Learn how to play the add, sus, 6 and dim7 chords!
These video lessons demonstrate how to play the sus4, 7sus4, add9, sus2, 6 and dim7 chord shapes.
You’ll soon notice how the starting point for the first four chords is the 3rd.
Chromatically the intervals are 4, 3, m3, 2. Find these notes in each chord shape and you will be able to create any of these chords.
Below you find a slide show of these chords in a D shape
However, and this is important, not all chord shapes have all these variations as easily displayed as the D shape.
Let’s examine each chord in detail.
How to play add9 and sus2 chords!
If you move the m3rd down one fret you get a sus2 or an add9 chord.
All these chords are not possible to fret and/or don’t sound great in all shapes. Chordacus will take this concept all the way.
Since all shapes are not possible you will have to memorise which ones work and which ones don’t.
These are the three versions of the add9/sus2 sound:
- add9 (major)
- sus2 (suspends the 3rd for a 2nd)
Here’s a video demonstration of the possible chord shapes.
How to play sus4 and 7sus4 chords!
The sus4 is found one fret above the 3rd. The 7sus4 is a combination of the dom7 and the sus4 chord.
The great thing about these chords is that they are neither major nor minor since they don’t have a third within them.
This means that you can change most major and minor chords into sus4’s!
‘Wonderwall‘ for example use the 7sus4 on the II chord, making it a II7sus4.
All chords, apart from IV and VII are possible to modify into sus4.
Chord IV and VII are not possible to modify like this since chord IV is Lydian (has a #4) and chord VII is a chord without a natural 5th.
Here’s a video demonstration of how to play the different sus4 and 7sus4 chord shapes.
How to play 6 chords!
Often used by The Beatles, in early rock n roll and jazz, the 6 chord produce a very happy and uplifting sound.
Should you add the 6th interval to a dom7 chord (chord V) you would get a 13 chord.
To understand this connection we need to take a look at the G Mixolydian scale and its intervals:
As you can see from the table above, the 6th and 13th interval are the same notes, an E.
The difference between the two chords are:
- To create a 6 chord we use: 1 3 5 6
- To create a 13 chord we use: 1 3 b7 13
To fully understand this sound you need actual musical examples, chord progressions from songs that have a 6 or a 13 chord in them.
You get this when you take the advanced course.
How to play the dim7 chord!
The dim7 chord is an ‘in between chord’, used to move from one chord to another, it rarely lasts longer than half a bar.
You would most likely find a dim7 chord in between the IV and V chord, the I and II chord or the V and VI chord.
What’s unique about dim7 is that it’s a 7th note chord built solely on minor third intervals.
Take the Cdim7 as an example, the notes would be: C Eb Gb and A. Between all these notes is a m3rd interval.
Here’s a slide show that demonstrates what this means on the guitar neck when you start moving it around.
As you can see, the same shape, moved up a m3rd, creates the same chord!
This means that Cdim7, up a m3rd to a Ebdim7 has the exact same notes. Move Ebdim7 up a m3rd to Gbdim7 and again you have the same notes, finally, the Adim7 is the same.
Take the advanced course and learn more about how you can use this phenomenon to your advantage.
To play the chords sus2, add9, sus4 and 7sus4 you move the 3rd of the chord, either down (sus2, add9) or up (sus4).
The 6 chord is created by simply adding a 6 to a triad.
The more complicated dim7 chord is an ‘in between chord’ that often appears between chord IV and V, I and II or V and VI.
All these chords will not fit into the CAGED chord shapes as well as triads and seventh note chords do, instead, you will have to memorise the ones that do.