Delayed chords (sus)
Music Theory

Delayed chords (sus)

What features greatly expand the “range” of chords?
Delay chords

In this kind of chords, the III degree is replaced by the II or IV degree. Please note that the important third step (third) is missing in the chord, which is why the chord is neither major nor minor. The belonging of a chord to one or another mode can be guessed in the context of the work.


A chord with a delay is indicated as follows: first, the chord is indicated, then the word ‘sus’ is assigned and the number of the step to which the third step changes. For example, Csus2 means the following: A C major chord (notes from bottom to top: c – e – g) instead of the III degree (note ‘e’) contains the II degree (note ‘d’). As a result, the composition of the Csus2 chord includes the following notes: c – d – g.

Chord C

C chord

Chord Csus2


Csus4 chord


We will do the same actions with the seventh chord, we will take C7 as the basis:

Examples for C7

And at the end of the article, we will show the chords with delay based on Am7. The figure shows what this or that note in the composition of the chord means. In the last bar, the ninth step is added to the seventh chord with delay, so it contains add9 in its name.

Am based examples


You got acquainted with another variety of chords.

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