Ever since I starting playing guitar I always wondered what the heck "sus4" meant. Well, I
finally figured it out, and I am now going to tell you what they are. The "sus" in a sus2 or
sus4 means suspended, a theory term for notes not fitting into the root-third-fifth chord
structure. You will need to know
a bit of background information on keys and scales, which can be found
here. Once you are familiar with that, continue on to the lesson!
In major or minor chords, there are three different notes: the root, third, and fifth.
Therefore, a D chord has D, F#, and A. In a sus4 chord, the third is
replaced by the fourth, so the chord contains a root, fourth, and fifth.
This pattern gives a sus4 chord the following structure: 1-4-5.
The fourth of D is G, so the Dsus4 contains D, G, and A
Therefore, the fingering for a Dsus4 chord looks like this:
As another example, an Asus4 chord (formed x02230)
is made up of A, D, and E, as shown here:
understand this, the following fingerings of common sus4 chords becomes apparent:
Asus4 Bsus4 Dsus4
Esus4 F#sus4 Gsus4
x02230 x24452 xx0233 022200 244422
Once you understand the theory behind sus4 chords, sus2 chords are very similar. Instead of
the root, fourth, and fifth in a sus4 chord, a sus2 chord contains the root, second, and fifth.
Sus2 chords have the pattern 1-2-5.
Therefore, a Dsus2 will contain D, E, and A, giving a fingering which looks like this:
As another example, an Asus2 chord (formed x02200)
is made up of A, B, and E, as shown here:
Once you understand this, the following fingerings of common
sus2 chords becomes apparent: