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What are the uses of a suspended dominant chord?

dead of night

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Hi, I 'm a little confused, can you help? I'm confused about the proper use of a suspended dominant chord. Here's why.

A suspended chord usually resolves to the major chord it is suspended upon; the 4 going to the third sounds great when resolved. However, a dominant chord usually resolves to the chord a fourth above. So there is a dichotomy here.

What is the proper use of a suspended dominant chord? What chord does it resolve to?
 

JonR

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"Proper" is a debatable term!

Yes, you're right - classically a suspended 4th descends to a major 3rd. On a dominant chord, that major 3rd is of course the leading tone of the key, so it would go back up to the tonic note as the chord changed to the tonic. So the suspended dominant resolves to the dominant - and then (usually) to the tonic.

G7sus4-G7-C.

It's essentially the same move as Dm7-G7-C, but the C of the Dm7 is held (suspended) over the G7 momentarily, before descending to B and going back up to C.

However, there's other ways you can handle this:
Eg, G7sus4-Cmaj7, where the C on the G7sus moves down to B on the Cmaj7 - a reverse of the expected dominant-tonic move, but it works. (That is, if you like the effect, it works. That's what "works" means. ;))
You can also just let the C hang over straight on to the tonic chord, without going down to B in between. That then becomes more like a combination of a plagal cadence (IV-I) with an authentic cadence (V/I), because you can view it as F/G-C.

And of course, a 7sus can be a mixolydian key chord, with no need to resolve anywhere. This is what the Beatles did with Hard Days Night, where the opening chord is (more or less) G7sus4, going straight into a G mixolydian chord sequence.
And Herbie Hancock used 7sus chords modally in Maiden Voyage.
 
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Mandoboy

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Used a ton in the 70's- think Crusaders, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Metheny etc.

Instant 70's is to take a triad a whole step down over bass note (C/D) and move intervallically in any direction. Season with phase shifter and avocodo green refrigerator ;)
 

JonR

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Used a ton in the 70's- think Crusaders, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Metheny etc.

Instant 70's is to take a triad a whole step down over bass note (C/D) and move intervallically in any direction. Season with phase shifter and avocodo green refrigerator ;)
LOL.
Very Carole King and Steely Dan too, that kind of thing.
And this mid-70s number opens with 5 of them in a row:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3tHYb4_bAg
(Coincidentally, one of great guitar solos of all time in the middle too, courtesy Mr Amos Garrett)
Now, just going to pull a cool beer from that green fridge... mm-mmm...
m-e-l-l-o-w...
 

Tomo

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lol.
Very carole king and steely dan too, that kind of thing.
And this mid-70s number opens with 5 of them in a row:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3thyb4_bag
(coincidentally, one of great guitar solos of all time in the middle too, courtesy mr amos garrett)
now, just going to pull a cool beer from that green fridge... Mm-mmm...
M-e-l-l-o-w...
懐かしいサウンドですね。

トモ
 

yarffej

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i like the sus flat 9 sound too. you can mix the phrygian and harmonic minor sounds. the harmonic minor is so useful for rock and r+b solos... just play a sus chord and raise the root a half step to the flat 9. fun stuff...
 

Mandoboy

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懐かしいサウンドですね。

トモ
And thanks to online translation:

"Bosom it forces, with sound the shank."

Couldn't agree more! :bow
 

JonR

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15,687
i like the sus flat 9 sound too. you can mix the phrygian and harmonic minor sounds. the harmonic minor is so useful for rock and r+b solos... just play a sus chord and raise the root a half step to the flat 9. fun stuff...
Yes - a higher root, that is. Not quite the same effect to raise the bottom root (makes a different chord ;)).

Susb9 chords are not generally dominant in function, tho. They are (in jazz) usually phrygian modal key chords.
In a minor key situation, however, they can make a useful combination of the ii and V chords. Eg, Bm7b5/E in key of A minor.
 

russ6100

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And thanks to online translation:

"Bosom it forces, with sound the shank."

Couldn't agree more! :bow
Actually, he wrote, "Natsukashii desu ne"

There is no exact English equivalent for "natsukashii"....saying that is like, "Man, that really takes me back!" It expresses a feeling of nostalgia.
 

shrp11

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Careful though, you probably won't want to harmonize an F/G if there's a B (the third of a G7) in the melody (unless you really know what you're doing:))
 

JonR

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Pink Floyd and The Who songs?
Well, AFAIK, Townshend at least tends to use plain sus4s, resolving in the traditional way (if you're thinking of Pinball Wizard, eg). IOW, not dominants, but tonics - even tho they might proceed through other keys - or IV chords, even tho the 4th is then chromatic.
There's a great use of suspensions of this kind in "Sweet Child o'Mine" - sus4 on a mixolydian tonic (not a dominant), resolving to 3 repeatedly.

Which tunes are you thinking of, from Floyd or the Who? (I'm collecting examples!)
 

Mandoboy

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1,768
Actually, he wrote, "Natsukashii desu ne"

There is no exact English equivalent for "natsukashii"....saying that is like, "Man, that really takes me back!" It expresses a feeling of nostalgia.
Thanks, just wanted to show the pinpoint accuracy of online translators- we humans are still good for a few things!
 

Mandoboy

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1,768
Well, AFAIK, Townshend at least tends to use plain sus4s, resolving in the traditional way (if you're thinking of Pinball Wizard, eg). IOW, not dominants, but tonics - even tho they might proceed through other keys - or IV chords, even tho the 4th is then chromatic.
There's a great use of suspensions of this kind in "Sweet Child o'Mine" - sus4 on a mixolydian tonic (not a dominant), resolving to 3 repeatedly.

Which tunes are you thinking of, from Floyd or the Who? (I'm collecting examples!)
Hi Jon- "Bargain" I think is a 7sus4 1st chord...
 

JonR

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Hi Jon- "Bargain" I think is a 7sus4 1st chord...
Right, thanks! I should have remembered that one from a recent thread!
It's not a dominant, functionally, - it's a mixolydian "tonic" - but a good one for the collection.
 

Mandoboy

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1,768
Right, thanks! I should have remembered that one from a recent thread!
It's not a dominant, functionally, - it's a mixolydian "tonic" - but a good one for the collection.
Yeah, it gets murky with 'dominant 7th' chord type vs. 'dominant function'...
 

funkycam

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used tons in gospel.
also used to do the "1/2 step up modulation thing" again & again & again.
 




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