Suspended Breakdown on IVsus4?

Here we look at a theory problem - the logic you'll learn in this lesson is essential for music problem-solving! :)


View the full lesson at Suspended Breakdown on IVsus4? | JustinGuitar

I’ve always loved the sound of sus chords and use them a lot, particularly sus 4. Southern man by Neil Young was the first song, way back as a teenager, where I first consciously heard one being used.
Playing around with the idea you suggested, of seeing which chords in a key work to sustain, the first thing I tried was playing an F sus 4 after a C chord – and my ear liked it. Then I realized that I often play the fourth chord as a suspended 4th, as I like to hammer on the D note when playing A when in the key of E – though I more often make the root chord into a sus 4 as the added 4th note naturally leads to the fourth chord. i.e. E add the A note.
This may be jumping ahead with the theory, but making the fourth chord a sus 4 fits perfectly with the mixolydian mode – which a lot of rock and roll uses. I didn’t know this when I started my theory journey and I was confused about how what I was learning of the major scale didn’t work for a lot of rock and roll – and it’s really just one note that changes so much.
One thing I hadn’t thought about before this lesson, is that, given the fingering of the chords, I only play certain sus chords. I had never thought about the fact that I never play an E sus 2. I also (talking about open chords here mainly) don’t play sus 2 C or G – though it wouldn’t be difficult – but instead I play the ninth chord – adding the A note to G chord, or D note to C. I’d not really thought about the ninth and eleventh chords being a form of sustained chords.

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Great stuff @Marktroubadour seems like you’re connecting things and having fun. :slight_smile:

They aren’t sus chords they are add 9 or add 11 chords. A sus or Suspended chord has no 3rd.
Adding the A to a G chord still has 2 B notes. B is the 3rd of G
Same as Adding the D to the C chord you still have 2 E note E is the 3rd.

By definition a sus chord is a Chord where the Major or minor 3rd is replaced by a perfect 4th
or major 2nd. So as long as you have a 3rd (Major or minor) in the chord its not a sus chord.

Gsus2 works if you play the 4 finger(rock G) and lift off the B (A string)
Esus2 is a little trickier in open position

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Good catch @stitch :+1:

In this Lesson its stated that the Fsus2 is F G C shouldn’t the G be a G# and in the Gsus2 G A D shouldn’t the A be a A#?

@jeb1155 a sus 2 chord replaces the 3rd with the 2nd so the B in the G chord moves a full tone down to A same with the A in the F chord.
Sus 4 chords move the 3rd up to the 4th one semi tone.