Sus Chords – What They Are And How To Play Them

Major Suspended 4 Transition

Suspended chords are slightly altered versions of standard chords that sound colourful and interesting. In this lesson, we’re going to look at what suspended chords are, how they’re used, and how to play them.

This is the third lesson in the series of lessons on chords. In the first lesson, we looked at open chords, as well as a bit of theory relating to what chords are and how they are constructed. In the second lesson, we explored bar chords.

In this lesson we’re going to look at ‘suspended’ chords, or ‘Sus’ chords, for short.

‘Sus’ chords are (mostly) Major chords that have an extra note of the scale ‘suspended’ in the chord. There are two main types of Suspended chords:

  • Sus 2
  • Sus 4

We’re going to look at how to play these chords shortly. If you’re not interested in the theory that gets us there, simply scroll down and observe the chord diagrams. If you’re interested in knowing about the theory, read on.

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How To Play Bar Chords (Barre Chords) And Own The Fretboard

Barring 1 Fret

Bar chords are among the most useful things you can learn to play. Although they can be hard at first, once you’ve built up the necessary strength and technique required, you will have access to more chords than you know what to do with.

This lesson is technically the second lesson, in a series about chords. In the first lesson, we explored open chords, and looked at the basic building blocks of Major and minor chords. In this lesson, we’re going to explore bar chords – what they are, why they’re useful, and how to play them.

Before we jump right into the nuts and bolts of this lesson, it would be very useful to describe what we mean by the word ‘bar’, and go through a few technical examples.

Firstly, ‘bar chords’ are often referred to as ‘barre chords’. Actually, barre chords is probably a more technically correct name, but ‘bar’ is simpler, so I’m going to go with that.

‘Barring’ a fret simply means playing multiple notes simultaneously using one finger, in the same fret. To do this we flatten one finger (usually the 1st finger), so that it forms a ‘bar’. Have a look at the following image.

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How Guitar Chords Work

C Major Scale circled

Guitarists play chords. It is perhaps the most common role of guitarists, across genres, levels of experience, and styles. A beginner can start making meaningful music with just two chords, while a jazz nerd can explore chords in search for unique and interesting harmonies and sounds.

All of this is to say that chords form a very important part of every guitarist’s arsenal.

Before we go on, let me give you a bit of an introduction as to what this lesson is about. This lesson is actually the first lesson in a series of lessons. In this series of lessons, we’re going to explore chords, from the absolute basics of what chords are an`d how they’re used, to some quite advanced concepts, such as playing jazz chords and constructing your own voicings. Here is a list of the lessons in this series. Links will be updated as the lessons are posted:

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Drop 2 Triads on Guitar


In this lesson we’re going to explore how you can take one chord and play it in many different unique ways.

In the previous lesson on triads and inversions, we learned how to form the major and minor triad and play inversions on the first three strings. Here’s a brief summary of that lesson.

The Major Triad

The Major triad is made up of the 1, 3 and 5 of the major scale. For example, the C Major triad contains the following notes:

C – E – G

The minor triad is made up of the 1, b3 and 5 of the major scale. For example, the C minor triad contains the following notes:

C – Eb – G

In the previous lesson, we constructed these basic triads and inversions using the first three strings of the guitar, like this:

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Why Fingerstyle Guitar Is Awesome

Why Fingerstyle Guitar Is Awesome

There is something awesome about fingerstyle guitar. For me, the power and beauty of this style lies in the fact that it is largely a solo-guitar genre. Many fingerstyle pieces are designed to be played by one guitarist only.

Although it is often referred to as ‘Classical Guitar’, I think this name sells it short and connotes a style that is old and boring. In reality, classical guitar is simply about playing pieces of music, by yourself, using your fingers. There’s nothing boring about that!

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Learn Fingerpicking With The Help Of A 19th Century Italian Guitarist

Giuliani Featured 300
Giuliani Featured 300

If you’ve never used the fingerstyle technique before, you’re missing out. A lot of guitarists decide early on when learning, whether they’ll be a ‘picking guitarist’ or a ‘fingerpicking guitarist’. The truth is, you don’t have to limit yourself to one or the other. Both techniques have unique benefits and advantages and you can easily develop both of them at the same time.

Pick Vs Fingerpicking?

So what is fingerpicking? Well firstly, most guitarists play the guitar by using a pick. It’s pretty simple – the right hand (assuming we’re talking about a right-handed guitarist) holds a pick and every note is played with a stroke of the pick. Fingerpicking, on the other hand does away with the pick and uses the right-hand thumb as well as three fingers, to strike the strings.

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