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SUS chord....

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Asked 2013-06-03T18:28:11.0Z by Fletcher J1,390
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What does it mean when there is sus written after a chord? Does it mean to hold or sustain the chord?

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Date | Votes
Reply — Posted 2013-06-03T18:41:01.0Z
1
Jeff E13,406
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  • Teacher


 Sus is an abbreviation for suspended, not sustained, so no, you aren't being told to hold the chord.  There are two commonly used types of suspended chords:

sus4 - A sus4 chord replaces the 3rd scale degree in a chord with the 4th scale degree. So a triad spelled 1,3,5 becomes 1,4,5. the third degree is replaced by the fourth. For example, a DMajor chord,  D,F#,A becomes D,G,A or Dsus4.   The middle note or the third note is raised by a half step. 

sus2 - The sus2 chord follows the pattern 1, TWO, 5, so if in a sus4 chord you play the root, fourth and fifth degrees, for a sus2 chord you play the root, second and fifth degrees.  For example a Dsus2 chord is D,E,A. The middle note is lowered a half step.

 

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Reply — Posted 2013-06-03T21:31:20.0Z
0
Ghost R1,526
  • V.I.P.

That is very often what people mean when they day or write a sus chord, but in practice, alot of players include 3rd in their voicings, usually above the 4. Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book ends up defining a sus chord something like,,,a sus chord is a dominant 7 chord where the 4 isn't an "avoid" note.

Comments:

  • What's an avoid note then...Jefe 2013-06-03T21:33:38.0Z
    0
  • It's a note from the scale of a chord that is dissonant when played with the chord. An example here would be to play a G7 chord and play a 4 or C. It probably sounds kinda dissonant to your ears..Ghost R 2013-06-03T21:37:09.0Z
    0

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