How to play sus chords on guitar (easy lesson)

Oct 1, 2023

Learn how to use suspended chords on guitar.

Let’s learn how to play sus chords on guitar in short order! BELOW: HOW and WHY to add “sus” (suspended) chords into YOUR guitar playing! Sus chords on guitar are easy- let’s find out!

This guitar lesson is for YOU if: 

  • You can play some basic chords and want to expand
  • You’re an upper beginner to intermediate guitar player
  • See sus chords but aren’t sure how they work
  • Want to USE suspended chords in chord progressions
  • Understand what suspended chords are and how they fit

If you want a simple formula with easy of examples of suspended chords on guitar, this is the lesson for you. Let’s cover the most fundamental use of suspended chords on guitar.

So grab your guitar and let’s do this….

Learn to breathe life into your chords- and learn a simple process in this game changing guide! FREE! Click here👉 derek-8d44d.gr8.com

Above are the chords you’ll be learning, and how you can USE them, incorporating the sus chords!

Step 1: Let’s look at what suspended chords are:

Suspended chords contain no distinct major or minor quality in the chord. The 3rd note in a scale is typically used- but suspended chords use a different note. For example, an A chord contains: A, C# and E. That C# gives it a bright happy feel. If we swap out the C# and select a B (for an A sus2) or a D note (for an Asus4) we’ll have a dreamier, floatier sound. 

  • Use suspended to transition to a major or minor chord
  • When a major or minor chord is getting boring or repetitive, slip in a suspended chord.
  • The two most commonly used (and practical) suspended chords are sus2 and sus4- so you’re starting there. Once you see their application, it’s easier to expand.
  • You can use suspended as a transitory chord: using it in motion to another chord.
  • Most commonly, a suspended chord will lean toward resolving to it’s major or minor chord i.e. Asus2 going to A.

(follow along with the VIDEO at the bottom for demonstration). ⬇️

Step 2: Let’s walk through the chord progression above…

The premise of the progression is an A chord. Here, sus2 and sus4 chords are put in front of A for both fun and resolution. Sus chords are a great application for delaying the sound going to major or minor and provide fun harmonic movement. So, to recap, Asus2 and Asus4 can resolve to their parent (root) chord of A.

Since sus2 and sus4 chords can resolve to the parent root chord, we can use the dramatic A minor sound instead of A major. Since the sus chord lacked a major or minor chord quality, we can steer it towards major or minor.

To recap, you can drive an Asus2 or Asus 4 to: A major, or A minor. Since A has a major 3rd of C#, and A a minor 3rd of C- it’s quite satisfying to hear.

Step 3: Learn it in another key!

Let’s walk through it in the key of D! (Once you do it with another set of chords, it really starts to stick!).

D is the chosen key because D major sits right alongside A in harmony (D is the 4th scale note in A major) and it’s formed of D triads within A. Now D minor is a dramatic choice you can make just like you learned in A, going Sus2 or Sus4 to minor. 

(follow along with the VIDEO at the bottom for demonstration). ⬇️

Takeaway value & NEXT STEPS

First, get the two sus chords (sus2 and sus4) memorized, and then put them in front of the major. Then do the same with the minor chord. Next, try them in a different order (like Asus 2-A- Asus4-A). Then do the same with minors. For dramatism, try BOTH: going to major, then minor i.e., Dsus2-D-Dsus4-Dm. 

Next, you’ll want to take and apply these fundamentals in a couple of focused ways:

  •  with drums/backing tracks
  • as substitutes for a long duration on a major or minor chord
  • In different common keys, like C, E, G
  • Add a right hand pick and/or strum pattern to them

In addition, check the next steps BELOW to fast-track you forward on guitar BELOW!

DOWNLOAD THE PDF EXAMPLES SO YOU HAVE A COPY! (if you can play several string barre chords, you’re ready!) CLICK HERE 👉 blog 8 sus chords (gr8.com)https://derek-3f20b.gr8.com/

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  •  Stuck on boring chords & how to make better progressions? Learn to breathe life into your chords- and learn a simple process in this game changing guide! FREE! Click here👉 derek-8d44d.gr8.com

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