6 ways to play an A sus 2 chord on guitar

Last updated on April 24th, 2024


After mastering your basic chords on guitar, you’ll also want to learn sus 2 chords which often come up in many popular songs. These chords have a cool, airy, open sound that will freshen up progressions. In this lesson, we’ll specifically be covering how to play the A sus 2 chord, which is short for “Suspended 2”.

This chord has an easy open shape but there are many different ways you can play it throughout the guitar fretboard. By knowing different chord variations, you’ll be able to use them in different musical contexts.

We’ll first go over some basic chord theory and then show you 6 ways to play an A sus 2 chord on guitar. Let’s get started!

A sus 2 chord theory

“Suspended 2” chord means that the 2nd degree replaces the 3rd of the chord. For example, a Major triad chord has the chord tones 1, 3, and 5, but a sus 2 chord has chord tones 1, 2, and 5.

This means that an A sus 2 chord has the chord tones A, B, and E.

Here is the formula for sus 2 chords below.


To compare, here are the notes for other chords with A as the root.

If needed, check out this other post to understand the difference between sus 2 chords and add 2 chords.

Now that you know what notes belong to the chord structure, let’s look at how to read the chord charts.

How to read the chord charts

For the charts below:

  • The top horizontal line of the chord chart represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string.
  • The vertical lines separate each fret. 
  • The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand. 
  • The letters on the right of the charts tell you what notes you are playing on each string.
  • Circles on the left represent open strings.
  • Red X means to avoid that string.

You can check this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.

A sus 2 chord – open shape

An easy way to play the A sus 2 chord is to use the following open chord shape with only two fretted notes on the 3rd and 4th string. You can either use fingers 1 and 2 as indicated in the chart below or use fingers 2 and 3. Choose whatever fingering is more comfortable for you.

A sus 2 chord open shape

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A sus 2 chord variation

Another way to play this chord is to use the following open chord variation in the middle area the fretboard. This is also relatively easy since you only have to fret two notes on the 3rd and 4th string.


A sus 2 chord variation 3

Here is another way to play this sus 2 chord which also includes open strings. This chord variation is more difficult because it requires a wider stretch between your 1st and 4th finger.

A sus 2 chord variation 3

A sus 2 chord mini barre

For this chord variation, we use a mini barre starting on the 4th string, 7th fret. This chord originally comes from the open D sus 2 chord shape but we use the 1st finger to barre and shift the chord.

A sus 2 chord mini barre

A sus 2 chord on the 6th string

The following chord shape is trickier to play because of the wide stretch between your fingers. This variation would be more suitable for a rock style because of the way the notes are arranged in the lower strings.

A sus 2 chord on the 6th string

A sus 2 chord on the 5th string

The following chord variation is less common but also a good addition to your tool belt. The distance between the notes in the 5th and 4th string creates a unique cluster sound.

This chord originally comes from the open C sus 2 chord shape but we use the 1st finger to barre and shift the chord.

A sus 2 chord on the 5th string

Wrapping up

Sus 2 chords sound great as replacements or embellishment for Major chords to create an open sound. Try replacing these chords to add a little twist to chord progressions you already know. Experiment to get a feel for how these chords work best.

It’s good to know different variations of playing sus 2 chords because you have more flexibility to move around the fretboard and also when you need a specific note in the top to help define a melody that you are playing over.

I hope this helped you understand how to play an A sus 2 guitar chord or learn new ways of playing it. You can also try shifting the shapes that have all fretted notes to play other sus 2 chords on the same string.

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All the best,

JG Music Lessons

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