There's a little bit of something that I've noticed regarding sus chords. When you play a sus2 chord, I found that it is enharmonic with another sus4 chord. For example, a Csus4 chord (C-F-G) is enharmonic with an Fsus2 chord (F-G-C). This leads me to two problems: sometimes I want to play the Csus4 chord as the Fsus2 chord, which will actually act like a Csus chord generally, but I'm not sure how to notate this correctly. When making sheet music when I want the notes to be F-G-C, should I note it as an Fsus2 chord, or should I note is as a Csus4 (or just plain Csus) with an inversion marking after the chord?

That leaves one more problem: I don't know what the actual root, 1st, and 2nd inversions of Sus chord are. I'm going to guess that a Sus4 is root inversion, the Sus2-like chord is first inversion, and the one with two major 4ths apart can serve as 2nd inversion. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of that. The ambiguity here is making me wonder.
well, yeah. they're different chords. doesn't matter if they have the same notes, they're different chords. Csus4 is based on C, Fsus2 is based on F. whichever is the better option will be dictated by context.

i don't know what you're getting at with the inversion thing -- and in our system of tuning, there's no such thing as a major 4th -- which leads me to believe you're better off dropping things like this for now and going back to review your understanding of more fundamental concepts like intervals.

theory isn't like guitar. you can learn to tremolo pick and sweep pick at the same time. acquiring skill on the guitar is not linear (to an extent). but skill with theory is linear - you must understand one concept completely before moving on, since further topics are all expansions. it's like mathematics -- you need to know how to perform basic operations correctly if you want to tackle algebra.
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As far as I understand, the notation is dependent on the chord's function. If it's acting as a chord with C as the root (as in, the bass plays a C, the chord leads into an F or is resolved to from a G, etc), you'd notate it as Csus4. If it's acting as a chord with F as the root, call it Fsus2. And yes, for a sus4 chord, the sus4 is the root position, the sus2 type chord is the first inversion, and the second inversion has the fifth on the bottom (G-C-F in C).

Does that make sense?
With regard to the first paragraph, it depends on the bass. If it's C F G then it's a Csus4. If the bass is the F then it's an Fsus2. It's all about which note is the lowest note in the chord. Like, the very lowest note of anything being played.
Quote by Reagar
With regard to the first paragraph, it depends on the bass. If it's C F G then it's a Csus4. If the bass is the F then it's an Fsus2. It's all about which note is the lowest note in the chord. Like, the very lowest note of anything being played.

not necessarily. it's not so much the bass, but the root (which is determined by the function).

it's possible to have a Csus4 chord with an F in the bass and still be a Csus4.
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Let's put it this way: If you have a second inversion F major chord (F/C), then you suspend the third to G, it will be an Fsus2/C.

Unless of course, this chord resolves to a C major chord, then you could call it a Csus.

In other words, Aeolian is correct to say that it's all about function/context.
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yeah no i know what he's getting at, i think the major 4th thing was a slip up but i know where he's coming from. ts, do you know why something is called a sus 2 or sus 4 or how they function? i don't mean to be that guy, but you need to understand their functions and where they're going

when you look at it, look at the next chord too, does it resolve like a sus 2 or 4? this will tell you which it is and how it should be labelled, regardless of root.

it's quite unusual in that both of them have no notes that help define a tonality, i see where your coming from
if your still having any trouble just ask
Maybe it's an inversion, depending on how it is played. If you use C as the root note for Fsus4[the bassist plays C], it's an inversion.

If not...well hmmm...
I'm guessing it's a different chord?


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I had major 3rd on the brain since that is omitted in a Sus chord, so yes, I meant Perfect 4th.
And thanks for the help, Nathaniel confirmed what I thought about root, 1st and 2nd inversions of the Sus chords. But also, something else can confuse this further. It's often believed that a sus chord's definition is something like, "omit the 3rd and raise it to a 4th", which is actually untrue because you also have the option of omitting the 3rd and lowering it to the 2. So Sus chords are basically omitting the 3rd and opting for either the 2 or the 4 instead.

So when you take both the 4 and 2 as options to replace the 3rd, you get options of a Sus2 or Sus4 chord, and both of those can be either known as either a root Sus chord, or an inversion of a Sus chord with another root. Confusing at first but yes, it's correct to say that it depends on the function and staying in control of it.

Thanks again for clarifying.