7sus4 Chord Of The Week

Need a quirky, interesting sound to inspire your songwriting? The 7sus4 can be used to add originality to an otherwise plain chord progression. Give it a try!

7sus4 Chord
7sus4 Chord

The dominant 7th suspended fourth chord (to give the 7sus4 its full name) sounds good in many types of music, and can be used effectively in indie, rock and jazz.

Although it sounds fairly ambiguous when played on its own, the 7sus 4 chord has a slightly more colourful sound than a standard 7th chord. If you are writing a song, using a 7sus4 instead of a 7th chord often makes the progression more interesting.

Other good ways to use this chord are either as an intro or as a bridge between different parts of a song.

How To Play The 7sus4 Chord

This is a very easy chord to play if you are used to playing barre chords. Imagine that you are playing a standard seventh shape, but instead of using your second (index) finger to play the major third, use your fourth (little) finger to play the fourth. Just this one small change gives the chord its unique sound.

The diagram below illustrates how similar the two chords are.

Dominant7 and 7sus4 Chords
Dominant7 and 7sus4 Chords

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7sus4 Or Dominant 11th?

You can also refer to this chord as a dominant 11th. This is because the fourth note (the 'sus4' note) can also be considered to be the 11th.

Strictly speaking, dominant 11th chords would also include the major 3rd and 9th notes, but notes can be (and often are) omitted from guitar chords.

If you are following a chord sheet and need to play an 11th chord, the 7sus4 can be used.

Using The 7sus4 Chord

The 7sus4 chord is a dominant 7th chord at heart, and can be used just about anywhere a standard 7th chord would be found.

One thing that you could try with this chord is to use it to introduce key changes into your songs.

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Say, for example, that you are in the key of C. Your verse chord progression is based around the chords C, F and G. At the end of the verse, you could insert an A7sus4 and lift the song into a chorus in the key of D major. The chord progression below shows how this could work.

7sus4 Example Chord Progression 1
7sus4 Example Chord Progression 1

You can also use the 7sus4 chord to bring a chord progression back to the start. Follow the chord progression below, using a laid back indie strumming pattern. The D7sus4 're-introduces' the first chord.

7sus4 Example Chord Progression 2
7sus4 Example Chord Progression 2

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We hope that you have enjoyed learning about the 7sus4 guitar chord. For more information on dominant chords, check out this article.

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