The Ab sus 4 chord (A flat suspended 4) contains the notes Ab, Db and Eb. It is produced by taking the 1 (root), 4 and 5 of the Ab Major scale. It is essentially an Ab Major chord, with the 3rd (C) taken out and the 4th (Db) added in.
By omitting the 3rd and adding the 4th, the chord feels ‘suspended‘. The 4th creates a feeling of tension, which feels resolved when the chord moves to the standard Major chord (bringing the 3rd back in). To demonstrate this, try the following chord progression:
Ab Major – Ab sus 4 – Ab Major
Just by strumming those three chords once each, you will hear the the tension that is created by moving to the Ab sus 4 chord. You will also hear the resolution that is created by moving from the sus chord back to the Major chord.
Ab sus 4 is often used as a way of adding flavour to the Ab Major chord. The A flat sus 4 chord is often substituted momentarily, when playing the Ab chord, to create a quick sense of musical movement and interest.
The most common way to play the Ab suspended 4 chord is in the open position (first shape in the pic below).
10 Ways To Play The Ab Sus 4 Chord
If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for Ab suspended 4, here they are.
Some Quick Ab Sus 4 Chord Theory
- The Ab suspended 4 chord contains the notes Ab, Db and Eb.
- The Ab sus 4 chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), 4, 5 of the Ab Major scale.
- Ab sus 4 often resolves to Ab Major. They work together like a pair.
- The 4th (Db) sounds like it is suspended in the chord and wants to resolve.