What are suspended chords? I'm trying to broaden my writing, and I never understood what a suspended chord was. I figured it was a sort of middle child chord - it started as one and wanted to resolve but only got about halfway there. Can anyone provide a slightly less idiomatic definition?
Suspended chords are chords where the third is replaced or 'suspended' by a 2nd or 4th. I'm not too sure but I think generally the suspension is supposed to be a note from the previous chord and resolve to the third of the new chord. Something like -
     E  Asus2  A

But in rock/pop music most don't bother with such things and just throw in suspensions willy nilly
Last edited by Nietsche at Jul 10, 2009,
A suspended chord is quite simply a chord where you remove the 3rd and play the 2nd or 4th in it's place.

sus2 - 1 2 5
sus4 - 1 4 5
7sus4 - 1 4 5 b7
404: Sig not found.
Quote by Nietsche
But in rock/pop music most don't bother with such things and just throw in suspensions willy nilly

This. If you put in suspensions in random places it normally turns out well

You could use them to make the voice leading between two chords a little bit nicer. For example, take this movement that could be in a progression (A - Bm):


Save one voice, this whole thing is moving up in parallel motion one whole step, the exception moving up a half step. This doesn't provide much texture while it also may be desirable in a rock song in certain situations. Let's take the best of both worlds by making one voice move in the opposite direction while retaining the parallel motion in the rest of it (Asus4 - Bsus2):


See what I did there with the voice on the B string? Sounds a little bit sadder, doesn't it*?

*Before anyone attacks me for saying that a progression is sad.. I just altered the voice leading which is how chords interact melodically, so suck it.
i don't know why i feel so dry