills Music Skills > Snippets of guitar music theory > Suspended chords
Summary: Bite-sized articles cover a number of points about music theory.

Suspended chords

[last snippet] [snippet listing] [next snippet]

Suspended chords are sometimes a cause of confusion. Just what are they and from which part of your anatomy are you supposed to suspend them?

The unique thing about suspended (or sus) chords is that they
exclude the 3rd.

All other chord types have the 3rd note of the major scale or
(in the case of minor and diminished chord types) the flatted 3rd

By replacing the 3rd with the 4th you create the sus4 chord.
The ear really wants to hear a 3rd of some description so by
doing this you hold your audience in 'suspense' waiting for the
chord to resolve back to major.

Likewise if you replace the b3rd in the minor chord with the 2nd
you create the sus2 chord and similarly keep your audience in
suspense until you resolve back to the minor chord.

It should be noticed that there are other chord types that use
the 4th note (11ths, add11ths, min11ths, maj11ths) and the 2nd
note (9th, add 9, 6/9, min9, maj9 etc..). None of these count as
suspended though because they include 3rds or b3rds.

[last snippet] [snippet listing] [next snippet]

Related pages
 Look up music terms
Products from TeachGuitar.com

How to Make a Living Teaching Guitar
by Nick Minnion
 Read More
 Order Information

Fifty Flexible Lesson Plans for Teaching Guitar
by Nick Minnion
 Read More
 Order Information

How to Increase Your Income from Teaching Guitar
by Nick Minnion
 Read More
 Order Information

You Can Play GuitarYou Can Play Guitar
Instructional books and videos.
 Go to site

TeachGuitar Forums

-  Guitarists' Dictionary
- Resource Exchange Library
- Guitar Teacher's Forum


 About Us
 Contact Us
 Nick Minnion