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How to play the Csus4 chord on guitar

Learn to play the iconic chord from "Wonderwall" and "Fast Car" in just minutes.

The Csus4 chord

The Csus4 chord, pronounced C suspended fourth, is a variation of the standard C major chord. It's created by replacing the major third with a perfect fourth, giving the chord a unique, open sound. The Csus4 is commonly used in rock, folk, and country music to add tension and resolution to progressions. It's notably featured in songs like "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Csus4 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Csus4 chord

The standard way to play the Csus4 chord on guitar is as a 1st fret chord.

Follow these finger positions to play a Csus4 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd (B) string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string

Strum the bottom five strings, avoiding the 1st (high E) string. Play from the 5th (A) string down to the 2nd (B) string in one downward motion.

How to play an easy Csus4 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Csus4 chord, try this:

  1. Place your first finger on the 1st fret of the B string.
  2. Place your second finger on the 2nd fret of the D string.
  3. Leave the high E string open.
  4. Strum only the top four strings.

How to play a Csus4 bar chord

The Csus4 barre chord is a great alternative to the standard open chord version. It allows you to easily transition between other barre chords and play the chord at any fret position on the neck.

Here's how to play a Csus4 bar chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 8th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 10th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 10th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Strum all six strings from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Csus4 chord progressions

The Csus4 chord is often used to add tension and resolution to a progression, creating a sense of anticipation and emotional release. Some common Csus4 chord progressions include:

  • I - Isus4 - I (C - Csus4 - C)
  • I - IV - Isus4 - I (C - F - Csus4 - C) Used in "Let It Be" by The Beatles and "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
  • I - Isus4 - IV - V (C - Csus4 - F - G)
  • I - V - vi - Isus4 (C - G - Am - Csus4)
  • ii - V - I - Isus4 (Dm - G - C - Csus4)

Drills to master the Csus4 chord

To master the Csus4 chord, try strumming the chord and singing the notes "C, F, G" in sequence. This helps internalize the sound of the chord and trains your ear to recognize it.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning smoothly between Csus4 and other common chords like C, Am, and G. Focus on maintaining a steady rhythm while switching chords, gradually increasing your speed as you become more comfortable with the transitions.

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Songs that feature the Csus4 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Csus4 chord.

  1. Hey Jude by The Beatles (F, C, Csus4, C)
  2. More Than Words by Extreme (Csus4, C, G, F)
  3. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, Dsus4, A7sus4)
  4. Dust in the Wind by Kansas (Csus4, C, F, G)
  5. Zombie by The Cranberries (Em, Csus4, G, Dsus4)
  6. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (Csus4, C, G, F)
  7. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls (Csus4, C, G, F)
  8. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, Csus4, Cm)
  9. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (Csus4, C, G, F)
  10. Perfect by Ed Sheeran (G, Em, Csus4, D)

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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