How to Play a Csus Chord on the Piano

Suspended Chords

Let’s look at how to play a Csus (“C suspended”) chord on the piano. Once we know the pattern for building suspended chords, we can apply that pattern starting on any note.

What Are Suspended Chords?

There are two main types of suspended chords: sus2 and sus4.

To play a sus2 chord, play the first, second and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

To play a sus4 chord, play the first, fourth and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

Suspended chords are similar to major chords. Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale, but suspended chords change the middle note. Instead of using the third note of the matching major scale for the middle note of the chord, a sus2 chord uses the second note of the scale, and a sus4 chord uses the fourth note of the scale.

piano chords chart pdf printable

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 35-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note and type.

How to Play a Csus2 Chord on the Piano

Let’s look at how to play a Csus2 chord.

To play a Csus2 chord, we’ll play the first, second and fifth notes of the C major scale (learn how to build a major scale here):

C – D – G

You can use this pattern to build any suspended second chord. Just play the first, second and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

How to Play a Csus4 chord

Now let’s look at how to play a Csus4 chord on the piano. To play a Csus4 chord, we’ll play the first, fourth and fifth notes of the C major scale:

C – F – G

You can use this pattern to build any sus4 chord. Just play the first, fourth and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

If you see a chord labeled Csus, without a number after it, it usually indicates a sus4 chord.

Other Chord Types

Some of the other chord types you can learn are:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished
Second
Minor second
Fifth
Sixth
Minor sixth
Seventh
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Ninth
Minor ninth
Major ninth

Conclusion

Now you know how to play a Csus chord (sus2 or sus4) on the piano!

Suspended chords sound really wonderful on the piano. I like using them in place of major chords, whether or not they’re called for.

Suspended chords may sound like they “leave you hanging”, and you may want to resolve them back to the matching major or minor chord (they can be substituted for both), but it’s not necessary. I leave them just the way they are quite often, because I like them so much.

I hope you enjoy playing these beautiful chords!

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8 Comments

  1. Debra Ann Deslatte

    Thank you, Julie. You are helping me play church worship with people who only know chords on their guitar!

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      Yay, I’m so glad to hear that!

  2. Pat c

    Inspiring stuff, great post!

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      Thank you, I’m glad it’s helpful!

  3. Pamela

    Thanks Julie!

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      You’re welcome Pamela, I’m glad it’s helpful!

  4. Junaid

    Like it and trying to follow it
    Thanks

    Reply

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