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Thread: sus2 sus4 chords

  1. #1
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    sus2 sus4 chords

    Here is what I was doing. I was playing with this jazzy chord sequence (as usual )

    /Cmaj7 B7b13/ Em7/C#m11 C7b5/Bm7/.

    Sequence is more or less diatonic to G major (bold chords), with some chromatic excursions and by ear borrowing from god knows where ...voice leading approach.

    What I did was without thinking inserted a following chord between Em7/C#m11 :X7797X, E A E F#, for which i cannot find better name than Esus2sus4.

    It sounds to me that this chords improves transition to slighly out C#m11, having importand chords tones from C#m11 fingered as 9x997x (voice leading?).

    In my case I still consider this chord to be rationally fingered Em11 chord. This is not the first time, that I have encountered this kind of harmony, and have alway used it as a transition to easier excursions out of parent key.

    My question is (after rathere lengthy intro) is what is your experiences with this family of chords ? Any theory insights. Further studies ..
    Mini lesson by JonR is extremely wellcome.

  2. #2
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    I would like to contribute to this topic but I don't quite understand what your asking.

    what are my experience with this family of chords? are you asking about voice leading techniques when using non diatonic chords?

  3. #3
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    it is meant the family of sus2sus4 chords but

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzMick
    about voice leading techniques when using non diatonic chords?
    your thoughts on that subject will also be valuable ...

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    Ok, Rather than typing out a discussion I'll make a video since videos are fun Hopefully I can share something useful.

  5. #5
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    This video didn't end up having anything to do with voiceleading
    Its more focused on pedal tones I guess. Youtube is slow and I gtg so ill link it later when ever shes ready.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCcGYENU998
    Last edited by JazzMick; 01-03-2008 at 05:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingSkull
    Here is what I was doing. I was playing with this jazzy chord sequence (as usual )

    /Cmaj7 B7b13/ Em7/C#m11 C7b5/Bm7/.

    Sequence is more or less diatonic to G major (bold chords), with some chromatic excursions and by ear borrowing from god knows where ...voice leading approach.

    What I did was without thinking inserted a following chord between Em7/C#m11 :X7797X, E A E F#, for which i cannot find better name than Esus2sus4.

    It sounds to me that this chords improves transition to slighly out C#m11, having importand chords tones from C#m11 fingered as 9x997x (voice leading?).

    In my case I still consider this chord to be rationally fingered Em11 chord. This is not the first time, that I have encountered this kind of harmony, and have alway used it as a transition to easier excursions out of parent key.

    My question is (after rathere lengthy intro) is what is your experiences with this family of chords ? Any theory insights. Further studies ..
    Mini lesson by JonR is extremely wellcome.
    Well, I don't know about that...

    IMO, x7797x (E-A-E-F#) is, on the face of it, F#m7.
    A also sounds like a possible root, making it A6 (no 3rd).
    BUT, the context is ambiguous. The C# in either chord is missing, so hearing it as one or the other might depend on there being a C# previously, and there isn't - there's a C instead, on the first chord.
    That suggests this could be a rootless chord. If not Am6, then D9 or F#m7b5.

    What I'd do is experiment with adding other notes to the chord, see what differences it makes, and which addition sounds most like the chord you want at that point.
    Start by moving the shape so you can get some bass notes:
    Code:
          A6   F#m7*  Dsus2  A6/C#  Am6  B7sus4  Em11
    -2-----2-----2------2------2-----2-----2------2-----------
    -5-----5-----5------5------5-----5-----5------5-------------
    -2-----2-----2------2------2-----5-----2------2----------------
    -2-----2-----2------2------2-----2-----2------5----------------
    -------0------------5------4-----0-----2------2----------------
    -------------2--------------------------------0------------
    The Dsus2 is appealing (IMO) because it gives you a scalewise E-D-C# bass line in your sequence.

    I don't know how you're voicing your Em7, but Dsus2 would work in your original position like this:
    Code:
     Em7    Dsus2   C#m11
    ---------------------------------
    --8-------7-------7------------------------
    --7-------9-------9------------------------
    --9-------7-------9------------------------
    --7-------7----------------------
    ----------10------9---------------
    If there's a lesson here - ha! - it's to always experiment with various added tones to any ambiguous/mysterious chord, to see if you can tease out an identity.
    If you can't, no matter; some chords are just destined to be ambiguous. The Chords With No Name...

    The important thing - assuming the chords harmonise the melody well, which is the first essential - is to make sure all your voice-leading is working. On guitar, you can look at each string as an individual voice and follow it through the changes. Do those inner voices make nice melodies on their own?
    If a string is missing in any chord, does the voice skip to a neighbouring string? or could it stay on the same note as the previous chord, or next chord?
    Are any notes redundant, serving no useful purpose - such as doubled notes in other octaves? Instead of doubling an octave, could you introduce an extra chord tone for more interesting voice-leading, or clearer chord identity?

    At the same time, don't get too fancy. Don't let the chords get more interesting than the melody!

  7. #7
    Registered User ernzzz's Avatar
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    very nice progression!

    got me in the mood.. what about changin the last chords up a bit?

    /Cmaj7 B7b13/ Em7-X7797X/ C#m11 Cm7/ B7b9 D#║7/

    ------------|-7----------|-------------|----------
    --8-----9---|-8-----7----|--7----8----|-7----7---
    --9-----8---|-7-----9----|--9----8----|-5----5---
    --9-----7---|-9-----7----|--9----8----|-7----7---
    --x-----x---|-7-----7----|--X----X----|-x----6---
    --8-----7---|------------|--9----8----|-7--------

    sounds more blue to me..

    and maybe i will continue with something like:


    / E6 F║7 / F#7b5 B713/ B7b9 D#║7/ Em7

    ------------|----------|-----------|--7----
    -8-----9----|--7----9--|-7----7---|--8----
    -6-----7----|--9----8--|-5----5---|--7----
    -9-----9----|--9----7--|-7----7---|--9----
    -7-----8----|--x----X--|-x----6---|--7----
    ------------|--9----7--|-7--------|------
    Last edited by ernzzz; 01-04-2008 at 11:48 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    IMO, x7797x (E-A-E-F#) is, on the face of it, F#m7.
    you were right about that. I was already putting bass line down, and I put F# below this chord (making it F#m7 without any doubt). Funny is that no other fingering of F#m7 or F#m7b5 fits here.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    The Dsus2 is appealing (IMO) because it gives you a scalewise E-D-C# bass line in your sequence.
    On the last beat of that bar, bass line (it was done by ear, without analysis ...) goes B C (eight notes) towards the C#m11, making this sequence:
    Em7 / / /F#m7/ B7sus4 F#m7b5/C -> C#m11

    If I would look into my own bass lines, I would understand my music better.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    At the same time, don't get too fancy. Don't let the chords get more interesting than the melody!

    Melody? What melody?
    OK, actually there is a loose melody, but gets corrected and corrected, while the progressions remains more or less the same, but more and more sophisticated. When I play over it I get some many melodic ideas, so what I started with will probably be just an intro ...

    Thanks, it was a lesson as I expected , there were some importand guidelines for me to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by ernzzz
    sounds more blue to me..
    I don't want to make it more blue, I like this ambiguous nor blue nor happy sounds ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzMick
    Ok, Rather than typing out a discussion I'll make a video since videos are fun Hopefully I can share something useful.
    Usefull by all means.

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingSkull

    Melody? What melody?
    OK, actually there is a loose melody, but gets corrected and corrected, while the progressions remains more or less the same, but more and more sophisticated. When I play over it I get some many melodic ideas, so what I started with will probably be just an intro ...
    Yep, I kind of guessed you didn't have a melody!

    IMO, the sooner you can attach a melody to this sequence, the sooner it will start to make sense and fall into line. As, you say, it gives you many melodic ideas as you play it - because you're hearing all the different voices interacting, this way and that.
    The problem with having no leading melody is that the chords are aimless - they can go anywhere. Any chord can be followed by almost any other (once you realise - as you do - that you don't have to stay in key). It's a never-ending journey, IOW.
    A melody will pin the sequence down and show it the way. (This is assuming you want to write a finished song, and not just noodle away forever... which has its own appeal of course... )

  10. #10
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    (This is assuming you want to write a finished song, and not just noodle away forever... which has its own appeal of course... )
    I usually get tired of that ... at that time themes are formed, which subsequently are polished to became melodies ....

    I will certainly finish it, but ATM I am working on three other pieces (which actually have melodies) and have another inetresting chord progresion in pipeline, which I must study ...

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