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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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April 5, 2013 | What is a Sus chord?

Jazz Mandology: Keeping in Suspense: A look at "Sus" chords and variations

At the risk of being blow-hardy, we feel one of the most significant columns we wrote for the Mandolin Sessions was the August 2006 feature on unraveling suspended chords. There is so much misinformation about these out there, and if you are going to tackle jazz, understanding the "hybrid" nature of the chord is crucial. If you are involved in any kind of contemporary worship music, this chord's significance is eclipsed only by the major chord itself.

In these circles, it is "The" sound.

Thumbnail image for SusChords.jpg

Compounding the complication, there is confusion about the difference between Sus4, Sus7, Add 9, and the open 5th with an Add 2. If you haven't already, take the time to review this material in the archives.

Read online: Keeping in Suspense: A look at "Sus" chords and variations

We've also made it available here in a downloadable PDF document,.

Posted by Ted at April 5, 2013 4:55 AM

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