View Full Version : Chords!

Feb-24-2006, 11:19am
Anyone have good fingerings for these chords - can't find any.


Feb-24-2006, 11:46am
I don't have a mandolin here at work but, isn't it:

Asus2 = take an A and add a "B" note:
frets from low to high: 2225

Dsus2 = take a D and add an "E" note:
i'd use a D "chop" chord and let the high E ring, or maybe
7252, making a bar on the second fret?

AW Meyer
Feb-24-2006, 11:54am
Asus2: GDA strings at 2nd fret, E string at 5th fret

Dsus2: GD strings at 2nd fret. AE strings at 5th fret

Jim Broyles
Feb-24-2006, 12:08pm
Glauber and Mr Eh are correct. Those voicings make sus2 chords but in my opinion, for the Asus2 chord, it sounds better with the third included to create that "second interval" tension. I like 9-7-7-7 for the Asus2 and 7-4-O-O for the Dsus2. John Baxter's "Deluxe Encyclopedia of Mandolin Chords" shows Glauber's Asus2 and also mine. For the Dsus2, Baxter shows 2-2-5-5 and 7-7-7-10. I don't like the 2-2-5-5 one very much and Glauber's 7-2-5-2 is very hard for me.
Just for a quick theory note, the sus2 is basically the major triad with the 2nd degree (re, in the scale) added in somewhere. If you put the flatted 7th in with it, it becomes a 9th chord.

Feb-24-2006, 12:59pm
Cool. I was trying to find chords that have all the fingers down, since this is a bluegrass planet, right? But i'm not 100% comfortable with the voicings i gave because with a "sus" chord, i would like something that i can conveniently resolve back to the major chord. I would prefer 3-note chords where you can add the 2nd with the 4th finger and remove i to resolve, but i'm not going to try to find better voicings without having an instrument on hand.

Feb-24-2006, 11:55pm
Allrighty. Now with mando in hand... here is a voicing that i like:

Dsus2 (from low to high):
247x -> resolves to 245x
use 4th finger for e note, 3rd finger for d note

Same voicing works for Asus2:
2247 -> resolves to 2245
barre the lowest strings or skip the bass note, using the same voicing as for the D, above

This voicing has the added benefit that the 7M chord is also available, i.e.:
Dsus2 -> D -> D7M -> D
247x -> 245x -> 244x -> 245x


g http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Feb-25-2006, 7:57pm
Dsus2 (to me) says: Root, 2nd (instead of a 3rd) and 5th. D-E-A

7-0-0-0; 9-0-0-0; 7-2-0-0, 2-0-5-0; 2-0/2-5-x (split on D string)
If you've got a bass or something else under the mando, note order doesn't make as much difference so 2-2-5-x would work fine, although your ear would tend to hear it as an Asus(4) if played on solo mandolin.

Niles H

Dadd9 (to me) is Root 3rd, 5th, 9th (2nd) D-F#-A-E

Jim Broyles
Feb-25-2006, 8:23pm
Niles, are you saying that naming the chord "_sus2" rather than just "_2" indicates leaving out the 3rd? If so I see what you mean, but I wasn't looking at it like that. The "add9" is the way we used to see the "2" written, but I thought, maybe erroneously, that a "sus2" was the same as a "2."

Feb-25-2006, 10:16pm
This is interesting. #I call it a D2 myself, which is equivalent to a D(add9) in my world. #The word "sus" may have had special meaning at one time, but I am not sure exactly what anymore.

Regarding the sus4, Mark Levine says, "A persistent myth is that 'the 4th takes the place of the 3rd in a sus chord.' This was true at one time... [but nowadays] ...play sus voicings with both the 3rd and the 4th." (Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book, p.46)

If the sus4 no longer implies leaving out the third, then does it follow that sus2 no longer implies leaving out the third? Can we say that "sus" has no real meaning?

This could spawn another thread.

Jim Broyles
Feb-25-2006, 11:00pm
Yeah, but what are you suspending if you play the 3rd and the 4th in the same chord? You'd almost have to call it an (add4) or maybe (add11) if you leave the 3rd in, wouldn't you? By the same token, I would say (again, maybe incorrectly)that a sus2 would be suspending the root and would not necessarily imply no third. In most of the rhythm or guitar charts I see, when they don't want a 3rd in a 2 chord, they write, for example: A2(no third.) Now, this could be to accomodate the people who can play well and know some harmony, but are not fast at sight reading (like me.)

Feb-26-2006, 10:17am
That's my opinion too. I want a "sus" chord to resolve down (4th->3rd or 2nd->root). But i have to say, i'm just a hack, and Niles Really Knows this stuff. In mandolin i like 3-string chords for their flexibility, although you usually have to leave notes out (and the root is often the first one to go).

Feb-26-2006, 11:40am
There is a fair amount of opinion and genre influencing certain naming conventions. That's why Niles wisely qualified his answers with "(to me)". We're probably addressing bluegrass here, so my reference to the jazz treatment of "sus" is really kindof irrelevant. (But interesting, I think.) I am taking away from this that in bluegrass, you remove the third. In jazz you don't (anymore).

John Hill
Feb-27-2006, 5:19pm
It is my understanding as well that the "-sus2" means to raise the 3rd up to a 2nd.

With the same going for the "-sus4", raising the 5th up to a 4th. It makes a little more sense if you can see on the fretboard how the chord is constructed.

Although this raises a question for me: Does this mean that a Dimished 5th is the same as sus4? Or am I backin' talkwards?


Jim Broyles
Feb-27-2006, 5:44pm
MN, I think you are getting it a little backwards. You would raise a 3rd to a 4th, not to a 2nd. The sus 4 means that the 4th is played instead of the 3rd, not that the 4th is raised. A diminished 5th in a chord is written as b5, -5 or flat5. You also wouldn't raise a 5th to a 4th, it would go the other way.

John Hill
Feb-27-2006, 6:09pm
Cool, thanks. I think that's what I meant...raise or lower could mean the same thing I guess depending on how you looked at it. You can tell I'm just wading into chord theory http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif .