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Chords - A Suspended 4th

David O' Toole (784) · [archive]
Style: Basics · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

Chords - A Suspended 4

This little chord series is aimed at players who are already familiar with and using basic chords already - these are ways to spice some of the basics up. If you need to brush up or learn about basic chord usage please go to our Basic 'Essential' Chord Families Guide

Spinning Electric Guitar width=60 height=100

This Suspended Chord sequence is a very special combination that'll sound familiar to you...

It's A and A Suspended 4 - you can suspend the tension of any chord by playing the 4th interval (note D in this case) and then releasing it by returning back to the chord's stable 3rd (C#).

Here's the idea in A - see if you recognize it.

First chord A Major played at the 5th fret...

Guitar Chord width=352 height=138

Chord Chart Diagram A

...and then add the 4th as in the diagram below, which is played on and off with the little finger. Beginners Tip: Keep the 2nd C#finger in place throughout this little exercise.

Here's the A sus 4 (sus = suspended) chord.

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Chord Chart Diagram A sus 4


Here's a quick listen to an A : A sus 4 riff using these 2 chords.

Music Note width=32 height=32Demo A - A sus 4

Lay on a bit of delay and a light breakup or overdrive to drive this type of idea, and off you go. Keep hittin' that open A string for added effect as in this particular key of A example, the open A string sounds well.

To hear this idea used to the max, check out The Edge's work on U2's song "Bad". In this tune, the main chords of the song are inversions of Asus4/A and Dsus4/D played 'round the 7th to 12th fret. G'wan d'Edge...

  • Full Name: A Suspended 4th
  • Chord Tones: 1 4 5
  • Notes: A D E

There's also a Sus 2 chord which we'll be looking at soon.

Thanx and keep 'em in suspense ;).

Thanx and hope you like the flavor of this useful chord - here's a few more chord ideas we've looked at.