# Basic Chord Theory IV

In part four, we will wrap up by looking at suspended chords, as well as learning the basics of chord inversions.

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Intro: Hello, and welcome to the fourth and final instalment of the Basic Chord Theory series. In part four, we will wrap up by looking at suspended chords, as well as learning the basics of chord inversions. Enjoy! Suspended Chords: The first thing we will look at today is suspended chords. To start, there are two main types of suspended chords, a suspended second chord, and a suspended fourth chord. Both these types of chords alter the base chord slightly. To get more insight on suspended chords, it's probably best to look at some example, which is what we will do! The Suspended Second Chord: Lets start off with the suspended second chord. Like all the other chords we have learned, this chord can be expressed in a numerical sequence: 1 2 5 So, lets use this sequence to construct a Csus2 chord, starting on C:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
Next, we would add the second note of the C major scale, being D:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--0----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
And then finally, we would add the fifth note of the C major, G:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--0----||
D||--0----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
And that's a Csus2! Now as you know, you can change around the order of the notes and get the same chord, so why don't you experiment with that. For example, I play my Csus2 many ways, one being C D C D G, which is played like this:
```E||--3----||
B||--3----||
G||--5----||
D||--0----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
Play it however you feel comfortable. We will discuss this chord more later. I think it would be helpful if we also new the suspended fourth chord, so we can reflect on suspended chords in their entirety. The Suspended Fourth: The suspended fourth is very similar to the suspended second. It follows this pattern: 1 4 5 So, lets now construct a Csus4, starting with C:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
Next, we would add the fourth note of the C major scale, F:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--3----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
And finally, the fifth note of the C major, G:
```E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--0----||
D||--3----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```
So, there is your basic Csus4! Once again, try experimenting with different ordering. Luckily, the Csus4 is a pretty versatile chord, so you could simply just play it C F G C F, and get this:
```E||--1----||
B||--1----||
G||--0----||
D||--3----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||```

### 22 comments sorted by best / new / date

Another great chord theory lesson. You're doing a great job. I've already learned this from other lessons but I did catch a few tidbits i didn't the first time around. 10/10
These are the best chord lessons I have managed to find on the internet.
Can you poste a lesson about min 9,6th chords and non diatonic chords plz
Great lessons....I knew all the information, but I am a terrible teacher, and am bad at presentation...you have made it easy to understand, and the information is correct...great job....btw he is right about the major chord with a 125 instead of the third...that is not the name, but all chord constructions, and scale alterations are based off the major scale in western music...that is the point he was trying to make....
I think this is good in the sense that it explains things in a practical way, not too analytical and formal, but you should be careful not to post incorrect statements "(...)dont say 1 2 5, say major chord with a second instead of a third" This isn't true... While I get what you are trying to say and might even be easier for beginners to understand with simplifications like this,a lesson shouldn't have false statements IMO. Please keep it in mind if you post more in the future.
sorry to burst ur bubble but u missed min9, 6th chords and non diatonic chords
Wow these lessons have left me mind blown! Made lots of sense and has made some chords like add9, 9, add11 and 11 etc look less daunting. Cheers man. A 10 out of 10!
Brilliant series of lessons, Ive learned alot from them but I do still have a request. You seem to know alot about chords so could you maybe do another lesson with some examples of where to use them etc I mean, I dont have a clue where to throw in such complicated chords. Maybe some examples of them in use? i know it probably takes the piss to do and I appreciate it man, keep up the good work!
One exception is that there is technically no such thing as a minor chord with a suspension.
Well, then there is technically no such thing as a major chord with a suspension.
When you read suspended second, dont say 1 2 5, say major chord with a second instead of a third.
Not to be a dick, but that's wrong. A sus2 and sus4 can act as a minor, major or dominant chord. It is not just a major with a suspended second. A suspended chord is in no way tied to minor or major tonality, it just depends on the situation in which it is used to determine which of the three it "feels" more like. I know everyone makes mistakes, but I just don't want people getting the wrong notion about suspended chords.
Nice lesson! Just be careful how you use the word "alter". Some cats might get confused by that
I had investigated a li'l bit already, but it's a great series you've got there , nice and simple.
This is definitely a very applicable lesson to guitar, but some sections, especially on suspensions, don't reflect a standard view on chord structure. The lesson is excellent for guitarists, but from a technical theory perspective, it's a tad off.
Bravo and congrats. Great explanations and a great lesson overall. This is just the lesson ive been looking for. Cheers
ajreciever14 wrote: cgolden wrote: This is definitely a very applicable lesson to guitar, but some sections, especially on suspensions, don't reflect a standard view on chord structure. The lesson is excellent for guitarists, but from a technical theory perspective, it's a tad off. well this is ultimate-guitar
Just cuz this is UG doesn't mean making it theory tight is unneeded.
thebjorno wrote: Very Nice! As a teacher, I'm always looking for others who are good at teaching n00bs and seeing what they do. However I'd add the m7b5 (1 m3 b5 b7), the dim7 (1 m3 TT/b5 dim7/bb7), the aug7 (1 M3 #5 b7), the dom7 add13 (1 M3 5 b7 13). This amount of chord theory is totally enough for non-jazz musicians.
Well, what I'm hoping for is that with the theory I've taught, when someone sees something like Cm7b5, they would be able to say "okay, that's just a minor seventh chord with a flattened fifth. Easy!" instead of teaching EVERY chord known to mankind. But I see what your saying, thanks for the feedback.
Very Nice! As a teacher, I'm always looking for others who are good at teaching n00bs and seeing what they do. However I'd add the m7b5 (1 m3 b5 b7), the dim7 (1 m3 TT/b5 dim7/bb7), the aug7 (1 M3 #5 b7), the dom7 add13 (1 M3 5 b7 13). This amount of chord theory is totally enough for non-jazz musicians.
Thanks CPD! This helps us newbies immensely.
and here lies the final product.. great job CPD! you got these out quick and you did a fantastic job with your explanations and how you showed each chord.. awesome lessons for anyone looking to grasp a better understanding of how chords are made. \M/
i only looked at this lesson, now everything seems so much easier to me when looking at chords i will definitely look at this more often
cgolden wrote: This is definitely a very applicable lesson to guitar, but some sections, especially on suspensions, don't reflect a standard view on chord structure. The lesson is excellent for guitarists, but from a technical theory perspective, it's a tad off.
well this is ultimate-guitar
Sweet, I've learned alot from these, very well put lessons, I hope to see more in the future!
Great lessons, thanks for posting