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Thread: Dealing with Sus chords in Minor Key. Problems!

  1. #1
    dwest2419
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    Dealing with Sus chords in Minor Key. Problems!

    Hey, is it just best to leave the suspended chords along in minor key?

    Because every time I would use them correctly it's still like the melody often wants to bring it into another key, for even my ear, hears and would often strongly suggest or hear it in another key. Now, I will just stick plainly with pure minor chords, min7ths, min9th, min-add9s, m11ths, and leave them suspends chords along in minor key because all they does is leaves everything in disorder.

    I do not know... I can not really say so.... My guess would be that minor chords having that flat third in it, and constantly lowering and elevating it kind of makes the melody transfer or something into another key. But when trying to play the melody over it, it might be winding up being in a particular major mode in some another key or something.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwest2419
    Hey, is it just best to leave the suspended chords along in minor key?

    Because every time I would use them correctly it's still like the melody often wants to bring it into another key, for even my ear, hears and would often strongly suggest or hear it in another key. Now, I will just stick plainly with pure minor chords, min7ths, min9th, min-add9s, m11ths, and leave them suspends chords along in minor key because all they does is leaves everything in disorder.

    I do not know... I can not really say so.... My guess would be that minor chords having that flat third in it, and constantly lowering and elevating it kind of makes the melody transfer or something into another key. But when trying to play the melody over it, it might be winding up being in a particular major mode in some another key or something.
    Interesting point.
    Added 4ths (11ths) are theoretically fine in minor keys, on i, ii, and iv, and sus4s are possible on III and V (and bVII if you get one).
    But I think you're right about sus4s on III and bVII. They definitely suggest the relative major key to my ears. (Eg Csus4 in A minor, sounds like a chord waiting to resolve to C, making C the tonic.)
    A sus4 on V should OK tho. Eg, E7sus4 in Am; that can go to E7 then to Am.
    Think about the standard ii-V-i in A minor: Bm7b5-E7-Am. Bm7b5 is a little like E7sus4 (both have B, D and A).

    With sus4s on i and iv, I can see that (with no 3rd) they might suggest the missing 3rd is major (through familiarity with sus chords in major keys) - which only means you need to include the b3, either in the chord or in the melody - both of which effectively make it an m11 chord.

    Sus2s are different, and should be fine in minor keys. They can resolve up to a b3 as well as to a major 3 (or down to the root of course) - or can hang as 9ths. 9ths sound great on minor chords, with or without a 7th.

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    JonR explained it better, however, my first thought when reading your post was ----- no third, going to act like a powerchord.

    I never use them on guitar - with Country music. I have my keyboard right here with the computer so I tried a Csus vs a Cm and the Csus just does not have that minor sound. Same thing for Csus4 vs Cm.

    Sound a C then sound a Cm ----- that's the minor sound I'm talking about. The sus or sus4 does not have that "minor" sound.

    Even though I do not use them I think of sus chords as passing chords, so, used in a passing situation, let your ear be the judge.

    I think as a passing chord they would work, major or minor.

    That and $3.30 will now get you a gallon of gas in East Texas, which is a good thing because the old 401 is dropping like lead.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 10-05-2008 at 06:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    About 2 weeks ago, we here in Canada were paying like $4.92 per gallon...

  5. #5
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    holy cow! that's true, I often hear on tv americans talking about expensive gas but in gallons, i never thought of the conversion. i always thought it must be cheaper for us because we export gas to the states.

    it's still up in the 4$/gallon range. but we still got it cheap compared to europe.

    i'd like to give some good advice on sus4 chords but i haven't really played around with them much, and my knowledge of music theory is sort of twisted and lacking.
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 10-06-2008 at 05:01 AM.

  6. #6
    dwest2419
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    With sus4s on i and iv, I can see that (with no 3rd) they might suggest the missing 3rd is major (through familiarity with sus chords in major keys) - which only means you need to include the b3, either in the chord or in the melody - both of which effectively make it an m11 chord.

    Yeah, JonR you had said it there! That's why when I would play the sus chords without that flat 3rd in the chord, the melody or chord somehow would suggest that the missing third in the sus chord suggest it's major, which totally screws things up in minor or any else mode key.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    But I think you're right about sus4s on III and bVII. They definitely suggest the relative major key to my ears. (Eg Csus4 in A minor, sounds like a chord waiting to resolve to C, making C the tonic.)
    Hey, JonR which chord symbols are attached to that mode key, Aeolian? I'm trying to figure which one it is.

    Mode Keys

    Ionian - I ii iii IV V vi vii*

    Dorian - i ii III IV v vi* VII

    Phrygian - i II III iv v* VI vii

    Lydian - I II iii iv* V vi vii

    Mixolydian - I ii iii* IV v vi VII

    Aeolian - i ii* III iv v VI VII

    Locrian - i* II iii iv V VI vii


    JonR can you see if any of the chord symbols are incorrect, then be so to please correct me. I wrote them down off the web site, and put everything in order based on the modes.

    All my examples come from this site
    http://randscullard.com/CircleOfFifths/

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