Core Ukulele Chords - Triads, Suspended Chords

PUBLISHED: Feb 14, 2013 • UPDATED: Jun 12, 2015 • LESSON CODE: UL42-TRIsus • VISITS: 12

ukulele Subjects: advancedintermediatechordstriads

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Core Ukulele Chords - Triads, Suspended Chords

A suspended chord (sus chord) is a chord in which the (major or minor) third is omitted, replaced usually with either a perfect fourth or a major second, although the fourth is far more common. The lack of a minor or a major third in the chord creates an open sound, while the tension between the fourth and fifth or second and root creates dissonance.

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. As such, in C-F-G, F would resolve to E, but in rock and popular music, "the term is used to indicate only the harmonic structure, with no implications about what comes before or after," though preparation of the fourth occurs about half the time and traditional resolution of the fourth occurs usually. In modern jazz, a third can be added to the chord voicing, as long as it is above the fourth.

A triad is a three note chord. In traditional chord theory there are four traditional triad chord types: major, minor, diminished and augmented. And four contemporary triad chord types: sus2, sus4, add2 and add9.

This series of lessons explores contemporary suspended or sus chords using triads cover is earlier lessons of this series.

Triads are a great introduction to arpeggios and improvisation.

Lessons in this series include traditional and contemporary triads on:

  • Triads on strings 1, 2, 3
  • Triads on strings 2, 3, 4
  • Triads using all four strings

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