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Chord question..

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Stilettoprefer, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Csus = added 4 from the scale. So F

    C2= added 2 from scale. So D

    Csus2= ????

    Is it both the 4 and 2 added, or something totally different?

    This is mainly for my guitar playing, but it would be helpful for bass as well....

    Thanks ahead of time:) I can't help but feel like this is a dumb question, but it's been bugging me for a long time haha.
  2. GroovinOnFunk

    GroovinOnFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses SIT Strings
    Csus implies Csus4 meaning you add the 4th but take away the 3rd. C2 doesn't exist. It would be a Cmaj9 or C9 depending on what's happening with the 7th.
    Csus2 is C D G
  3. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    This has been beaten to death around here... search it.

    However, if labeled correctly, "sus" implies that a resolution is to follow. Take it from there.
  4. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Then I must be reading some weird music, because I see X2 chords written all the time...

    But anyways, thank you for clearing that up! I didn't think to do a search:p. I usually always do try to dig around before making a thread.
  5. Sometimes I use C2, sometimes Csus2, it means the same and could not be misunderstood as a different chord, since any chord with the third is written with a 9 not a 2.
    For Csus I generally write Csus4 (if possible) to be clearer, sometimes only C4, but rather seldom.
    There are a lot of different names for the same chords. Some are shorter, some are more explicit and some are a different view. A bit hard to understand sometimes.
  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Here's how I've understood the various permutations to mean:

    C = C, E, G

    Cm = C, Eb, G

    C(add2) = C, D, E, G

    Cm(add2) = C, D, Eb, G

    C6 = C, E, G, A

    Cm6 = C, Eb, G, A

    C(add9) = C, E, G, D -- This is mostly a voicing directive and there is NO 7th in the chord.

    Cm(add9) = C, Eb, G, D - NO 7th in the chord.

    C6/9 = C, E, G, A, D

    Cm6/9 = C, Eb, G, A, D

    Csus2 = C, D, G

    Csus or Csus4 = C, F, G

    The "add" label assumes that there exists a triad (i .e., C, E, G or C, Eb, G). Then, one adds in the non-chord tone. This is usually the Major 2nd, Major 6th, Major 9th or Major 6th and Major 9th (i have never seen other intervals). And, very importantly, there is be NO 7th. A chord labeled C9 will have a minor 7th - C, E, G, Bb, D. Same 'rule' with these labels: Cm9 (C, Eb, G, Bb, D), Cmaj9 (C, E, G, B, D).

    If one wants these notes: C, E, G, Bb, D, A, this would be labeled C13. This has the 6th (or 13th), the minor 7th, and major 9th. Same for Cm13 - C, Eb, G, Bb, D, A.

    There could be more... :D
  7. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Holy toledo!!! Thanks for this!!!! It just answered pretty much all of my chord related mysteries haha.

    And isn't there always more? :p

    I need to put stuff like this on a huge piece of paper and put it on my bedroom wall...
  8. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
  9. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    C2 could be interpreted to mean C(add2), implying a Steely Dan-type voicing where the second and third are voiced a step apart. I think that your interpretation (i.e., that C2 implies Csus2) is more common, but it's probably a better practice to write Csus2 to avoid any possible ambiguity.
  10. I only use it in a certain context of C, Cm, C2 or C4 (only 3-note chords) on other bass notes, so it is rather clear what I mean there. But even then I got questions from my musicians. (But they might have not took the time to think at least a minute about it.) In other cases I would use Csus2 instead.
    But I agree that it is better not to write thing too short to avoid misunderstandings, as I said before.
  11. AMUNC


    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Whenever I see C2, it's always in church music, and is played the same as CMaj9. This is at least what the church director said when I expressed slight confusion, and he said he put it in because it makes reading easier for musicians who aren't as good with theory. I don't know if this is how it's universally used, but that's my only experience with it.
  12. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    That's the context that I always see it in. CCLI and Madboa both use C2 or Csus2.
  13. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I suspect your church director meant Cadd9, not CMaj9.

    Cadd9 = C E G D
    CMaj9 = C E G D B

    The difference is that a CMaj9 includes a Major 7. Regardless of whether you interpret C2 as a C triad with an added second or as Csus2, a C2 does not include a Major 7.
  14. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    CMaj9 would have these notes: C, E, G, B, D.

    C2 (i. e. Cadd2) would have these notes: C, D, E, G.

    Cadd9 would have these notes: C, E, G, D.

    Most likely, there would be no big musical catastrophe if the Major Seventh is also sounded. But, the intention of a C2 or Cadd2 is to have the dissonances of the major seconds - C & D, and D & E.

    This would be different than Cadd9, which would have a more open sound. The 'fifths' of C & G, and G & D give this chord the openness.

    A good example of "add 9" chords is found in Every Breath You Take, by the Police.
  15. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Zappa used "2" chords extensively and simply notated them as, for example, C2 rather than Csus2. By C2 he meant C, D, and G. Rollo Interior, a portion of St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast, is all 2 chords, so perhaps it was just a time-saver for him.
  16. Steely Dan call their voicing (C-D-E-G) the "Mu major chord." They write it "Cμ."

    The list compiled above is far from comprehensive, but is a good start. The first thing I'd do is add Caug (C-E-G#). With one of my bands, we use augmented chords all the time...
  17. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters

    My list primarily addresses "added note" chords. Adding the Major 2nd, Major 6th or Major 9th, never a Minor 7th, to either a Major or Minor triad.

    C-E-G# (Caug, Caug5) falls under the "Altered" chord label. The raising/lowering (i.e., altering) of the Perfect Fifth and Major Ninth is the usual criteria, with a Major 3rd and Minor 7th.

    * * *

    I should add this: Using the Seventh Mode of the Melodic Minor Scale (sometimes called the Altered scale), you will find all the notes in any variation of an Altered chord.

    Example: Using the Seventh Mode of the C Melodic Minor Scale - B, C, D, Eb, F, G, A - you can find all the variations of a B-Altered Chord.

    B7+5+9 - B, D# (or Eb), G, A, C## (or D)
    B7+5-9 - B, D# (or Eb), G, A, C
    B7-5+9 - B, D# (or Eb), F, A, C## (or D)
    B7-5-9 - B, D# (or Eb), F, A, C
  18. An excellent and thorough resource is a free jazz handbook by jazz saxophonist and educator Jamey Aebersold. Go to this section of his web site:


    Go to pages 13 and 15 of his handbook, for chord and scale charts. Print out those pages and keep them on your music stand. Other pages of his book also have great, helpful information, useful for all styles of music (not just jazz).

    Regards, Joel :cool: