7TH CHORD UPPER-STRUCTURES & SUBSTITUTIONS FOR DOMINANT CHORDS:



PART II: Sus7 Chords

This is the long-awaited Part II, where we will take a look at those chords that may still be used either as Upper-Structures or as Substitutions for a C7, but particularly conveying the sus7 sound.

To achieve the sus7 flavor we will need to include the note F (the 4th, aka the suspension) in our upper-structure.

A quick comment: it is important to understand that we cannot have both the 3rd AND the 4th of C7 in the upper-structure if we want to make the resulting chord a true sus7 chord!!! If we had both the notes E and F, the chord would then be a C7(11) which is not a real sus chord, nor a particularly praised sound... This is why I omitted FMaj7 over C7 for example-- even though it is diatonic to F Major.

I will devote a whole essay on the sus chord at some point, but for now, here is our list of arpeggios to be played over a Csus7:


I: (Csus7)

bII: DbMaj7, DbMaj7(b5), Db+Maj7

II: Dm7, Dm7(b5), DmMaj7, DdimMaj7

IV: F7, F+7, Fm7, Fsus7

bV: F#mMaj7, F#dimMaj7, F#Maj7, F#Maj7(b5), F#+Maj7

V: Gm7, Gm7(b5), Gsus7

VI: A+7, A+Maj7

bVII: Bb7, Bbm7, BbmMaj7, BbMaj7, Bbsus7


There are some really interesting sounds listed here, but I agree that some of them can take a while to get accustomed to... you may want to start with the less altered sus7 chords first. For instance, Gm7 over C:

Gm7/C = Csus7(9)


Here is another very consonant sus chord:

BbMaj7/C = Csus7(9 13)


A good way to sort through all of the Upper-Structures and Substitutions listed here would be to focus on those that contain both the P4 and the m7. How many can you find?

As always, I would be more than happy to hear back from you: so if you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!


and here are a few more articles I wrote on Sus Chords:

Sus Chords (Part I)
Sus Chords (Part II)
Pentatonics For The Sus7 Chord









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