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