After learning your open chords on the guitar, you’ll also want to know how to play sus 2 chords which often come up in many popular songs. In this post, we’ll be covering how to play an A sus 2 chord, which is short for suspended 2.
The A sus 2 chord has an easy open chord shape but there are many different ways you can play this chord throughout the guitar fretboard. By knowing different chord variations, you’ll be able to use them in different musical contexts.
We’ll first cover some basic chord theory and then show you 6 ways to play an A sus 2 chord on guitar.
A sus 2 chord theory intro
A 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.
- The A Major chord has the notes A, C#, and E.
- The A minor chord has the notes A, C, and E.
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
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.
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 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 mini barre
For this chord variation, we use a mini barre starting on the 4th string, 7th fret like this:
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 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.
It’s good to know different variations of playing a sus 2 chord 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 broaden your understanding of how to play an A sus 2 guitar chord. You can also try applying these shapes to other chords by shifting them on the same string.
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All the best,