Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The suspended chord, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
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- There is one type of chord you can create…by voice leading a single note…within the major scale that I haven't discussed,…and that's the suspended chord or sus chord.…A sus chord is formed when the third of a triad…is replaced by the fourth or second of the scale.…This creates a tonically ambiguous sound…making the listener feel suspended in time…until the suspension is resolved…by moving down or up the third.…Let's listen to a couple of examples of sus chords…so you can hear what they sound like…before we examine the theory that creates them.…
(piano chords playing)…The two most common sus chords…are the sus2 and sus4.…In the sus2, the second is played in place of the third,…(piano chords playing)…and in the sus4, the fourth replaces the third.…(piano chords playing)…Let's take a look at the sus chord I just played, Dsus4.…
You'll recognize this chord instantly…as a major chord when I resolve the fourth to the third.…(piano chords playing)…Here's the fourth of the scale (piano note playing)…'cause we're in D major.…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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