Min7, sus4, and 7sus4 chords + Wish You Were Here chord progression!
Hello and welcome to Spy Tunes advanced guitar course.
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn how to transform a minor chord shape into a min7 chord shape.
We touched on this during the intermediate course when we took a major chord shape and turned it into a dom7. Back then we simply found the root of the chord (not the lowest one) and moved it down a tone to the interval b7.
By doing the same thing to a minor chord shape we create our min7 chords. As this is relatively easy to do, let’s work out how to play the sus4 and 7sus4 chords in all shapes as well.
This will set us up nicely to start learning the first song of the course in step 2, the epic Pink Floyd smash hit ‘Wish You Were Here’.
Step 1 – 20 min
Let’s start with the minor to a min7 concept.
Here’s a video lesson where I play through the full chord shapes and as you know from the intermediate course, you are supposed to see the full shapes, but only play fractions of them.
To clarify exactly what is going in the video I’ve written some TAB for you.
Am shape. The root is on string 3, move this a tone (two frets) down and you end up with an open G string. This is a very common way to fret this chord shape.
However, there is more than one way to turn an Am shape into an Am7, you can also find the b7 on string 1. In the video lesson, I still maintain the open G string but as you see in the fourth chord in the TAB, you could keep that fretted as well.
This last way of playing the Am shaped Am7 is how you played ‘Ain’t No Sunshine‘ in the beginner course.
Gm shape. The Gm shape in itself is not great, it’s just too big and stretchy. The note that change is on string 4, fret 2. Move this up to fret 5 to find your b7. This min7 shape is great.
Em shape. The full Em shape is easy to fret but has too many strings inside it to sound good. When used in a song, you play fractions of it instead.
To change the Em shape to Em7 you end up with what you just had for the Gm shape.
However, just like you saw with the Am shape, there are more than just one way to play the Em shape when transforming it into a min7. The video and TAB show you how a b7 can also be found on string 2, fret 8.
Dm shape. This is the easiest shape to play as a barre chord and to see the movement from minor to min7. The root is on string 2, fret 10. Move this down two frets and there’s your min7 chord.
Cm shape. The Cm is in itself a very uncomfortable shape to attempt, in the video lesson, you can see how I struggle! However, remove the low root on string 5 and you have a fantastic chord shape for rhythm guitar parts.
To create the min7 we have to move what we do on two strings. The 5th interval on string 3 moves up to fret 12 to become a b7. The root on string 2 moves up to fret 13 to become a m3rd.
This min7 shape is very useful, especially when you play the root on string 5 on its own and the rest of the chord shape as a cluster.
To ensure you can play all min7 shapes and to prepare for ‘Wish You Were Here’, let’s work them all out as Em7 chords as well.
Sus4 chord shapes
To create a sus4 chord we need move the 3rd in each chord shape up a semitone. We now end up on interval 4 and have no 3rd anymore.
This means that the chord is neither minor nor major. Saying that, it sounds more major than minor, the sus4 has a very uplifting sound indeed.
Here’s a video lesson of how to play all sus4 chord shapes.
To make it more obvious how to fret these as fractions of the full shapes, here’s some TAB using the open A string as the root throughout.
The A and G shapes are identical when playing like this. That’s OK, shapes do bridge over into each other like this sometimes. ‘Wish You Were Here’ take this even further, more on that later.
Notice how I never play more than three strings at a time in all examples, this is a good rule of thumb to adopt when playing the guitar in general.
7sus4 chord shapes
To build a 7sus4 chord we simply start with a dom7 chord, find the 3rd and move that up a fret. Exactly the same as we did to create the sus4, just using a different starting point.
Here’s a video lesson of me playing, first a dom7 chord, then a 7sus4 chord.
In this video I indicate where the root is for the G shape, what I’m doing is visualising the root, but only playing a fraction of the shape, just like you should when you play chords.
Step 2 – 20 min
Let’s put our newly found chord shapes to work as we play the chord progression of ‘Wish You Were Here’. Here’s the full progression.
| Em7 | G | Em7 | G | Em7 |
| A7sus4 | Em7 | A7sus4 | G | G |
You need to see this as roman numerals in order to fully understand the progression, this is it.
| VIm7 | I | VIm7 | I | VIm7 |
| II7sus4 | VIm7 | II7sus4 | I | I |
Even though the 7sus4 doesn’t actually move outside the key (should have been an Am) we still get the feeling that this A chord is now more major than minor. As you will find out later when you solo over this, using a major scale here is actually much nicer.
I would even go as far as saying that the A7sus4 is an A, or a IIx chord, in disguise!
Here’s the verse/chorus progression.
| C | D/F# | Am | G |
| D/F# | C | Am | G |
In roman numerals, we get this.
| IV | V/VII | II | I |
| V/VII | IV | II | I |
As a four bar sequence, the first two chords simply swap place the second time around from C – D/F# to D/F# – C. Simplicity at its best!
Before I show you how to play this as I do in the video, let’s nail those chords as barre chords using a simple strumming pattern. This will come in handy when you start soloing over the progression as well.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first work your way through all shapes as the TAB below show. When you got this down, play along with the video.
Here’s the video lesson to play along with.
Today you learned how to transform a minor chord into a min7. Following this, you worked on the sus4 and 7sus4 chord shapes as well. Even though the sus4 and 7sus4 have no third, the chord sound more major than minor.
We then took the core of the strumming pattern and played the simple progression for ‘Wish You Were Here’ all over the neck. This will be very helpful when you, later on, improvise over the progression.
Next time you’ll learn ‘Wish You Were Here’ just like I play it in the video lesson.
See you then!
Dan (your guitar guru)