Beginner Sus Chords

Explore sus chords and how they can spice up your guitar playing!

View the full lesson at Beginner Sus Chords | JustinGuitar

In the British invasion of the 60’s a group called The Searchers had a big hit song “Needles and Pins” which had an Asus based riff throughout. As soon as I listened to this lesson it immediately popped into my head. Check it out - it’s a great song!

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There is a difference between the D sus4 fingering on the video and the Learn More text. See below. The one on the left is from the video and the right and one is from the text. Which is correct, or doesn’t it matter?

I guess it depends on the context where you play thins chord. If you want to play an F6/9 or a Cadd9 after it, I’d find the 1st version more practical.

I don’t think the second one is outright wrong but the first will let you switch between D, Dsus2 and Dsus4 easily.

@Stuartw Dsus4 is built around a D major or D minor chord using fingers 1, 2, 3 like so:
The diagram on the left is the better diagram. The diagrams across the site are due an upgrade in 2022 so the one you are rightly questioning may be included in that.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

I’m finding that the Asus4 is the most challenging of the chords introduced in this lesson. I most often end up muting the open 1st string with my pinky or causing it to buzz. I take it that the goal is to leave the 1st string ringing unless the song doesn’t require it?

Hi ninevolt and welcome to Community. I think it’s just a matter of more practice, getting your wrist and fingers in appropriate angle to get 1st string ringing out.

I don’t want to give you a shortcut since I think this is elementary thing to learn it however Justin likes to play open A chord with mutes 1st string. Personal preference which eay you like it since E is a 5th of A chord, but again as a beginner you should learn how to make E ring out. All the best and good luck!

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I’d like to promote Gsus4 as well with the fingering 3x0013. I think it sounds fabulous on its own and pretty good in combination with Am and C.

Hi @Jozsef Gsus4 is a wonderful sounding chord for sure. It is ahead of this lesson however, based on just the three early beginner chords of D, A and E.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

True, but I think it may fall under beginner fingers more easily (in changes) than Esus2 :slightly_smiling_face:

Loving the D shape sus chords, I’m bputting Dsus2 and Dsus4 variations into songs comfortably.
Now for A shape! My little finger simply folds in and I can only get it to press onto the wrong end of the fret, that is too far away from the fret wire. Even if I physically place my pinkie in the right place and then place the other fingers it simply slides back to sit alongside my third finger.
I’ve been doing the finger gym exercise and each finger can sit tight to each fret so there is normally no problem.
Any tips for exercises to get that pinky moving to the right spot. Breaking it and resetting isn’t a realist option btw.

Thanks Adrian! That makes sense, I’ll keep at it. It’s always satisfying to eventually get the finger gymnastics to work out.

Absolutely it never is easy when you start but tend to get easier with practice :slight_smile: all the best.

@Alanbt Hi and welcome to the community.
The Asus4 is not necessarily about strength in the little finger but more about independent movement. If you notice how Justin plays it and his little finger curls up and around and onto the string to go from A to Asus4. It is using a great deal of muscle power - just a little wiggle of the fingers. In addition to your work on the finger gym I would suggest this: Finger Stretching Exercise |

Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

I think the 2-3-4 fingering may have a valid situation: switching with A7sus4, when doing Stuck 3&4 pattern.

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Thanks @Richard_close2u , I seem to remember doing this at the start but it fell off my practice regime at some point early on. Time to work those fingers a bit more :scream:

Will Sus chords, for now, always be applied by removing the 3rd and replacing it with X? Also, will the 3rd always be the note you use to go down a semi-tone to turn it into a minor chord?

Hi Xoco,

Exactly, that is the answer for both questions. :wink:

@Alantbt @adi_mrok Thanks again Adrian for the suggestion on finding the right angles. After trial and error, I think I’ve managed to get my pinky in the right spot for Asus4 consistently! For me, the breakthrough happened when I experimented with rotating my fretting hand. I found that turning my arm so the back of my hand is facing more towards the ground allows my pinky to easily curl onto the 2nd string without muting the 1st.

This is what I was doing before:

This is what I do now — rotating my hand similar to how you might when playing an open C chord:

Hope this helps or gives anyone in the same boat some ideas!