What's this chord

Hi Guys,

Does anyone know what this chord is (picture)?

I stumbled on it when I was exploring switching between D and Dsus4 and Dsus2 and I find I really like the sound of it (especially just fingerpicking G, D and F#… and also switching between D and this chord.)

I suppose you could call it a Dadd4 (no5), as one way of referencing it.


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I think technically it is Dadd11. Doesn’t matter, if it sounds good to you, play it. I think if you ask someone to play a Dadd11, they’ll give you a really funny look. :confused:

The note G that is a note additional to the D major triad (D, F#, A) sits within the first octave so would be called a ‘4’ rather than an ‘11’.
I have created a diagram to show three types of D chord with the note G added.

The first is a full triad plus octave of the root note and the G sits within the first octave so is a Dadd4. This is difficult to physically accomplish on a guitar. On a keyboard the adjacent 3, 4 and 5 would sound quite dissonant.

The second is the same chord with the note A removed so is - as @sclay states - a Dadd4 (no 5). This removes the immediate adjacency of the F# and the G and removes the A altogether. Those two aspects may be why it is pleasing to your ears.

The third is a full triad plus octave of the root note plus a G note added above that so is a Dadd11.

There is another way of viewing the chord which is as a Gmaj7/D (no 3).
An inversion (a slash chord) of a major 7 with no major 3rd in it.

G major scale = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#
G triad = G, B, D
Gmaj7 = G, B, D, F#

You have all the notes of that chord apart from the 3. But, given the importance of the 3 in giving the major characteristic this is a less satisfying route.

Equally, there wold be a means of calling it F# something but that is less satisfying again.

It’s just Dsus4 but the sus 4 note is one octave lower.

I echo what @GDPiper169 said. Play it if it sounds good.

But one piece of advice I can offer is to experiment other sus chords by moving the sus note 1 octave up or down. Tell me what you came up with!

Sorry to have to do a correction of your statement @Chrissilverence but it is categorically not Dsus4 as the F# (the 3rd) is present.
Sus chords do not have a 3rd. Period. No exceptions.


Justin discusses D chord variations in Grade 3 Module 15 & say this:


Here are some alternatives to your regular open D chord on the guitar - again, don’t worry about names or diagrams. Just experiment with your fingering, and pay attention to the sounds.

  • Dsus4 Chord: To play this chord, add your little finger down on the 3rd fret of the thinnest string. This is a common variation you can use anytime.
  • Dsus2 Chord: To play a Dsus2 chord, lift off your second finger. This grip is super common too!
  • D6 Chord: Lifting off your third finger. Sounds super cool! It might not work every time - but it’s still worth exploring. It is unlikely to find this grip in a chord book because it is uncommon.
  • Dadd4 Chord: To get a Dadd4 Chord, all you need is lifting off your first finger. You won’t get an unpleasant chord, but it definitely sounds different.
  • D/F# Chord: Add an F Sharp note as the bass note of your D Chord! You’ll use your thumb to do this one but feel free to re-fingering it however it feels best for you.

This took me a while to find… I had seen it on UTube before I started following Justin’s curriculum. Hope it helps…


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Thanks for the correction!

Got it. Thanks everyone for your input and clarification!

I’m quite new to “add” chords, have heard of them but I still don’t know what’s the theory behind it and what kind of notes goes in an “add” chord? Anyone care to give a simple intro? (: