The Power of Sus2 Chords

Kent Shores  /  Lessons / Oct 29


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Do you know what we’d get if we put one power chord on top of another power chord? We would get something called a Sus2 chord. These majestic chords have been famously used by bands like The Police, Rush, and the Foo Fighters to create some all-time great guitar riffs!!

(Download the tabs and chord chart for this lesson here)

So what exactly does “Sus2” mean? It’s short for Suspended 2. A Suspended 2 chord isn’t major or minor. Instead, it removes the 3rd (which gives a chord its major or minor quality) and replaces it with the 2nd. So instead of the typical chord structure of Root, 3rd, and 5th, a Sus2 chord consists of the Root, 2nd, and 5th. 

How To Play Sus2 Chords

To make our chord shape, we just need to stack one power chord on top of the other. It can be a bit of a stretch so it’s a good idea to play around with the fingering and find something that works best for you. We can move this shape around the fretboard to play different Sus2 chords. The first chord progression we’ll try involves playing an Asus2 chord, Csus2 chord, Dsus2 chord, and an Fsus2 chord.

Once you get the hang of the movement between these four chords, try arpeggiating them. This means playing through the chord one note at a time. Nail this, and you have all the basics down to learn “Message In A Bottle” by The Police.

Message In A Bottle” by The Police

Before we get started with the song, here are the tabs for this riff. To play this tune you’ll be using the same Sus2 chord shape you learned but in different locations on the fretboard. This part also requires that you add a little one-note slide to the end of the progression. 

To complete the riff you’ll need to add a rhythmic push at the start of each chord. Take your time and be sure to watch and listen to the video for reference. You’ll have it down in no time!

play your first song on the guitar, start to finish, in an hour.
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