How To Play The Guitar Chord Esus

The guitar chord E sus is a suspended chord. Esus refers to the chord Esus4. Suspended chords replace the 3rd of the chord with the 4th scale degree. Tension and resolution are core concepts in music, and the E sus chord is utilized for just that; It is used to build tension to resolve back to the E Major chord.

In this article we will explain the theory behind the Esus chord and include chord charts for different ways to play them. Read on to learn Esus on guitar!

guitar chord esus

E Sus Chord Theory

  • The E sus chord contains 3 notes: E A B
  • Esus 4 is created by replacing the 3rd of the E Major chord with the 4th, or G# with A.
  • Qualities of Esus4 are dramatic, unstable, and tension building.
  • The main function of the Esus 4 chord is to create tension, this is because the 4th scale degree has a tendency to resolve downward to 3.
  • Esus4 is almost always played before E Major.

Related: How to play the Gsus2 & Gsus4 chords

How To Play The Esus4 Guitar Chord

If you know your E major chords, try playing an E maj- E sus – E maj chord progression with all of these voicings. (I’ll give you a hint: there is only a one note difference!) Train your ear to hear this progression and really get used to the sound of resolving a sus chord.

E Sus Open Chord

e sus chord
  • Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.

E Sus Barre Chord

e sus
  • Place your index finger on the 12th fret of the 6th string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 14th fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your pinky on the 14th fret of the 3rd string.
e sus 4
  • Place your index finger on the 7th fret of the 5th string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your pinky on the 10th fret of the 2nd string.

Other Ways To Play E Sus

e sus easy
  • Place your index finger on the 9th fret of the 4th string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 10th fret of the 2nd string.
  • Don’t ring out the 1st string.

Esus2 Guitar Chord

Despite Esus 4 being the default sus chord, there is another type. The sus 2 chord. This chord is a similar concept to the sus 4, only this time we replace the 3rd of the chord with the 2nd. I will explain more…

E Sus 2 Chord Theory

  • Esus 2 has the notes E F# and B.
  • Esus 2 is created by taking the 3rd of the E major chord and replacing it with a 2nd. (or G# for F#)

How To Play The Guitar Chord Esus 2

E Sus 2 Open Chord

e sus 2
  • Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your pinky on the 4th fret of the 3rd string.

E Sus 2 Barre Chord

e sus 2 barre
  • Place your Index finger on the 7th fret of the 5th string and barre.
  • Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your pinky on the 9th fret of the 3rd string.

Other Ways To Play E Sus 2

E sus 2
  • Place your index finger on  the 2nd fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your pinky on the 5th fret of the 2nd string.

Learn To Play Other Suspended Guitar Chords

LetterSuspended Chords
AAsus2, Asus4
BBsus2, Bsus4
CCsus2, Csus4
DDsus2, Dsus4
EEsus2, Esus4
FFsus2, Fsus4
GGsus2, Gsus4

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the sus chord rule?

The rule for building sus chords is 1-4-5

Why are chords called sus?

Sus is short for suspension. 

In music theory, a suspension is an “accented non-chord tone… A suspension is approached by the same note and resolves down by step. A suspension is made up of a preparation, suspension, and resolution.”

What is the banned church chord?

17th century catholic churches banned usage of the tritone – an interval or a diminished 5th or augmented 4th. This interval is so dissonant, it was deemed inappropriate for praising God. 

However, many composers used the chord intentionally to add a sinister and demonic flair to their pieces. It can be heard in a famous piece: Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre

What are suspended chords used for?

Sus chords are often used as chord substitutions, smoothing out chord progressions, and most importantly, creating tension in music.

Are suspended chords triads?

Even though it is a chord with 3 notes, it is not considered a triad.

Related: A Sus Guitar Chords Made Easy!

Conclusion

Esus usually refers to the guitar chord Esus 4. Esus 4 chord contains the tones E A B and the Esus 2 contains the tones E F# G

While both can be used to resolve to E Major, Esus2 is stable and pleasing enough to be played by itself or even in replacement of E Major. 

If you know your E major chords, try playing an E maj– E sus – E maj chord progression with all of these voicings. (I’ll give you a hint: there is only a one note difference!) Train your ear to hear this progression and really get used to the sound of resolving a sus chord.

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