How to play

How to play the C#sus4 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this essential chord, as heard in "Wonderwall" and "Creep."

The C#sus4 chord

The C#sus4 chord, pronounced "C sharp suspended fourth," is a captivating variation of the standard C# chord. By replacing the major third with a perfect fourth, this chord creates a sense of tension and ambiguity. The C#sus4 is often used in rock, folk, and country music to add a unique flavor to progressions, making it a versatile tool in any guitarist's repertoire.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common C#sus4 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for C#sus4 chord

The most common way to play the C#sus4 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 4th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a C#sus4 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 4th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward motion to play all six strings simultaneously, ensuring that each string rings out clearly.

How to play an easy C#sus4 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the C#sus4 chord, try playing an open C#sus4 chord instead. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the B string, your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G string, and strum only the top four strings (D, G, B, and E).

How to play a C#sus4 bar chord

The C#sus4 chord can be played as a barre chord, which allows for more versatility and easier transitions between chords. While the open version of C#sus4 is commonly used, the barre chord shape is a great alternative to have in your repertoire.

Here's how to play a C#sus4 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 4th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Strum all six strings from the low E string to the high E string.

Common C#sus4 chord progressions

The C#sus4 chord adds a dreamy, floating feeling to progressions. It's often used to transition between chords or create a suspended, unresolved sound. Some common C#sus4 chord progressions that evoke emotions from hopeful and uplifting to wistful and contemplative include:

  • I - Isus4 - I (C# - C#sus4 - C#)
  • vi - IV - Isus4 - I (A - F# - C#sus4 - C#) Used in "Fix You" by Coldplay
  • I - V - vi - IV - Isus4 - I (C# - G# - A - F# - C#sus4 - C#)
  • ii - V - Isus4 - vi (D#m - G# - C#sus4 - A)
  • vi - Isus4 - V - IV (A - C#sus4 - G# - F#) Used in "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls

Drills to master the C#sus4 chord

To master the C#sus4 chord, try playing the individual notes (C#, F#, and G#) one at a time, focusing on each note's clarity. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between these notes smoothly.

Another effective drill is to switch between C#sus4 and other common chords like A, E, or B. This helps build muscle memory and enhances your ability to change chords seamlessly within a song. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more confident with the transitions.

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Songs that feature the C#sus4 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the C#sus4 chord:

  1. Wonderwall by Oasis (C#m7, F#m7, A7sus4, Esus4)
  2. Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys (C#, G#, A#m)
  3. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  4. Champagne Supernova by Oasis (C#m7, F#m7, A7sus4, Esus4)
  5. I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie (C#m, E, B, F#m, A, G#m)
  6. Anna Molly by Incubus (C#m, B, A, E)
  7. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town by Pearl Jam (C#, F#, G#, A#m, C#/G#)
  8. Clocks by Coldplay (C#m, A#m, F#, G#)
  9. Mayonaise by The Smashing Pumpkins (C#, G#, A#m, E, F#)
  10. Swing Life Away by Rise Against (C#, G#, A#m, E)

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.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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