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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 13 of 26

Suspended Chords

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

13. Suspended Chords

Lesson Info

Suspended Chords

Hi. So before we jump into a practical example of of using these chords that we've been talking about, I wanted to throw one more court at you were more kind of court at you. While we're on the topic of it, these are called suspended chords. Suspended chords is when you add a two. So the second scale degree into the cord. Now we just did nineths, and we know that if we count up the scale to 1/9 that ends up at the same pitch as a, too. So let's look here way can't That ends me on an F sharp, which, if I start over over from the one and I go to the two, it's also enough sharp. So if we put it on the top, were more likely to call it 1/9. If we put it in at the bottom or in side of the cords, the notes that we already have, we would call it a two, and for twos, we call them suspensions. Um, the reason they're called suspensions that they have this quality of. It's sort of like being suspended. Uh, it has a unstable quality like it's just kind of hanging. There is a good way to put it, um...

, much more common to use these on major chords. Eso Here's a minor, diminished major. Let's throw one on here so it's gonna be a two. So the two. So I have the route the second, the third on the fifth here. So let's add it also, let's see, these two are minor. Let's add it here to be this major order and this is a major chord. Okay, so on all the major chords I've added the suspended to and what we call that are the way we right, that is like this. So let's see here. Um, for this cord, we would take the name of the cord is G. So we would call it g suss to to g suss for suspended to Jesus, too. I mean, it's a major chord with the two in it. So here's how the whole thing sounds with just those major chords. I've added a to toe. So let me focus, Justin, see if I can play just one of these. So it's it has this, like, unfulfilled feeling to it, but yet kind of in a in a major way, which is why we like him more on major chords, suspended twos. Um, you have to be careful with suspended twos and suspended force. Any suspended chord? Um, it can sound like kind of new age really fast if you listen to, like, a nature CD or like a yoga CD, whether just like playing this like she multi music and blah, blah blah, nothing against it if that's what you're into. But, um, it's a lot of just things like suspended chords going on forever and ever and ever so that they always sound really happy and unfulfilled, like they just keep moving forward. Um, so be leery of using likes all these suspended chords all the time. Let's do a suspended for so I'm gonna take this away. I'm gonna add the fourth scale degree and I'll do that same thing here and the same thing here. Let's hear those that has a little bit more dissonance to it, but it's still that same kind of like the court is a little bit like throwing a ball up in the air and then waiting like it's got that feeling of like uh, gonna come down or what? Um, so if we use those over and over and over, we get this kind of, uh, waiting feeling. Um, but, ah, those were suspended courts. So if you want to throw a two or a four, we call them suspended chords, and that's how they work.

Class Description

In the first part of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this second part, we'll expand on those ideas. We'll work with minor keys, focus some time on melody and bassline writing, and we'll talk about how different tracks work. 

Extensive Analysis 

In this class, we feature an extensive track analysis segment by Daft Punk, Avicii, Skrillex, and many more. In each of these segments, we'll look at their tracks on the piano roll editor. We'll talk about why they sound the way they do, and how you can use similar techniques in your own music. Each of these segments picks apart multiple elements of the song and dissects it in an easily digestiable manner. 

Who should take this course? 

Anyone interested in producing their own tracks. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.


This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn't a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.  



Well, I slobbered all over you after your first class and this one is as good or better. I realize people don't go to college for 12 years and learn what you shared in a few hours and you didn't earn your doctorate with just this stuff. I mean Julliard must offer a lot more, but you have advanced my knowledge by miles and I've got to say thank you. Make some more of these simple, common talk courses - I'll buy them all.

Nick van Lochem

This course its so good he makes it al sound so easy. that ists easy to remember and use in your creations.

Scott Vincent

Very cool class - learned a lot from this class as well as from the Part 1 class. Highly recommend both classes!