sus Chords ③ sus2 / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

About the sus2 Chord

This time, lets take a look at the relatively new “sus2” chord.
The information from our sus47sus4omit article is required so be sure to check it out.

Though it wasn’t a chord found until recently, now it is found in informational websites and books.
You may see it in your DAW as well.


How the sus2 Chord Sounds

Lets first hear how the sus2 chord sounds.
After the individual chord notes are played, the chord will play.

  • Csus2

To make things straight to the point, it is characterized by how it doesn’t include the 3rd (m3rd, M3rd) like the sus4.
It is niether bright nor dark, and has a cool sound.

Lets compare how it sounds to other triad chords.

  • C→Csus2→Cm→Csus2

How to Write the sus2 Chord

Though there are few varieties in how to write a sus2 chord, there are some special depictions.


It will most often be depicted as follows.

  • C sus 2 = Csus2
  • E sus 2 = Esus2

※We will look at Cadd9(omit3) in more detail in a future article.

How to Make a sus2 Chord

We have another number again. This time it’s a “2”.
Lets take a look at the C major scale from our add9 article and take a look at the “2”.


In the C major scale, it is the note D (or re in solfege).
You may have already realized that the sus2 chord contains the 2 note.
Lets take a look at notation and the piano roll.



Lets compare it’s structure with the other triad chords.


You can consider the Csus2 as a Cadd9 with the M3rd omitted.
However, it is easier to write sus2 and this may be why this type of chord type came to be.

Using the sus2 Chord

Lets take a look at some common ways in which the sus2 chord is used.

  • Fsus2→F→Csus4 →C

The feeling moves from a chord that is hard to place to the secure major chord.

  • Csus4→C→Csus2→C

This is a common technique where the same root is kept and the sus4 creates a back and forth motion.

Next lets hear some examples with minor chords being changed to sus2 chords.

  • Before Am→G→F
  • After Asus2→Gsus2→Fsus2

It has a cool sound which is neither bright nor dark.

Like seen, you can utilize this chord in a variety of situations.
If you find a song that uses this chord, try analyzing the chords that surround it as well.

Using sus2 Chord with a Guitar

The following are famous Cadd9 voicings on the guitar:


Sometimes it can be considered that this is a Csus2, and the version with the M3rd is the Cadd9.

The difference is whether there is a M3rd or not.
It can become an add9 if another instrument is playing the M3rd or it can be specifically added in to create a specific sound.

The Dominant 7th sus2

Lets go back to the dominant 7th sus 2. This can be considered another chord, so you won’t see it often written like this.
However, there are cases when this depiction is used to make it fit better with the chords that come before/after it.
If you happen to come across it, it would be constructed like so.

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.