Chord Ornaments 2 – The Sus 2 chord
The suspended 2 chord has a nice ringing sound and compliments the sus 4 chord when used as a chord ornament. Using the major chord and switching between the major, sus 4 and sus 2 is a common way to add a bit of melodic movement to a static major chord.
See my earlier post on sus 4 chords here
The sus 2 chord is formed by replacing the third of the chord with the second – thus these chords are neither major nor minor.
In terms of ornamentation of open chords – I tend to think of the Sus 4 chord as “putting a finger on” (third of the chord raised to the fourth) and the sus 2 chord as “taking a finger off” (third of the chord lowered to the second).
Here are the open shapes:-
As you can see the E shape is a little different, but for the A and D shapes you just need to remove a finger from the major shape to make the sus 2 chord.
These chords also have moveable shapes, the most useful are shown below:-
The first shape shown is used extensively in the song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police – it can be quite a stretch to begin with, but is well worth learning. Please note that this shape can also be played with a 6th string root, using exactly the same shape. The intervals of the chord are also the same with a sixth string root.
The second shape is just an A shape barre chord with a finger removed. Thus it is useful as a chord ornament for this shape, as it is easy to take the little finger off the A shape to form the sus2 chord.
Some songs that use the sus2 sound
Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus) – sus2 chords are the sound you hear in the verse
Message in a bottle (The Police) – the sus2 chords are mainly in the verse riff
Mother Natures Son (The Beatles) – this song is a master class in ornamentation of an open D chord
So have a play around with these shapes and have some fun.
Free PDF: Open Suspended Chords – Shapes