Chord a Day, February 9th - Cadd9sus4
Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for February 9th is Cadd9sus4.
Don't let the wacky name of this chord scare you off. Think of it as a C major chord with some spices thrown in. A chord's name has the building instructions in it. The C or letter name of the chord is a basic major triad, the most common chord type and so common the name major is seldom said or written. The add, as it implies adds a 9 or D to the chord and the sus tells us to suspend the third E of the chord and raise it to the fourth F. The note of the Cadd9sus4 chord are: C F G D. This chord can typically be a substitute for C in the right harmonic context.
Today's chord might also be called Cadd9sus4 and/or — the list can go on and on with more and more obscure chords. It all depends on the harmonic situation and the chord's harmonic function that it is being used in that determines the name of the chord. A bass player can change the function of a chord with the bass note they play, as that can be perceived as the root or letter name of the chord. Bass players have extreme harmonic powers, and they can use it for good or evil.
What's really useful is you don't have to learn a new fingering or voicing for other same shape chords when they come up. If you recognize the chord as another chord that is common in your repertoire, you can re-use it in the current context.
Here is a cool, fun exercise: *7alt —
alt, short for alteration. This is telling you that you are free to create the seventh chord with any upper partial extension ( 9th, 11th, 13th) and any alteration(s) that you would like: ♭9, ♯9, ♯11, ♭5, ♯5, ♭13. An example would be C7alt, the base C7 is C E G Bb – the 1 3 5 ♭7. You're free to add D♭, D♯, F♯, G♭, G♯, A♭. So your possible notes available are: C D♭ D D♯ E F F♯ G♭ G G♯ A♭ B♭. Notice B, the major seventh is NOT available. So, bottom-line is — if your chord does not contain a major seventh, you can justify every other note you are playing.
So when it comes to that dominant seventh chord or tri-tone sub resolving to what would be its I chord. And, if you don't know what to play, grab any shape and go for it. You have a 1 in 12 shot of hitting that major seventh, which would be really hard to justify a B7alt — B is the major seventh.
Including the 3rd and b7 goes a long way in keeping the intent of the base 7th chord. So, you have tow more noes to muck around with — BUT NOT the major seventh. Walk over to any piano and play the two-white keys together, and you get the why.
Open Position Chords
Today's chord, Cadd9sus4 is an Open Position chord.
Open Position Chords are any chord in the first four frets that include at least one open string.
Learn a New Chord Each Day!!!
This Learn a New Chord Each Day!!! series of lessons was created and published in 2013 (10yrs ago) and has been added to an expanded ever since. 2020 brought videos to the show. 2023 is bringing more Harmonic information.
For a further exploration of this chord and its movable forms visit the Movable Ukulele Chords Lesson Series page.
To find out even more than you would ever need to know about a Cadd9sus4 chord — continue reading .
Chord Type(s): Major Sus Add
Chord Categories: Open Position Triad
Related Lesson: Understanding a Chord Diagram
Open Position chords typically do not show the location of the root or letter name of the chord as these chords are the first chords a ukulele player learns and are almost entirely learned by shape and sound – hopefully, the chords' name. Later on, one develops the ability to determine the location of the chord root(s) or letter name within the chord.
Standard Music Notation and TAB
The same numbering notation of TAB can be used to describe the open strings and frets to be played when using text only notation or verbal communications. Using an open position C as an example, we can describe it as 0003 indicating open strings four, three, and two with fret (3) being fingered on string one. An open position D7 indicated as 2020.
Today's chord, Cadd9sus4 is a derived chord from C . Take any chord progression with C in it and explore substituting Cadd9sus4 for C.
Chord Spelling is simply knowing what the notes, the chord tones of a chord are.
The notes of all chords can be determined from its corresponding major scale based on the root of the chord and numeric formula.
The notes for Cadd9sus4 are:
C F G D
The chord tones are the 1 4 5 9 scale degrees of the parent C Major Scale .
Although additional fingerings are possible for many chords. Fingering for any given chord depends the science of how our fingers work and on the harmonic context the chord is being used in, what was the previous chord and what's the next chord. The goal is to play all the notes right behind the frets when possible. Remember longer fingers can reach the lower strings better and finger two and stack on finger three and finger three can stack on finger four.
Although you can play any chord with any finger — as long as it's yours, the recommended fingering for Cadd9sus4 is:
0 2 1 3
Here are a few alternate fingerings for today’s Cadd9sus4 chord depending on the context the chord is being used.
Alternate fingering(s) for Cadd9sus4:
- 0 2 1 4
- 0 3 2 4
Fingering notation for a chord using text only, without using a chord grid, is typically done using the finger numbers from left to right, string four to string one (nose to toes). Here is the text notation for January 1st C chord.
A Typical text representation of a chord fingering without using a chord grid.
Additional alternate fingerings might be possible for selected chords. If there isn't an overwhelming musical reason for one fingering over another, let efficiency be the determining factor. Something as simple as longer fingers can reach the lower string four and three goes a long way to being efficient when switching chords.
Factors such as playing notes right behind the fret takes less effort than in the middle of the fret. Less effort leads to overall efficiency in play, lower maintenance for maintaining your technique and efficiency leads to speed. This can help in determining what finger to use. Finger three can overlap finger four and finger two can overlap finger three a little allowing them to get closer to the fret.
Remember – the thumb's primary role is to support the fingers – not play notes. Think of the thumb as a Stagehand. He is unseen, doesn't get any lines BUT is a critical member of the team.
Chord Construction, Notes and Intervals
ALL chords can be be constructed based on the their intervals relative to the major scale of the root or letter name of the chord. The individual names of the notes of the chord can also be determined from the same scale.
The chord tones for Cadd9sus4 are: C F G D
Cadd9sus4 is the 1 4 5 9 of the C Major Scale based on the root (C) of the chord.
sus or suspended Chords
A sus chord implies the suspension of the third of a major, minor or seventh chord. The most common and historical use of this suspension involves raising the third of a major or seventh chord to the fourth for a sus4, or 7sus4. In some contemporary music, the suspension can also be accomplished by lowering the third of a major or minor chord to a second for a
The term is borrowed from the contrapuntal technique of suspension, where a note from a previous chord is carried over to the next chord, and then resolved down to the third or tonic, suspending a note from the previous chord. However, in modern usage, the term concerns only the notes played at a given time; in a suspended chord, the added tone does not necessarily resolve and is not necessarily "prepared" (i.e., held over) from the prior chord.
Technically a sus2 is not really chord as in traditional harmony a sus or suspension only referred to the third of the chords. So, really a sus2 is most likely a power 5 without a third and with an added 2. And, another
chord that, at its foundation is not a chord but a DYAD.
Technically the add 2 and add 9 are different chords.
Both the 2 and the 9 are the same letters but in different octaves of the scale. On ukulele, for all practical purposes, you can treat both the add2 and add9 chords as the same. Depending on whether you are using a low "G" or high "G", C tuning the added ninth might be a second. Whether you call it an add9 or add2 depends on whether the added note is in the same octave as the root of the chord.
Related to a C Major Scale a D is both a 2nd and a 9th (shown to the right). All depends on where the root is.
After memorizing todays Cadd9sus4 chord and able to switch in time with other chords. The next step is adding various Strums , Fingerpicking patterns, and exploring the Movable Chord versions of today's chord, to your ukulele skills.
End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!
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Chord a Day, February 9th - Cadd9sus4.
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