Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Sus Chords

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by cassanova, Jul 1, 2004.


  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    What is the frame work to a suspended chord?
     
  2. I don't get the question. Same scale, you just don't give 'em the 3rd that they're waiting for.
     
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Usually dominant in function.
     
  4. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I'll rephrase the question for you Don, (although I think you answered it)

    What is a sus chord?
     
  5. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    In general, it's a dominant 7th chord, in which the 4th replaces the 3rd. Gsus, for example, could be voiced G C D F. Reducing that to a triad would just give you G C D.

    This comes, I believe, from what, in "Classical music" is referred to as a 4-3 suspension, whereby a dissonance is created, by replacing the 3rd with the 4th, and then the 4th resolving down a semitone to the 3rd. If you've got a keyboard handy, play a simple Gsus triad (G C D) followed by a G triad (G B D), and you'll hear what I mean.

    However, in Jazz and popular music it's very common to simply play a sus chord, without resolving it (i.e. without the 4th resolving to the 3rd). Usually, sus chords are dominant in function. One common sus chord voicing, in both Jazz and Pop, is that of a major triad a tone below the root. For example, Gsus can be voiced as an F triad with a G bass. Technically, this could be referred to as G9sus, since it has the 7th (F) and 9th (A) in it. The important point is that it has a 4th instead of a 3rd.

    There are of course, no rules about this, however. You can voice a sus chord with both a 4th and a 3rd. But, much more often that not, the 4th replaces the 3rd.