sus Chords ② 7sus4 (Dominant 7th sus 4) / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

About the Dominant 7th sus 4 chord

Lets take another look at sus chords and find out how to utilize them in chord progressions.

This time, we will be looking at the “dominant 7th sus 4” chord.
It is often used with the sus4 and dominant 7th chords.

The dominant 7th sus 4 is often shortened and called the “7th sus 4”, similar to the dominant 7th chord.

How the dominant 7th sus 4 sounds

First lets hear how the dominant 7th sus 4 chord sounds.
After the individual chord notes are played, the chord will play.

Though it has that floating sensation, it also has a sense of clarity.
Though it has the “dominant 7th” name, it also doesn’t feature the tension of the tritone.

Lets place the C7 chord after this.。

  • C7sus4 → C7

Though it feels like we’ve been freed from the floatation, it has connected to the tense 7th chord.

How to Write the dominant 7th sus 4 Chord

The dominant 7th sus 4 chord is often written like below.


In general this depiction works best.

  • E dominant 7th sus 4 = E7sus4
  • F dominant 7th sus 4 = F7sus4

How to Make a dominant 7th sus 4 Chord

Lets take a look at the basic structure of the C7sus4 chord on notation and the piano roll.


It’s easy if you already know how to create the sus 4 and dominant 7th chords.
Lets compare them together.

Think of it as a sus4 with a m7th (b7) added to it,
or a dominant 7th with the 3rd (major triad) changed to a sus4 (M3rd changed to a P4th).

As seen above, the dominant 7th sus 4 does not contain the tritone as well.

The basic notes that makes up the dominant 7th sus 4 chord are as follows:

  • In Intervals R/P4th/P5th/m7th
  • In Scale Degree 1/4/5/b7

Using the dominant 7th sus 4 Chord

With the previous sus4 chord in mind, lets try out some chord progressions.
Like our last article, we will start with the ii V I.

  • IIm7→V7→I 
    Key=C Major Dm7→(G7→C)


Next, lets add a Csus4 first.
✳︎ Pay close attention to the “suspended note” (in yellow)

  • Dm7→(G7→Csus4→C)


By placing a Gsus4 before the G7…

  • Dm7→(G7sus4→G7→Csus4→C)


The resolution is delayed for longer, creating a dramatic chord progression.
The flow uses the C (m7) from the Dm7 extending into the Gsus4.

You can use sus4 chords with similar effects not only before the tonic chord, but before the dominant 7th chord as well.

Though the sus4 chord is commonly used to create anticipation towards the resolution,
through analyzing various songs, you may find the sus4 being used without being resolved,
and instances of sus4 chords other than Isus4/Vsus4/V7sus4 as well.

We will slowly take a look at these concepts as well, so continue your song analysis and stay tuned!

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.