Sus Chords Pt 2: Advanced Chord Concepts and Suspended Variations

Even though I call the chromatic cluster at _ “unlistenable”, it’s totally acceptable to write “unlistenable” music. Sometimes you want the crunchy dissonance. And in this particular case, it’s not totally horrible, so maybe I exaggerated a bit. However, in a big arrangement with lots of layers, small little things like that can really muddy up a mix. I hesitate to call something “wrong” or “right” in music, but to me, singing a G# over a Dsus4 in the key of A major is just “wrong”. Also. the melody has the word “keep” notated as a G# but I ended up singing it as an A instead, but that’s just an error and shouldn’t affect the mechanics of the demonstration at all. I am not picky between 4ths and 11ths, while many music teachers and composers are. As a guitarist, sometimes you literally can’t hit an 11th because your fingers aren’t disgustingly long, and have to instead play the 11th an octave lower as a 4th. Voicings DO matter though, and though it is helpful to think of 4ths and 11ths as being the same thing, it is also worth noting that sometimes the addition of the 11th versus the 4th will provide a much more “clear” and “vivid” voicing. When the 4th is added instead of the 11th, some harsh dissonances can occur due to the small distance between our 4th, and our 3rd or 5th. Same with 2nd’s and 9ths- I consider them to be the same, even though they’re different. The dissonances that occur in a MinAdd2 for example, are very practical and usable - in my experience, the clashing that occurs between the 2nd and minor 3rd of a minAdd2 chord is absolutely lovely in the correct context. Don’t forget that chord names ARE limited! They only tell you the notes of the chord but often do not tell you much about the order that those notes must be played. If voicings are crucial to your compositions, use standard notation or tab instead of just chord symbols. On Maj7sus4 and Maj7sus2- I made a mistake while speaking and unfortunately it confuses an already confusing topic. The chord names Maj7sus2 and Maj7sus4 are sometimes seen, but it is important to recognize that those same notes are often seen with different names. Maj7sus4 chords were supposed to be mentioned in this video but somehow got left out. When we see a Maj7sus4 chord, what are most likely seeing is a dominant 7th chord being played without a 5th and instead being played over its 4th degree. For example, a Cmaj7sus4 is the notes C F G B. This resolves very well back to a regular C major. You can hear it almost sounds like a V-I progression, except the bass note is static. The notes G B and F are the root, third, and flat 7 of a G7 chord. The fifth would be D, but is not present, but is not necessary to create “dominant tension” to lead us back home to C. Therefore, a lot of times you see a chord written as “Cmaj7sus4”, it’s most likely functioning as a G7 and should probably be written that way. Of course, there are exceptions, and in cases like this, I think it’s up to the composer to decide which is the best way to notate the chord. G7/C (no fifth) in my opinion would be a much more clarifying title for a Cmaj7sus4, since 9 times out of 10, that group of notes will function as a G7 chord. SORRY ABOUT ALL THAT LASTLY I said Sus#4 is not a real name, because in my understanding of traditional theory, a suspended chord must include a NATURAL second or fourth. I believe the “correct” name for an Dsus#4 is actually just Dadd#4(no third) or Dadd#11(no third). Those are horrible names in my opinion, and language can evolve :) There is one sus chord concept that I didn’t bring up. The susb2 or susb9. To be quite honest, I am confused on what really IS a susb2 or a susb9, since many resources claim that a susb9 chord actually contains a minor third, which defies the entire point of suspended chords in my mind. I would recommend you experiment with a 1-5-b9 resolving to a 1-3-5 to create a nice Phrygian dominant tonality, and certainly experiment with that cluster of notes, but I am unfortunately unable to give a clear answer as to what a susb2/susb9 really should be all about. Maybe a friendly jazzmaster in the comment section will give us some clarity? This lesson, like all of mine here on YouTube, exists solely through the funding of my Patreon supporters, aka, “the finest humans on this planet”. I especially owe my thanks to these members for their support, and if you enjoyed this video, you do too! Linas Orentas Joe Buote Nick White Patrick Ryan Christopher Swanson John Arnold Jon Reddish Brandon Combs Sebastian Morgan M. Lord of the Chords Billyshes Phillip Sharp Don Watters Bradley Bower Marek Pawlowski BuzzWasHere Kip Ingram


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

Hey, I'm Jake lizzio and welcome to part 2 of my lesson on suspended chords in this video. We're going to be covering some of the things that you may confuse for suspended chord some things that are related to some suspended chords, but more importantly dealing with composition and some of the problems that may arise when you start working with this kind of stuff to start off in my last video. I mentioned that if you're on the four chord, then you can't really play us for chord because it'll add in a note that's out of the key. So for example in the key of a major if I go to my for Cordy and I try to make its us for it brings in this note G that can be a problem and I just want to demonstrate to you how that can be a problem because it might sound great on its own right if I play in a sauce for and ADI sauce for sounds awesome. So what am I doing telling you? You can't play it Well, you certainly can play it. But if you do you should really know what the consequences of that are. Here's how I'd like to demonstrate this. Let's say I've got a little song I wrote that goes like this from an A major.

Let's see. I've got some lyrics and a melody on top of that. That sounds like this I've tried to sounds all right.

I tried.

Now let's say I spiced up that chord progression by adding in some sus 4 Chords like this.

The still sounds great. But now when I add my vocal Melody on top listen to what happens during that last measure to hear that clashing listen again.

So what's going on here is that my chord D sus4 has an A and a g in it, but my melody singing a G-sharp, so we've got this little chromatic.

Right there the to my ear sounds really bad.

This is the kind of thing that you might hear a beginning composer get away with and not really notice that it doesn't sound bad but to my years it's unlistenable. So here's what we can do to fix that. Our first option is to instead of playing a dese us for let's just play a dese us to because that would introduce an E note. Andy is not out of key or you could introduce a concept known as a suspended sharp for a normal suspended for cord is just a root a fourth and a fifth, but if You did a route a sharp 4 and a fifth you could call that a deesis sharp 4 and even though technically that's not a name. I'm fine with people using that name because it really spells out what the court should be.

I tried another solution I would have here is to just change my melody. So it actually accommodates that g note now. It's like my melody is in mixolydian because I'm using all the notes of a major, but I have a flatted. Then step but I keep falling down for but I keep falling down.

And since I actually like the way that sounds I'm going to try to amplify this mixolydian flavor by making my tonic chord in a 7 instead.

I tried.

So you are free to use these us to and sus4 cords everywhere.

But you just need to be aware of the notes that you're adding in there and how they're going to affect your original key.

Sometimes it's going to create little problems like this that you might not notice and if you start stacking harmonies on top of something that you didn't quite work out you can end up in a lot of trouble because you didn't do the harmonic math or Leon now. I'd like to explore a little bit more of the classical aspects of the suspended chord. I am by no means an expert in classical Harmony, but one of the quick ways that I have to getting into that world is by using the sus chords off of the 5 position.

Let's say I'm in the key of A my Dominic or dizzy major, right?

And we've already mentioned that it's pretty common to see a sus 4 Chord there on the dominant that takes you back to our time, but some of the weirder classical chords like the Neapolitan chord or the augmented six chords. I really wasn't able to use those chords until I was able to follow them up with thats us for on the dominant. So here's a good example. The Neapolitan cord is this weird obscure cord where you take the flatted to? All right. So if I'm in the key of a flat a 2 is B flat You invert it. Alright, so now I've got a B flat over D.

And this to me is like a useless cord for the longest time. I had no idea what to do with it. It wasn't until I started following this useless caught up with the five chord that was suspended to help pull me back my time that I started getting a little bit of that classical flavor, you know classical Harmony was always outside of my range is a rock player and a blues player, but, you know just by playing around with that five position and some of those weird or cords take you You can hear how nice it starts getting a little bit more archaic.

Also in minor keys. If I'm in the key of A minor that's a movement will work. So I've got a d-flat or a B-flat over D and then e sauce for back to a mile. So that's a very traditional approach to looking at suspended chords, but you can use that in a very non-traditional fashion a few years back. I wrote a really silly Funk song called the immaculate gyration.

And the progression there was basically the key of F sharp minor and if I'm in the key of F sharp minor then the Neapolitan chord would be AG over B. So I bring in that g over be just to help us resolve to AC sharp sus4 C sharp major and then back to F sharp minor and was a great way to add a lot of harmonic interest to that verse section.

All the baby all I want now the electric guitar, which you'll see a lot is a power cord or root in a fifth and you'll see the ninth added in afterward with the pinky and this is a really lovely shape you slide it around to different positions to just ignore key from a little while and just kind of think about using it as a power cord. You can get some really cool like math Rock sounds out of it. But even though it has all the notes of a suspended to it almost never functions like a Tended to doesn't really resolve anywhere. So I like to think of it as just like a ninth power cord or a suspended power cord, even though that's not a thing.

Now speaking of nights. It's pretty common to see something like a sus 2 or assess for but the third is actually still there. And that means it's no longer suspended now. It's an ad nine chord or an ad 11 cord. So for example, a major is an A and A C sharp and E and that too was be so if I add that to in and if I add it in an octave higher, we would just call it a ninth then we get a major ad 9 which sounds like that. It's hilariously bright really nice chord. I think it is the good morning cord. You can make it the good night gorgeous by strumming it backwards.

Good night.

Also if you do this in a minor position as well, so a c and e is a Minor triad and if we keep that second note in there or call it a 9th. We get a minor at 9:00 awesome chord, very dark much darker cousin of just a regular a minor chord and similarly if you have a 1 4 5 and the third is still present we can consider that an ad for or an ad 11 cord and you could think of it something like this. Here's all the notes of an a major chord with an added forth and then here's all the notes of an A minor chord. With an added for and you can think of those as a major ad 11 or a minor at 11. Now the voicings here a little funky on the guitar something like this is going to work out much better on the piano where you can get access to those intervals a little easier now lastly, I'd like to talk about 7th suspended two or seven suspended four chords. If you have the notes of a dominant seventh chord, so A1 A3 A5 and a flatted 7 just replace that third with the second or the fourth and you'll have a seventh suspended two or a seventh sus4.

So if you think of everybody's favorite song Wonderwall, that's an E minor.

Major de sus 4 and then an A7 with us for because I've got my a and I've got my that's my route. I've got my fifth. I also have my sus my fourth note, which is a d and I have a flat 7 which is G and you can hear the context of the scored very open. It's a very vast Corbett has a little bit more color than just a suspended for a lot its own. I think also in the song Here Comes the Sun. I don't have my Capo. So right now it's going to be in the key of D. But at the end of the choruses are at the end of the verses we have a seven that turns into all the suspended variations And once again, it's still not all that movement all that stuff that we've associated with suspended but a little bit more grander little bit more color to it because of the presence of that flat 7. Now you may notice these notes are indistinguishable from the notes of a minor seventh suspended chord. They contain the exact same notes. So that's why that chord name really doesn't exist. We can look at a major 7th suspended chord, but things get a little weird there too. If we look at the notes of an a major 7 suspended for then you'll realize it's just the notes of an E major chord, except. It's all being played over an a note so It's like an E major with an added forth.

So I don't really think it's necessarily to helpful all the time to be thinking of major 7 suspended 4 Chords, but occasionally that name does pop up and you just want to be aware of what that cord label means. So it's kind of funny in my opinion one of the first chords that everybody learns is this Jesus to in this piece us for on the guitar and it seems like really simple stuff and it is but hopefully these two videos kind of give you the idea it can be really gory and depending on how far you want to go with this stuff and how much you want to understand about layering and how it all works together, you know, there's a lot to explore when it comes to just these simple All suspended chords, so I hope you enjoy these videos, and I hope you learn something from them. If you did, enjoy these videos and you have to thank my patreon supporters for making it possible if you'd like to join them. You can there's links Below in the description. Otherwise, you could support this channel by buying my ultimate modal poster. There's links Below in the description.

Thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.


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