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> How To Build 7sus4 Chords, Learn How to Build and Play 7sus4 Chords
The Professor
post May 11 2013, 11:15 AM
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How to Build 7Sus4 Chords



In today’s theory lesson we’ll be looking at how you build 7Sus4 chords, as well as 8 commonly used fingerings for these chords that you can take into the practice and bring into your playing and songwriting.

The 7sus4 chord comes from the mixolydian mode, as it uses the 1st, 4th, 5th and b7th notes of the mixolydian mode in it’s construction.

Here is how you would build a C7sus4 chord from the C mixolydian mode.

Notice how the numbers of the C mixolydian mode are used to spell the numbers of the C7sus4 chord, 1-4-5-b7, as this is the interval pattern needed to build any 7sus4 chord, regardless of key.


Attached Image



So, the 7sus4 chord is built by taking the Root, 4th, 5th and b7th of the related Mixolydian Mode.



Test Your Theory Knowledge



To help get this formula under your fingers and into your theory chops, you can write out all 12 different 7sus4 chords, such as C F G Bb for C7sus4, and post them in the comments section of this thread.

I’ll be glad to check your work and help with any questions you have regarding this lesson on building 7sus4 chords.



7sus4 Chord Shapes



To keep things practical as well as theoretical, here are 8 different shapes for C7sus4 that you can take into your guitar playing.

Each of these shapes is commonly used and if you have even a few of them under your fingers will allow you to easily bring these sounds into your playing regardless of the style or musical situation.


Attached Image



Check out 7sus4 chords from both a construction and practical application.

These chords will pop up from time to time, or a lot if you play blues, jazz or fusion, and so it’s a good idea to have a mental and physical understanding of these common chords.

This post has been edited by The Professor: May 18 2013, 10:09 AM


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AK Rich
post May 13 2013, 08:04 AM
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OMG that 6th chord position is a hand wrecker! blink.gif The only way I can do it is to pinky barre the E and A strings on the 8th fret, I would hate to have to switch to that one very quickly biggrin.gif .What would you call the chord if you barred the last 3 strings with the index on the 3rd fret?
C7Sus4add9? or C9Sus4 maybe?


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The Professor
post May 13 2013, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ May 13 2013, 08:04 AM) *
OMG that 6th chord position is a hand wrecker! blink.gif The only way I can do it is to pinky barre the E and A strings on the 8th fret, I would hate to have to switch to that one very quickly biggrin.gif .What would you call the chord if you barred the last 3 strings with the index on the 3rd fret?
C7Sus4add9? or C9Sus4 maybe?



yeah that's a tough one, I just included it for those that like big stretches, and if you do it in other keys, like E or higher than the 12th fret, it get easier.

If you barre the top 3 strings on the 3rd fret I would call it C9sus4, cool sounding chord!


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AK Rich
post May 13 2013, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (The Professor @ May 12 2013, 10:16 PM) *
yeah that's a tough one, I just included it for those that like big stretches, and if you do it in other keys, like E or higher than the 12th fret, it get easier.

If you barre the top 3 strings on the 3rd fret I would call it C9sus4, cool sounding chord!

Very tough indeed, I have to tuck my elbow right in up against my ribs to pull it off. I was just noticing that the C7sus2 in that position in the other thread was even harder. I cant seem to stand my pinky up on the 8th fret E string while doing a barre on the A and D strings with my middle finger 5th fret, and then reach the 3rd fret G string with my index, well I can but the G string gets muted by the middle finger. rolleyes.gif
It is definately much easier down around the 12th fret where I can use the ring and middle finger instead of a barre with the middle finger and still make that stretch with the pinky.
Yes the C9sus4 does sound very cool cool.gif Thanks Matt! Loving all these different chord shapes man!


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The Professor
post May 13 2013, 12:02 PM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ May 13 2013, 09:02 AM) *
Very tough indeed, I have to tuck my elbow right in up against my ribs to pull it off. I was just noticing that the C7sus2 in that position in the other thread was even harder. I cant seem to stand my pinky up on the 8th fret E string while doing a barre on the A and D strings with my middle finger 5th fret, and then reach the 3rd fret G string with my index, well I can but the G string gets muted by the middle finger. rolleyes.gif
It is definately much easier down around the 12th fret where I can use the ring and middle finger instead of a barre with the middle finger and still make that stretch with the pinky.
Yes the C9sus4 does sound very cool cool.gif Thanks Matt! Loving all these different chord shapes man!


Yeah that sus2 is very tricky, but you can also try taking one note from the middel or that Bb and raising it up to another string. It's not the exact same shape, but it's the same notes, so that's what I usually do in a case like this. So take the Bb from the 3rd string and push it up to the 6th fret on the 1st string for example.


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The Danchez
post Mar 3 2014, 08:02 AM
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I've got a question about this though...Isn't the 7sus4 also just an 11 chord? -- 1 4 5 b7 = 1 5 b7 11? Because if I were to voice the 4th interval higher than the b7 I would get an interval of an 11th instead of a 4th. Are they synonymous?
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 3 2014, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (dsanc89 @ Mar 3 2014, 07:02 AM) *
I've got a question about this though...Isn't the 7sus4 also just an 11 chord? -- 1 4 5 b7 = 1 5 b7 11? Because if I were to voice the 4th interval higher than the b7 I would get an interval of an 11th instead of a 4th. Are they synonymous?


Hey mate smile.gif If you have the 3rd, you will usually have an 11th rather than a 4th - as the 4th suspends the 3rd - that's why it's called sus4.

So, if it's 1 4 5 b7 - this is the sus4b7 and if it's 1 3 5 b7 11 - that's the 7add11


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jstcrsn
post Mar 3 2014, 03:43 PM
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QUOTE (The Professor @ May 13 2013, 08:16 AM) *
yeah that's a tough one, I just included it for those that like big stretches, and if you do it in other keys, like E or higher than the 12th fret, it get easier.

If you barre the top 3 strings on the 3rd fret I would call it C9sus4, cool sounding chord!

this chord ,me likey
so if we are in c mixo made what other chords would work well to make nice little track
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 3 2014, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Mar 3 2014, 02:43 PM) *
this chord ,me likey
so if we are in c mixo made what other chords would work well to make nice little track


C mixolydian means F major as a parent scale - here's what I suggest:

I - VII
I - vi - IV - V - VII - I
I - IV - I - VII - I
I - ii - IV - VII - I

Can you replace these with the afferent chords? smile.gif


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klasaine
post Mar 3 2014, 05:26 PM
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QUOTE (dsanc89 @ Mar 2 2014, 11:02 PM) *
I've got a question about this though...Isn't the 7sus4 also just an 11 chord? -- 1 4 5 b7 = 1 5 b7 11? Because if I were to voice the 4th interval higher than the b7 I would get an interval of an 11th instead of a 4th. Are they synonymous?


Short answer - yes, 11 or 4 replaces major 3rd. On guitar, due to our limits of how many notes we can grab at one time we regularly abbreviate chord spelling and naming. Consequently, in the wild you'll hear folks refer to 11ths and sus4s interchangeably regardless of the octave of the extension. *Same with 6ths and 13ths.
It's probably regional (a lot of nomenclature is) but out here on the coast a sus4 or just plain sus implies only Root, 5th, b7th and 4th (you can double the root and 5th and sometimes the 7th).

11th generally implies that it's a dominant 7th chord and many times will also include the 9th.
A common voicing would be: 5X543X = A11 (A G B D low to high). *You can sometimes see this chord written as G/A (G with A in the bass).

'Less' common is a sus4 or 11th chord that also contains a Major 3rd.
Example: 5X563X (A G C# D) or X 12 12 12 12 9 (A D G B C#)
In a chord chart these can be notated in a few ways: Asus4 w/3 or A11 w/3 or A7sus w/3

*Though my two examples of sus w/3 are of the jazzier variety there's a very, very common rock voicing that most of use all the time: XX403X - Dsus4 w/3 (no root).

This post has been edited by klasaine: Mar 3 2014, 06:54 PM


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jstcrsn
post Mar 3 2014, 07:15 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 3 2014, 04:28 PM) *
C mixolydian means F major as a parent scale - here's what I suggest:

I - VII
I - vi - IV - V - VII - I
I - IV - I - VII - I
I - ii - IV - VII - I

Can you replace these with the afferent chords? smile.gif

major , minor, minor, major , major minor , diminished- in f major


had to cheat on that diminished though
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 4 2014, 08:51 AM
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Hehe now - name the chords derived after harmonizing the F major scale and replace the numbers representing the scale steps in the mixolydian progressions with the actual chords so that you may get the C mixolydian progressions.


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Darius Wave
post Mar 4 2014, 12:39 PM
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As usual some masterpiece of theory smile.gif


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jstcrsn
post Mar 4 2014, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 4 2014, 08:51 AM) *
Hehe now - name the chords derived after harmonizing the F major scale and replace the numbers representing the scale steps in the mixolydian progressions with the actual chords so that you may get the C mixolydian progressions.

1 c7sus4
2 d minor
3 e dim
4 f major
5 g minor
6 A minor
7 Bflat major

this answer feels so wrong,

This post has been edited by jstcrsn: Mar 4 2014, 01:48 PM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 5 2014, 12:16 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Mar 4 2014, 12:28 PM) *
1 c7sus4
2 d minor
3 e dim
4 f major
5 g minor
6 A minor
7 Bflat major

this answer feels so wrong,


The chords are correct smile.gif Now, can you tell me how they would fit in the progressions I suggested? Because this is where you need to get to, in order to use that chord in an actual context wink.gif


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jstcrsn
post Mar 5 2014, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 5 2014, 12:16 PM) *
The chords are correct smile.gif Now, can you tell me how they would fit in the progressions I suggested? Because this is where you need to get to, in order to use that chord in an actual context wink.gif

c7sus4-b flat dim
c7sus4- a minor -f major - g minor - b flat dim- c7sus4
c7sus4 - f major - c7sus4 - b flat dim - c7sus4
c7sus4 - d minor - f major - b flat dim - c7sus4
is this what you are after

This post has been edited by jstcrsn: Mar 5 2014, 01:32 PM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 6 2014, 08:20 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Mar 5 2014, 12:27 PM) *
c7sus4-b flat dim
c7sus4- a minor -f major - g minor - b flat dim- c7sus4
c7sus4 - f major - c7sus4 - b flat dim - c7sus4
c7sus4 - d minor - f major - b flat dim - c7sus4
is this what you are after


Hehe - let's take example number one:

V VII - C7sus4 Bb dim you stated earlier that Bb is major in the harmonizing of the mode - why is it diminished now? smile.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Mar 6 2014, 08:20 AM


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jstcrsn
post Mar 6 2014, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 6 2014, 08:20 AM) *
Hehe - let's take example number one:

V VII - C7sus4 Bb dim you stated earlier that Bb is major in the harmonizing of the mode - why is it diminished now? smile.gif

cause you are thoroughly confusing me with all this theory junk huh.gif
Brain fart- thinking the vii is dim and we are if the key of C
when in fact were in F major relative to C mixo making the E dim and would make Bb major
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 6 2014, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Mar 6 2014, 11:57 AM) *
cause you are thoroughly confusing me with all this theory junk huh.gif
Brain fart- thinking the vii is dim and we are if the key of C
when in fact were in F major relative to C mixo making the E dim and would make Bb major


Yes my brother, that is the correct answer! Now, let's see the correct progressions wink.gif


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SeeJay
post May 4 2014, 10:54 PM
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Time to invest in that extra finger you've always wanted.
tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif

QUOTE (AK Rich @ May 13 2013, 07:04 AM) *
OMG that 6th chord position is a hand wrecker! blink.gif The only way I can do it is to pinky barre the E and A strings on the 8th fret, I would hate to have to switch to that one very quickly biggrin.gif .What would you call the chord if you barred the last 3 strings with the index on the 3rd fret?
C7Sus4add9? or C9Sus4 maybe?



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