• I Played The 13sus4 Chord And This Happened…

    in Piano

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    The 13sus4 chord is one of my favorite chords in music and I want to show you its application in this lesson.

    But before I show you all of that, let’s go ahead and review the 13sus4 chord.

    A Short Note On The 13sus4 Chord

    The 13sus4 chord is actually a dominant thirteenth chord with a suspended fourth. So, instead of calling it a dominant thirteenth chord, it’s simply called the thirteenth chord.

    If you take the basic C dominant seventh chord:

    …and add its ninth (D), eleventh (F), and thirteenth (A):




    …you have the C dom13 or C13 chord:

    When we replace the third tone of the C13 chord (which is E):

    …with the fourth tone of the C major scale (which is F):

    …we get the C13sus4 chord:

    Here’s a classic 13sus4 chord:

    …and it looks like we’re playing the Bb major seventh chord over C on the bass:

    Bb major seventh chord (right hand):

    C bass (left hand):

    How To Form The 13sus4 Chords

    Over any left hand bass note, you can form a 13sus4 chord by just playing a major seventh chord on your right hand. This is as simple as going down by a whole step below the bass note you have on your left hand.

    “Let’s Form The E13sus4 Chord…”

    Over the E bass note:

    …we can go a whole-step below the E bass note to D:

    …and form the D major seventh chord:

    D major seventh chord over E on bass:

    D major seventh:

    E bass:

    …produces the E13sus4 chord:

    “Let’s Form The C#13sus4 Chord…”

    Over the C# bass note:

    …we can go a whole-step below (the C# bass note) to B:

    …and form the B major seventh chord:

    B major seventh chord over C# on bass:

    B major seventh:

    C# bass:

    …produces the C#13sus4 chord:

    “Here Are All The 13sus4 Chords On The Keyboard…”

    C 13sus4 chord:

    C# 13sus4 chord:

    D 13sus4 chord:

    Eb 13sus4 chord:

    E 13sus4 chord:

    F 13sus4 chord:

    F# 13sus4 chord:

    G 13sus4 chord:

    Ab 13sus4 chord:

    A 13sus4 chord:

    Bb 13sus4 chord:

    B 13sus4 chord:

    Final Words

    The 13sus4 chord is a powerful chord option for the 5-chord in any key you’re in.

    If you’re also interested in learning how to modulate, the 13sus4 chord provides a powerful pivot chord option that would take you to the 1-chord in the key you’re modulating to.

    In a subsequent lesson, we’ll cover this and you’ll see, step-by-step, how it works.

    Until then, keep practicing.

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    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

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