How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

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rovis77
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How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby rovis77 » Jun 14, 2016 1:07 pm

Hi, I am having a hard time differentiating by ear between sus4 and sus2 chords. Any suggestions?. thanks

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Chrisgjazzgig
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Chrisgjazzgig » Jun 21, 2017 10:39 am

Did you get anywhere? I am also struggling with this.

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Quentin
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Quentin » Jun 22, 2017 6:35 am

I don't know if that can help you, but for me Sus2 gives a sense of holding the chord back, it's 'behaving', being 'distinguished' or 'modest' somehow, whereas Sus4 sounds more like it's 'pushing forward', trying to 'break boundaries', or 'running away'. This has maybe something to do with the fact that the middle tone is moved down or up compared to a Major triad. Sus2 is being somehow conservative, while Sus4 is more of an adventurer. I know it sounds a bit silly, but it works for me :D It hope it makes sense.
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Chrisgjazzgig
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Chrisgjazzgig » Jun 26, 2017 3:10 am

Thanks for that Quentin. I've used this kind of labelling to help me learn intervals and I found that it was useful. In terms of chords, simple associations of 'Happiness' with major chords and 'Sadness' with minor chords are very effective because the two chords are so distinct (as are the two emotions). However despite finding terms like 'conservative', 'adventurer', 'modest' useful, they are much more perceptive (and likely subjective). So whilst I have a reasonable idea of what you are getting at, the differences are more subtle. I suspect I've not heard enough of the chords in use within compositions. Can you list any compositions or particular recordings that use the Sus2 and/or Sus4 chords which you've listened to, so I can get a better idea of what you mean? Thanks again I find this labelling system useful.

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Quentin
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Quentin » Jun 26, 2017 3:33 am

If you want to use a reference song, then I think 'I need you' by the Beatles can work great. It includes both a triad, Sus2 and Sus4, so it's a good reference to compare and memorize all three in one stroke.
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Henry001
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Henry001 » Aug 26, 2017 3:55 am

I don't know how to help you. So sad :cry:

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rmatosinhos
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby rmatosinhos » Jan 20, 2018 5:39 am

The feeling can help you to distinguish them harmonically. While melodically it helps to hear if the Major 2nd is close to the top or the bottom note

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Ed_in_FL
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby Ed_in_FL » Feb 17, 2018 8:55 am

I have trouble with this too. When I flip back and forth between sus2 and sus4, I can clearly hear the note moving between 2 and 4. However, when I hear the chords in isolation, with no context, I have difficulty identifying them. It surprises me. I wonder why.

One thing I have thought of is that there is some built in ambiguity. For example, Csus2 = Gsus4, inverted. So that might be confusing my ear or my brain. However, I suspect there is more to it than that.

Just for kicks, I recorded some sus2 and sus4 from EM7, and looked at the spectra using Transcribe! I can clearly see the 2 or 4 in the spectrum.

Sometimes I think I can clearly hear a P4, but when I listen to hear if there is another note a M2 above the top note, or a M2 below the bottom note, I am not sure if either note is really there.

I don't know how to interpret all this, so I am moving on for now, hoping to address it later.

Ed

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BillM
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby BillM » May 26, 2018 7:53 am

There are some guitar (descending) strums during the verse of "Get Together" by the Youngbloods that feature a suspended 2 chord.

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BillM
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Re: How to distinguish sus4 chords vs sus2

Postby BillM » May 30, 2018 6:33 am

Another good example can be heard at the very beginning of "Woman" by John Lennon.

First chord is a suspended 4, followed by major, suspended 2 and then major.


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