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