Songs that use Sus4 and Sus2 chords

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Suspended , normally shortened to simply "sus", are when the third of the chord is changed by either the fourth or second degree of the chord, presenting a "open" or "hanging" noise to the chord.

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0:00 Introduction.
0:38 .
3:12 .
6:09 Tomplay.
6:57 & .
9:35 Quartal Consistency.

Songs that use Sus4 and Sus2

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32 Comments

  1. Can we get a video on quartal harmony. I’ve been struggling to get a full grasp of it, and would love to hear your explanation. Keep up the great work!

    1. No podría estar mas de acuerdo. Armonía cuartal explicada por David Bennet, si si.

  2. I pay my respect to David for his willpower, as he hasn’t broken down from his narration style a single time while talking about sus chords for the entirety of this video.

    1. To me it sounds like closing credits music for an old science fiction show.

  3. I think quartal harmony is my new favorite thing, after being a fan of accidented ambiguous chords for a long long time
    Thanks for another great video, David. This is one of your best IMHO.

  4. Rosemary by Lenny Kravitz also feature an Asus2 as a major component of the verse 🙂

  5. Using both sus2 and sus4 is extremely common as a guitar player, especially noodling around an open D or A chord, because it’s easy and always sounds great.
    Kickapoo is a pretty clear example that immediately comes to mind

    1. I saw a Beck concert long ago where he called the little sus flourish on the D chord the “pinky of freedom”.

      If anything, it’s even easier on piano, just move that third one key to the left or right.

    2. I’ve been doing this a lot since figuring out this technique a few years ago … to the point where, when I pick up a guitar, my fingers automatically fall into an Asus2 shape. A lot of my improvisation is modal stuff in Am or C since it lets me use all the open strings without having to retune.

  6. The opening riff of the german song “Der Weg” bei Herbert Grönemeyer ist another great example of pivoting back and fort I Isus4 Isus2:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSWJBClrmgo

    Pivoting back and forth is a great way of releasing tension but also not so much in order to keep it open and melancholic (Since it deals with the loss of a beloved person)

  7. The main riff of ‘love will tear us apart’ uses a Dsus4 chord also. Great video.

  8. Your piece built on sus chords at the end of the video so wants to resolve, but it keeps traveling alongside, above, and below any resolution. It evokes such a strange and wonderful emotion. Beautiful!

  9. Nice video. Something that might make for an interesting follow-up video: the difference, if any, between a Sus2 and an add9. I’m guessing that the Add9 has the normal triad at the bottom (3rd included), with a ninth added in above, while the Sus2 gets rid of the third entirely. Even if that’s the case, I wonder if they are functionally any different.

  10. I know I’ve commented it before but my favourite Sus2 chords are still the ones in Hamilton. For example in Burn where Elisa burns Hamilton’s many letters the song lands on a dramatic statement of a Sus2 chord that literally just does not resolve. And that’s not the only time where Lin Manuel uses a Sus2 as an open question or defiant statement.

  11. We often use suspended chords in our songs, they work amazingly well to push the chord progression forward, but it is also useful to add a little bit of extra flavour to the melody. Rather than resolving directly to the next chord, you can hold a note just a bit longer, for a more satisfying resolution when you finally do move on.

  12. There doesn’t always have to be a resolution, or a destination… sometimes the journey is the destination in and of itself. After realizing I had been playing “Free Fallin'” wrong (with regular major chords as opposed to the sus chords here) I have never been able to look at the song the same way and now the sus chords stand out. I was hoping for this song to be in this video and here it was!

  13. 3:26 I think it’s slightly inaccurate to say that the sus2 chord’s resolution is always weaker than a sus4. The strongest resolutions are the ones that contain half steps. When going to a major chord, the sus4 is stronger (4-3 suspension). But when going to a minor chord, the sus2 is always going to be stronger than sus4. But in that case, it’s a 2-3 anticipation, resolving upwards. While not technically a suspension, it has a stronger resolution in this specific case

    1. i was thinking more about this as the video went on, happy to see it put into words

  14. I like how you made a tune built around sus chords…the transitions are very smooth!!!…I guess maybe because of the common notes in them!! Great as always David! 👏👏👏👏👏🙂

  15. For an overload of that Sus4-tension, there’s always the bridge in Springsteen’s Born to Run.

  16. In John Denver’s Annie’s Song, the primary chords within the song and verses are the D and Dsus4.

  17. thanks.
    sus2 is also often used with the IV chord to keep some sort of ambiguity around aeolian vs dorian : in Boulevard of Broken dreams (Fm Ab Eb Bbsus2) or Mad world (same), the latter introducing the major Bb chord only when the chorus comes (“… kinda find it FUN-ny”), with a D note instead of C, bringing a dorian spotlight on this particuliar line

  18. Really nice explanation thank you! I like that piece at the end too. It has a feeling of floating or gently getting away from gravity and moving around from place to place

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