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A sus chord is the same as a suspended chord; it is a chord that is said to be in transition.  Therefore a "sus" (suspended) chord may sound unsettled, or at least, in transition.  The actual term suspended is meant to mean that one or more of the notes are changing, but that at least one or two have not.  So it would seem that the old notes from the last chord are "suspended" in motion during the transition.

Suspended or "sus" chords really can refer to adding a 2nd note of the scale or adding a 4th note of the scale.  However, if just the word "sus" is used or "suspended" it is assumed to mean that the 4th note of the scale is added.  In this case, one would drop the 3rd normally as the 4th (or in the case of sus 2 - the 2nd) is added.

To determine which notes are to be used for this chord, let us look at a scale.  We will use a scale in the key of C to show how this chord is put together:

Scale in Key of C

Notes C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C    
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15    

A scale in the key of C shown above are the normal notes that one might expect in a song.  Instead of calling the notes C, D, E, etc.  or 1, 2, 3 , we also could think of the sequence as the singing notes: do, re, me fa, so, la ti do.

In this case, a Suspended chord is made up of the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of the scale.  For a C Suspended chord then (key of C), the notes of this chord would be:  C, F and G.  Note however that suspended chords could also ask for:  sus 2, which would be the 1st, 2nd and 5th notes of the scale (again dropping the 3rd) and would be C,D and G.  Or one could ask for sus 4 (3 no 5) or sus 4 (3 and 5).  I imagine you can also determine the notes for the last two examples.

Musicord Software Note

The Musicord Software shown below for Windows, includes sus 4, sus 2 and sus 4 (3 no 5) and sus 4(3 and 5)  chords as well as many other chord types.


Now Available !  Musicord Version 3 software for Windows
Shows chords and chord fingerings for
Keyboard and many stringed instruments

screen shot of musicord software ehowing E major chord

(note: actual screen size is larger in usage)

Click Here for More Musicord Information

Click Here for eBook Info on One Person Band Recording

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Click here to view more music chord terms and definitions

One person band techniques book   Book: Becoming a One Person Band (click for info)
eBook Available from Google Play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook

If you have some instrument skills, particularly with a keyboard instrument such as piano, organ, accordion, or keyboard itself or similar, you can do multiple track recording and create you own band recording of perhaps 4 or 8 or 16 or more pieces. This book focuses on music theory on help for determining what some of those other band parts might play, such as strings, bass or other instruments.