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#1859945 - 03/11/12 03:34 PM Bbsus9 chord
Tango Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 106
Loc: Albany,New York
Hello all.Could someone please tell me what notes make up a Bbsus9 chord?Could they also explpian how a Bbsus9 chord is formed,intervals,and steps?I searched everywhere, and I could not find how to form a Bbsus9 chord.I noticed that it is used in alot of jazz and rock songs.So it must be popular and important.This way I can form other sus9 chords in other keys.Thank you.

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#1859954 - 03/11/12 03:44 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
There's several different ways.

Bb(bass note) F Ab C Eb is one way.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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#1860135 - 03/11/12 09:08 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
Hidden son of Teddy Wilson Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 111
chrisbell is correct (I think)

"sus" means that you're not playing the third of the chord.

My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) is that :

sus4 means that you're playing the 4th instead of the 3rd
sus2 means that you're playing the 2nd instead of the 3rd

sus alone means sus4

sus9 actually means sus, with a 9. It's similar to "sus4 add 9" but should be written Bb9sus (instead of Bbsus9 which is misleading)

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#1860142 - 03/11/12 09:19 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Hidden son of Teddy Wilson]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Hidden son of Teddy Wilson


"sus" means that you're not playing the third of the chord.

My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) is that :

sus4 means that you're playing the 4th instead of the 3rd
sus2 means that you're playing the 2nd instead of the 3rd



Sounds perfect.

When you want to spice up a dominant, you can use a sus.

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#1860154 - 03/11/12 09:43 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
A quick way to build a sus9 is to play the major triad one step lower than the chord. for example, for Bbsus9, you can play Ab major triad over Bb in the bass. So another way to notate Bbsus9 is Ab/Bb.


Edited by LadyChen (03/11/12 09:46 PM)
Edit Reason: updated example to use keys used by OP

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#1860389 - 03/12/12 10:42 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jasperkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
To me the "Bbsus9" is another way of saying the chord is a Bb11. You can create an 11th chord by using chrisbell's spelling of F, Ab, C, and Eb or abbreviating it by playing Ab/Bb as LadyChen suggested since the 5th of the chord is expendable unless it's the melody of course.

Concerning 11th chords: I never include the third in using 11th chords but sometimes I see books that go ahead and use it in theory. Sheet music that I've seen never includes the third unless the chord indicated is a minor 11th chord. To include the third just doesn't sound very good to me. Does anybody have a opinion on this?
_________________________
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#1860399 - 03/12/12 11:06 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
The only time I use a third in a major 11 chord is when it's a #11. I don't think I've ever seen a natural 11 chord in a jazz chart -- lots of sus9s, but no 11s unless as i said it's a modified 11 or a minor 11 as you mentioned.

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#1860405 - 03/12/12 11:13 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jasperkeys]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
To include the third just doesn't sound very good to me. Does anybody have a opinion on this?
I use it occasionally if the colour demands it. But then the third is always above the fourth.

C F Bb E.

On the other hand, I probably don't play it as a chord; arpeggiate it or play the third in a melody - going somewhere. It's a nice tension. Common in Mussorgsky's music as well as in Keith Jarrett's playing. I've also heard John McLaughlin (the guitarist) use the arpeggio version starting from an E. Which works nice with a sort-of-ish Indian scale above it: E G# A B D E
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1860432 - 03/12/12 11:56 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 639
Loc: Chicago
In the Jazz Piano Book, which probably represents mainstream jazz pretty well, the 11th is considered an "avoid" note for both major and dominant seventh chords. Not only is is left out of the chords, but it needs to be used carefully when soloing over those chords. It's fine in minor seventh chords and can be used when the third is present. The sharp 11, however, is fine in a major chord and also in a dominant chord, although it more typically be called the flatted fifth.

I was taught, by the way, a different perspective on sus chords, although it's one that applies more when playing with a bass player. The sus chord is really the minor II chord, played over the root of the dominant V chord. For example, a Bbsus is really F minor 7 over a Bb bass. It's a combination of the two chords. So when I see a Bb sus (with a bass player), I'm playing Fm. Using the typical rootless voicing, I'd be playing Ab, C, Eb and G. Note that this includes the 9th even though the sus chords doesn't specify it. In jazz, at least, we add ninths at our pleasure!

Hope this wasn't too confusing.

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#1860448 - 03/12/12 12:51 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jjo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jjo
In the Jazz Piano Book, which probably represents mainstream jazz pretty well, the 11th is considered an "avoid" note for both major and dominant seventh chords.
That's all fine if you consider learning jazz by reading a book, and not playing it by ear. smile
A sus7(9,11) chord is a Dominant (V) chord. Not a II chord. But that's in my "book".


Edited by chrisbell (03/12/12 12:52 PM)
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#1860469 - 03/12/12 01:36 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 639
Loc: Chicago
Chris: Do you hear Herbie's comp in Maiden Voyage as a dominant chord? I sure don't. To me, the chord is a hybrid, and can sound different depending upon the context.

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#1860476 - 03/12/12 01:42 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes I hear and view them as Dominant chords.

That's what makes them so powerful.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1860486 - 03/12/12 01:57 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I look at them as slash chords; but that's just "my book." Miles once said, just play it and we'll figure out what to call it later
_________________________
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David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1860488 - 03/12/12 02:01 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: daviel]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: daviel
Miles once said, just play it and we'll figure out what to call it later
Word!
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1860541 - 03/12/12 04:10 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 639
Loc: Chicago
Can't disagree with that!

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#1860571 - 03/12/12 05:19 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jasperkeys]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Don't want to nit-pick as the question's already been answered correctly but...

Originally Posted By: Hidden son of Teddy Wilson
sus9 actually means sus, with a 9. It's similar to "sus4 add 9" but should be written Bb9sus (instead of Bbsus9 which is misleading)


No. It doesn't mean add 9. Add 9 means ninth without seventh.
sus9 means first, fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth.

And further...
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
To me the "Bbsus9" is another way of saying the chord is a Bb11. You can create an 11th chord by using chrisbell's spelling of F, Ab, C, and Eb or abbreviating it by playing Ab/Bb as LadyChen suggested since the 5th of the chord is expendable unless it's the melody of course.

Concerning 11th chords: I never include the third in using 11th chords but sometimes I see books that go ahead and use it in theory. Sheet music that I've seen never includes the third unless the chord indicated is a minor 11th chord. To include the third just doesn't sound very good to me. Does anybody have a opinion on this?

Yes, I have an opinion on this! An eleventh chord is the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh. Including the third is dissonant with the 11th (though not as dissonant as the fourth because of the greater distant apart). Dropping the third creates the sus9 chord. So a sus9 chord is an eleventh without the third.
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#1860901 - 03/13/12 08:06 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1213
Loc: uk south
An 11th chord may technically have a 3rd and an 11th in it but it is pretty unusual to voice the chord in that way because of to the clash of these notes. Actually it is a sound I like sometimes (in maiden voyage for example) but it is not really standard usage.
Similarly a 13th chord should also in theory include a 3rd and an 11th, but when people write C13 they expect you not to play the F (11th) as a rule.
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#1860963 - 03/13/12 09:55 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Thank you, beeboss. I hadn't taken praxis and expectation into account.

I've just enjoyed "Everything happens to me" from your link. I can see why you might be more familiar with these modern chords than I.

"A hit, a very palpable hit."

smile

_________________________
Richard

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#1860964 - 03/13/12 09:56 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jasperkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
I like the sound of 11th chords. The have a "floating" quality to their sound I really like; in moderation of course. But as for me; no third, thanks.
_________________________
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." Andy Bernard

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#1860966 - 03/13/12 09:59 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jasperkeys]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Accepted, jasperkeys. I'm a guitarist, so no seventh either for me. Just a plain sus4.
_________________________
Richard

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#1861521 - 03/14/12 03:03 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jasperkeys]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: jasperkeys
To me the "Bbsus9" is another way of saying the chord is a Bb11. You can create an 11th chord by using chrisbell's spelling of F, Ab, C, and Eb or abbreviating it by playing Ab/Bb as LadyChen suggested since the 5th of the chord is expendable unless it's the melody of course.

Concerning 11th chords: I never include the third in using 11th chords but sometimes I see books that go ahead and use it in theory. Sheet music that I've seen never includes the third unless the chord indicated is a minor 11th chord. To include the third just doesn't sound very good to me. Does anybody have a opinion on this?


The notation Bb11 is confusing. I've seen it more and more in pop music and I always have to explain to students that it's not a legit notation. Maybe I'm just old school but chords are built on thirds. Bb11 should include the major third and the natural eleventh. But that is clearly not the intention (in my experience) for the chord. Bbsus9 is correct. Minor chords have natural elevenths and major chords have # elevenths. The nat eleventh obscures the function of the major third.

On the other side of it, Bb13 should also technically include the natural eleventh right? But who does that? And we see that chord all over the place. Go figure.

Now all that said I think you can play whatever you want. And if you mean Bb11 (with the major third), then go for it.

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#1861666 - 03/14/12 11:20 AM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Ilion]
jasperkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Quote:
The notation Bb11 is confusing. I've seen it more and more in pop music and I always have to explain to students that it's not a legit notation. Maybe I'm just old school but chords are built on thirds.


As I'm pretty much self taught; my understanding of chords is from both books and how chords are labeled on pop music sheet music. My understanding of the practical application of an 11th chord is that it's an extended suspended 4th chord that includes the flatted 7th and the 9th therefore eliminating the third. As far a 13th chord I look at it as a 6th chord (like Bb major with a G note) that's extended to again include the flatted 7th and 9th.

I've never used an 11th chord with a #11. Is there a song or music piece that uses it?
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#1861738 - 03/14/12 01:23 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: jasperkeys]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Jasperkeys, I think that your process is as good as any. Observing practical application and figuring things out as they appear in printed music is totally valid. But it can lead to confusion.

The simple way to look at it, that is I hope simple, is that chords are built from the root up in thirds.

C-E-G-B-D-F-A

Another third up and you're back to the root, so the 13th is the last extension. Any note but the root may be altered up and/or down. (Well technically the root CAN be altered but that's beyond the scope of pop notation I think).

A 13 chord is supposed to include everything before it. But the 11 conflicts with the major third and is therefore not used (usually) unless it's sharped. The 11 does not conflict with the minor third so a m11 is common.

First song off the top of my head with a #11 is "Christmas Time Is Here" where the second chord is Eb7#11 (the #11 is the melody note).

An 11 chord isn't really an extended sus4 chord because the sus4 and the 11 are the same note. So Bbsus9 is the appropriate name for the chord.

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#1861808 - 03/14/12 02:49 PM Re: Bbsus9 chord [Re: Tango]
jasperkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Safford, AZ
Aughh! You're right; "Christmas Time is Here" is one of those. I even play it around Christmas time. How quickly I forget.
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