• Who Else Is Interested In Learning How Beginners Apply Suspended Chords?

    in Beginners,Chords & Progressions,Piano

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    In today’s lesson, I’ll be showing you (step-by-step) how beginners apply suspended chords.

    Apart from triads (major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads), suspended chords are another class of chords that beginners must be familiar with and also learn how to apply.

    So, I’ve decided to show all beginners out there how to apply suspended chords and if you’re a beginner, you are on the right page. But before we go any further, let’s refresh our minds on suspended chords.

    A Short Note On Suspended Chords

    Every triad has three chord tones: the root, third, and fifth tones.

    When the third tone is replaced with the second or fourth tone of the scale, this produces a suspended chord: which can either be a suspended second chord or a suspended fourth chord respectively.

    Let me show you how this works.

    The Sus2 Chord

    Using the C major triad:

    …which is derived from the C major scale:

    …by playing the first, third, and fifth tones (C, E, and G):

    …you can form the suspended second (sus2) chord by replacing the third tone (which is E):

    …with the second tone of the C major scale (which is D):

    So, C, D, and G (when played together):

    …produces the C sus2 chord.

    The Sus4 Chord

    Replacing the third tone of the C major triad:

    …which is E:

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

    …produces “C-F-G”:

    …which is the suspended fourth (sus4) chord.

    Here’s How To Apply Suspended Chords

    Now, we have three different triads (in the key of C major):

    The C major triad:

    The C sus4 chord:

    The Csus2 chord:

    …and I’m doubly sure you already know how the 1-chord (the C major triad) is applied. So, I’ll be showing you how to apply the suspended chords: the  sus2 and sus4 chord.

    The Application Of Suspended Chords As Primary Chords

    There are three primary chords in every major or minor key:

    The 1-chord

    The 4-chord

    The 5-chord

    …and in the key of  C major:

    …here are the primary chords:

    The C major triad (the 1-chord):

    The F major triad (the 4-chord):

    The G major triad (the 5-chord):

    …and instead of playing these chords in the key of C major as primary chords, you could use the suspended chords instead.

    “Here’s How It Works…”

    Instead of playing the F major triad (as the 4-chord):

    …you could play the C sus4 chord:


    Instead of playing the G major triad as the 5-chord (in the key of C major):

    …you could play the C sus2 chord:

    Final Words

    I’m hopeful that you’ve learned something new about suspended chords that you’ll be applying in songs.

    Now, we covered how suspended chords can be used instead of the 4-chord and 5-chord in this lesson. In a subsequent lesson, we’ll see how the 2-chord, 3-chord, and 6-chord can be replaced with suspended chords.

    See you then!

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    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") 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.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


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