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Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
#1689037 06/02/11 06:01 AM
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How well can you tell these two chords apart by ear? I'm having a hard time telling them apart. After all, when you invert one you get the other. Is this a common problem, or should one be able to tell these apart as easy as a,b,c?

Last edited by MathTeacher; 06/02/11 06:46 AM.
Re: Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
MathTeacher #1689052 06/02/11 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
After all, when you invert one you get the other.


Huh? Please explain.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
Studio Joe #1689085 06/02/11 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by MathTeacher
After all, when you invert one you get the other.


Huh? Please explain.


Example:
Csus4 = C F G
Fsus2 = F G C

I would make my decision on the bass note, I don't think these chords are inverted too often - and when they are it usually seems to imply another chord.

Last edited by PlebiousPianist; 06/02/11 08:29 AM.
Re: Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
PlebiousPianist #1689131 06/02/11 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PlebiousPianist
Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by MathTeacher
After all, when you invert one you get the other.


Huh? Please explain.


Example:
Csus4 = C F G
Fsus2 = F G C

I would make my decision on the bass note, I don't think these chords are inverted too often - and when they are it usually seems to imply another chord.


Plebious is correct, you need to listen to the bass and the interval that the suspended note creates with the bass. These chords aren't typically inverted because doing that ruins the effect that suspensions create - that is, the tense suspended note resolving, a 2nd falling to a tonic or a 4th falling to a 3rd of a triad. The bass must be prominent in order to hear the tension followed by the resolution. Of course, not every suspension resolves, but most do and certainly almost all of them in classical music. Jazz is a different thing altogether.

I suspect the first hurdle is that you haven't done enough ear-training to be able to pick out intervals quickly. You need to practise this a lot because you won't understand these tension/resolution effects until you do. You need to be able to relate any tone you focus on to the bass note. Get a friend to help you by playing random pairs of notes, and you have to figure out the interval. You can do that on your own two if you close your eyes and play a note with each hand. Eventually you will learn to hear intervals very clearly and accurately. You need to do the same thing with triads, then 7th chords. Then you move on to suspended chords.

It will take time and patience but it's an incredibly important skill for any musician. Keep at it.

Re: Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
ando #1689293 06/02/11 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Eventually you will learn to hear intervals very clearly and accurately. You need to do the same thing with triads, then 7th chords. Then you move on to suspended chords.

It will take time and patience but it's an incredibly important skill for any musician. Keep at it.


Ok, I take it that this is the order of difficulty. It's good to know that telling apart sus2 and sus4 is generally harder than telling apart the 7th chords, so I don't feel so bad.

Re: Telling sus2 and sus4 apart
MathTeacher #1689337 06/02/11 02:30 PM
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i would make the decision on where it resolves to


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