7sus4 Guitar Chords

Formula: 1, 4, 5, b7
  • 7sus4 guitar chords are chords with a root, a perfect fourth (no third), perfect fifth and a minor seventh.
  • The chord can also be written as 7+4 or 7sus
  • The chord formula for a 7sus4 chord is 1 - 4 - 5 - ♭7
  • Simply put, a 7sus4 chord is a sus4 chord with an added flattened 7th. Remember that a suspended chord is neither a major or minor chord due to the absence of the third scale degree (3rd). This gives suspended chords a very open sound, creating colour and interest to a piece of music.
Example... Calculating B7sus4
  • 'B' chords, are based on the scale of B major which consists of 5 sharps... F#, C#, G#, D# and A#.
  • B major scale reads: B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B
  • Formula for a 7sus4 chord = 1 - 4 - 5 - ♭7
  • Substitute notes into the formula (1=B, 4=E, 5=F#, ♭7=A)
  • B7sus4 = B - E - F# - A
7sus4 Chord Table
7sus4 A A#/B♭ B C C#/D♭ D D#/E♭ E F F#/G♭ G G#/A♭
Root A A#/B♭ B C C#/D♭ D D#/E♭ E F F#/G♭ G G#/A♭
Perfect 4th D D#/E♭ E F F#/G♭ G G#A♭ A B♭ B/C♭ C C#/D♭
Perfect 5th E E#/F F# G G#/A♭ A A#/B♭ B C C#/D♭ D D#/E♭
Minor 7th G G#/A♭ A B♭ B/C♭ C C#/D♭ D E♭ E/F♭ F F#/G♭

7sus4 Chords RH / LH

Chord Chart Legend Chord Chart Legend

Songs to try featuring 7sus4 chords:

In Summary

The 7sus4 chord, also known as the dominant 7 suspended 4 chord, is a versatile chord that combines elements of both suspended and dominant chords. Here are some interesting facts about 7sus4 chords:

Chord Structure: The chord is typically composed of the root, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, and minor seventh intervals. For example, in the key of C, a C7sus4 chord would consist of the notes C, F, G, and Bb.

Suspended Sound: The "sus" in 7sus4 stands for "suspended." The fourth interval (in this case, F) creates a suspended, unresolved sound. It's often described as having a slightly "open" or "airy" quality compared to other chords.

Dominant Quality: Despite its suspended sound, the chord retains a dominant quality due to the presence of the minor seventh interval. This gives the chord tension and a sense of wanting to resolve to a more stable chord, typically a major or dominant chord.

Resolution: The suspended fourth (e.g., F in a C7sus4 chord) usually resolves down to the major third (E) of a major or dominant chord. This creates a sense of resolution and tension release when transitioning to a more stable chord.

Substituting for Dominant Chords: These chords can often be used as substitutions for regular dominant seventh chords (e.g., C7) in progressions. They provide an interesting alternative that can add color and variety to a chord progression.

Modal Flavor: Modal music refers to a musical system or approach that is based on musical modes rather than traditional major and minor scales. These chords are commonly used in modal music, such as in the Mixolydian mode. The presence of the suspended fourth can evoke a modal sound that works well in certain musical contexts.

Open Voicings: Often played in "open" voicings, where the notes are spread out across different octaves. These voicings contribute to the chord's distinct sound and make it suitable for guitar and keyboard players.

Jazz and Contemporary Music: Frequently used in jazz, fusion, and contemporary music genres to add harmonic interest and complexity. They can be found in both standard progressions and more adventurous harmonic explorations.

Use in Songwriting: Songwriters use 7sus4 chords to create moments of tension and anticipation within a song. These chords can be particularly effective in building drama or setting up a resolution in a musical score.

Chord Extensions: These chords can be extended further by adding additional tones, such as the ninth or thirteenth. These extensions can further enhance the chord's color and complexity.

I hope you have enjoyed this session, and remember to check the frets below each chord diagram to make sure you are playing the chord in the right position, and don't forget to practice... and then some!

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