#1
This is a qustion that plagued me earlier today, when I was going on a magical journey to find out what modes can be played over sus2 and sus4 chords.

I have read in numerous posts that the interval of a minor 2nd is a very harsh interval for say a melody to be played over a chord. But there seems to be cases where this is true and others where it is false.

Anyway - the sus2 chord:
I found that when playing lead over a sus2 chord, playing the 3rd scale degree sounds pleasent over the 2, while playing a b2 sounds like ass. Both are an interval of a minor 2nd. Just mucking around, i discovered that good scales to use over this chord are the Ionian, Dorian, Mixolydian, and Aeolian.

sus4:
Again the 3rd scale degree sounds alright over the 4, but the b5/#4 sounds terrible. Both intervals are a minor 2nd. I found that good scales to use were Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian.

It makes sense to me in the case that not all intervals can sound good, but if someone could explain the theory behind this minor 2nd interval it would be much appreciated.

Could i also find out if the scales i named to be played over the sus chords are (theoretically) correct? I realize that as long as it sounds good, theory doesnt always count.

Thanks for your help.

EDIT: This prob goes into min/maj chrods as well lol. Im in way over my head.
Gear:
Ibnaez RG1570 Prestige
Maton EM225C Acoustic
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Digitech DF-7 Distortion Pedal
Last edited by stratman_mjc at Feb 12, 2007,
#2
sus2: 1 2 5
Playing the third makes the chord an add2 chord, which sounds nice. Playing the b2 has three consecutive chromatic notes, not usually good.

sus4: 1 4 5
Playing the third makes the chord an add4 chord, which also sounds nice, but the #4 leads to consecutive chromatic notes.

Even if you have two notes right next to each other when you write things out (A and Bb or something), you might not have a minor second interval. It could be a major seventh interval if A is an octave higher than Bb or a b9 if Bb is an octave higher than A (you know what I mean).
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 12, 2007,
#5
^

it's just terminology... if you're playing a minor chord, and you remove the third in exchange for the second or fourth note of the scale, it creates a "sus" chord. They're actually pretty easy to play and use... they create tension in a chord progression, so if you need something to stand out or signal a change, a sus chord is a fun way to do it.
#7
thanks that helped alot BGC

so what are my options for soloing over sus chords then?

Is it using any scale/mode that doesnt have a b2 and/or a #4/b5?
Gear:
Ibnaez RG1570 Prestige
Maton EM225C Acoustic
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Digitech DF-7 Distortion Pedal
Last edited by stratman_mjc at Feb 12, 2007,
#8
Just so you know, that should say #4, not #5. Sorry for any confusion. The edit has been made.

Quote by stratman_mjc
so what are my optoins for soloing over sus chords then?
It depends on the context, but a safe starting point is chord tones.

The rest will depend on the chord it is replacing. If you play Dsus2 instead of D major, you will play different stuff that if you replace D minor.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 12, 2007,
#9
Yeah that makes sense. Cheers
Gear:
Ibnaez RG1570 Prestige
Maton EM225C Acoustic
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Digitech DF-7 Distortion Pedal