How to play

How to play the Bb7sus4 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this essential chord, used in hits like "Hey Joe."

The Bb7sus4 chord

The Bb7sus4 chord, pronounced "B flat suspended fourth seventh," is a rich and versatile guitar chord. It's formed by adding the fourth scale degree to a dominant seventh chord, creating a sense of tension and ambiguity. This chord is commonly used in jazz, blues, and funk music to add color and complexity to progressions, and can be found in many popular songs.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bb7sus4 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bb7sus4 chord

The most common way to play the Bb7sus4 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bb7sus4 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 6th fret, barring all six strings.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, place your fingers in the correct positions and strum all six strings together in a downward motion.

How to play an easy Bb7sus4 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bb7sus4 chord, try playing a regular Bb7 chord instead. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the A string, your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the D string, and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. Strum from the A string down.

How to play a Bb7sus4 bar chord

While the Bb7sus4 chord can be played in an open position, playing it as a barre chord allows you to easily transpose the shape to different keys and play it higher up the neck.

Here's how to play a Bb7sus4 bar chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Bb7sus4 chord progressions

The Bb7sus4 chord is often used to add tension and anticipation in chord progressions, creating a bluesy or jazzy feel. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Bb7sus4 chord:

  • I - IV - Bb7sus4 - I (Bb - Eb - Bb7sus4 - Bb)
  • I - IV - Bb7sus4 - V (Bb - Eb - Bb7sus4 - F)
  • I - Bb7sus4 - IV - V (Bb - Bb7sus4 - Eb - F)
  • I - vi - Bb7sus4 - V (Bb - Gm - Bb7sus4 - F)
  • ii - V - Bb7sus4 - I (Cm - F - Bb7sus4 - Bb)

Drills to master the Bb7sus4 chord

To master the Bb7sus4 chord, start by playing each note individually, focusing on clean fretting and consistent tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between Bb7sus4 and its related chords, such as Bb7 and Eb.

Next, incorporate Bb7sus4 into chord progressions you already know. Replace dominant 7th chords with Bb7sus4 to add a fresh, suspended sound to familiar songs. As you jam along, pay attention to the unique flavor this chord brings to your playing. With dedication and practice, you'll confidently use Bb7sus4 to enhance your musical expression.

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Songs that feature the Bb7sus4 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bb7sus4 chord.

  1. Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival (C, F, Bb7sus4, C)
  2. Superstition by Stevie Wonder (Eb7, Bb7sus4, Eb7, Cm7)
  3. Easy by The Commodores (C, Dm7, Em7, Bb7sus4)
  4. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (D, G, Bm7, Bb7sus4)
  5. Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder (B, F#7, Bb7sus4, Eb7)
  6. I Wish by Stevie Wonder (F7, Eb7, Bb7sus4, F7)
  7. Hello by Lionel Richie (Eb, Cm7, Bb7sus4, Eb)
  8. All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Richie (Bb, Gm7, Cm7, Bb7sus4)
  9. Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington Jr. (Eb, Gm7, Cm7, Bb7sus4)
  10. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) by Marvin Gaye (Eb, Gm7, Cm7, Bb7sus4)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

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