How To Play Suspended Chords


Suspended chords leave you hanging in mid air. They create suspense or anticipation. They sound and feel as though they should be resolved. And so they are used in endings. Also, they are perfect for extending the measure to do a run in your right hand.
A suspended chord (or a chord suspension) is usually made by holding one of the tones of a chord a tone higher, then resolving it to its resting place. This can be done with any tones of a chord, but one of the more common suspensions is to manipulate the third of the chord, by first playing the fourth, and resolving it to the third. So a C suspended chord has the tones of the root, the fourth and the fifth:
A C suspended chord of this type is often shown in chord charts as either a "Csus", or a "C sus4". "Sus4" means that the third is initially played as a fourth, and resolved to a third.
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspended_chord

In "real music", let's suppose you're playing a simple tune which uses three chords, C, F, and G, then returning to C. Try adding a little flavor to the mix: turn that final chord into two chords. Make it a suspended C chord, followed by a C chord. Your chord progression would look like this: C - F - G - Csus - C. You can try this on a guitar or a piano.
Experiment with other suspended chords. Put them in places where you need a bit of emotion in your music. Might be just what you're looking for. Take a Christmas carol book (one that has chord symbols in it is good for this purpose), and try adding suspensions to dominant or tonic triads.
In the Key of C:
Sus 4 chords- Formed by raising the 3rd of the chord you are playing by a half step.
C-E-G is your basic major triad C chord. The E in bold is your 3rd.
C-F-G: The F in bold is your suspended 4th. Notice that the distance between E to F is a half step. This chord now becomes your suspended 4th chord. If you play a I IV V progression, the IV is the best chord to play as a suspended 4th.
Sus 2 chords- Formed by lowering the 3rd of the chord you are playing by a whole step.
C-E-G This is your basic major triad C. The E in bold is your 3rd.
C-D-G The D in bold is your suspended 2nd. Notice that the distance between E to D is a whole step. This chord now becomes your suspended 2nd chord.
Take a look at this tutorial for an example of my explanation on Suspended Chords. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a great video example:

For further learning on formation of chords, I highly recommend this Audio Course that you can listen to at home or in your car stereo
http://www.hearandplay.com/441295/hpchords.html


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