Friday, January 25, 2013

Suspended Chords Pt. 2

I've been pondering on what to post next on this blog now that I've really made up my mind to update it more often than not. lol

So, I'll be talking about suspended chords part two!

Suspended Chords

Suspended chords are really powerful. They can instantly add a lot of flavor to your playing if you know when to throw them in while you are playing.

Get Familiar with Suspended Chord

Alright, before you start throwing in suspended chords into your playing, I'd like to ask you to learn them first. Please check out the first post on suspended chords first; it should help you to better understand the topic.
One way to get very familiar with suspended chords is to practise playing them with your left hand, your right hand and then both, chromatically. 

What I'm trying to say is that say you start with G suspended: D-G-C you then play it up chromatically and then down chromatically.
For example: D G C/Eb Ab Db/E A D....

How Pianists Apply Suspended Chords

If you know how to use the suspended chords very well, it would be easy for you to throw them into your playing anytime.

Chord Substitution

One thing I know about them is that they can come in very useful in giving your regular chords different flavous.

Take this chord for example: (Left Hand/Right Hand) [on the key of C]
Gb/E Bb A D
You can give it another flavor by rerouting the notes (which gives you a suspended chord on your right hand) thus:
Gb D / E A D

Notice that the chords have exactly the same notes but different flavors. All you just need to do is to know when to switch between the two flavors.

Use Suspended Chords While Soloing

You can use suspended chords to spice up your soloing. You would have to figure out how to do that yourself but I will definitely show you when I start putting up videos here.

Use Suspended Chords as Passing Tones

This one is very easy; with respect to the example I'm showing though.
There are several types and categories of passing tones

A passing tone is basically one or more chords that you can use to fill up empty spaces while you are playing.
For example, say you want to move from chord 1 to chord 4 [on a 4/4 bar time signature with moderate bpm(beats per minute)]

This example is on the key of C
You could throw in something like this:
the numbers represent the beat counts
1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
1 2, E/D G C, Gb/E A D, 3|Ab/Gb B E, A/G C F, 4|G A C E/G C E G  

I hope you understand that :)

Give Your Playing a Jazzy Feel

I learnt this from Jamal's Urban Worship Extreme DVD.
If you know your suspended chords very well, you can throw them in every once in a while to give your playing a jazzy feel. To be able to do this, you must understand the suspended chords you can substitute with  your chords to give that jazzy feel.

Before I continue, I want to show you the suspended chords and the chord numbers they relate to.
This example is on key C

this post will be updated