13. Andalusian cadence, sus4 & sus2 chords
This is the second part of a video where we see 6 special chords and chord progressions. We already saw 3 in the last video, so if you haven't seen it you can watch it by clicking on the card at the top of the screen there.
So today we'll see the last 3 chords and chord progressions on the list.
Number 4: andalusian cadence
This is called a cadence, but as far as I understand it, this is more chord progression as it is more intended to be played in loop instead of just finishing one of your musical sentences.
The andalousian cadence is most used in flamenco music and an example of this chord progression can be:
Am GM FM EM
If we consider we are in the tonality of C major, the Am would be a chord of VIth degree, the GM would be the Vth degree, the FM would be the IVth and the EM would be a chord of the IIIrd degree, but with a raised 3rd as the chord of E is usually minor in a C major tonality
So on top of that you could play a solo using the C major scale, being careful of that EM chord
That's one way to look at it, but if we consider we are in the tonality of A minor (which uses the same notes than the C major scale), then the Am would be the Ist degree, the GM would be the VIIth degree, the FM would be the VIth and the EM would be a chord of Vth degree. Which makes sense to have major, as in a minor tonality we can make the Vth degree major when it's preparing a candence, to go to the Ist degree for instance. So this chord progression kind of always calls the I of the next loop, so the progression keeps rolling.
And then you can play a solo on top of that using the A minor scale.
This is a second way to look at it, which is totally fine when this progression is looped so you can play over it.
But a lot of flamenco musics are actually written in a Phrygian mode, which is the mode of E. So the E Phrygian scale uses the exact same notes than the C major scale (or the A minor scale) except the tonal center, the Ist degree, is on the E.
That means that the progression actually finishes on a I. But a I that is major, even though it's supposed to be minor in phrygian. It's kind of like a picardy third, that we saw in the first part of this video.
So as it finishes on a I, you could theoretically use it like a regular cadence in a major or minor tonality. But that's a cadence that have a particular colour as it borrows it's notes from the Phrygian mode.
Let's say we are in E major and we want to finish with an andalusian cadence. Here are the chords of the E major scale as a reference.
If we finish with an andalusian cadence, we finish nicely on our Ist degree here, but the Am would be a minor IVth degree instead of major, the GM chord would be a bIII, and the FM chord would be a bII.
And it kind of makes sense to have a bII before the I in a cadence as this is just like a napolitan 6th, that we also saw in the first part of this video.
So even if the andalusian cadence is supposed to be played in loop as it's own chord progression, let's see how it could sound like if it was used as a regular cadence.
So we are in E major, and we have a chord progression that could be EM, G#m, BM and F#m.
At the end of that we'll add the andalusian cadence we just saw, and just before the Am chord, I'll add a AM chord, which is in the tonality of EM, this should make the transition smoother.
So there the EM chord would be our Ist degree, the G#m is the IIIrd, the BM would be the V, the F#m would be the IInd degree and the AM would be the IV, that then becomes minor, and the rest of the andalusian cadence is just as we saw it a minute ago.
So here is how it could sound like.
Anyways, that is the andalusian cadence, very popular in flamenco music.
Number 5: sus4 chords
A sus4 chord is a chord that is lacking a 3rd but have a 4th instead. "Sus" means suspended, that's what happens when you remove the third of a chord, it becomes suspended. And "4" because it has a 4th added.
For a C chord for example, you would take C, the root note, G the fifth (we don't take the 3rd), and add F, the 4th.
Classically this is more of a transition chord.
Allowing us to go from a chord to the other by moving one note or two at a time.
For example this C sus4 could be between a F chord and a C chord.
Then from the FM chord which is F, A and C, I can move only the A to G to have my C sus4. And then I can move the F to have my C major chord: C, E, G.
The interesting thing is that it work in the exact same way in minor. If we're in C minor, the F chord would be minor, so that's F Ab C.
Then I can move the Ab to G to have C F G, the same C sus4 that we had. And then I can move the F to Eb to lend on a C minor chord.
The fact that this sus4 chord doesn't have any third blurs the tonality it is from, as it could be major or minor. And you can use that at you advantage. Even if these are classically transition chords you can use them like regular chords to bring this strange feeling or being between major and minor.
For example if you wrote a chord progression in major, and you think it sounds a little too happy, you could make some of the chord sus4. That's often done by some progressive rock or progressive metal bands.
For example I can have this chord progression:
CM FM Dm GM.
If I change all these chord for their sus4 form, that would become
C sus4 F sus4 D sus4 G sus4.
Hear the difference? And so on top of this chord progression I could play a solo using either the C major or C minor scale, or switching between the two. The line between the two is then blurred.
Number 6: Sus2 chords
A Sus2 chord is basically the same thing than a sus4. As you must have guessed this is a chord without a 3rd and with a 2nd added.
So a C Sus2 would be made of the root C, the 2nd D, and the fifth G.
In the same way it can be used as transition chord between two other chords.
For example you can put a C Sus2 between a G chord and a C chord.
This way you can make a smooth transition between these two chords by changing one note at a time. The B becomes a C and then the D becomes a E.
And in the same way than for the sus4 chords, you can use the Sus2 as regular chords as well, to blur the tonality a little.
Actually Sus2 chords are inversions of sus4 chords.
For example, say we in C major and we have a C sus4. If we move the C up an octave, we end up with F G and C, which is a F Sus2 chord. See, there is an F with a 2nd and a 5th, and no 3rd.
So they are basically the same chords as they are inversions of one another.
We'll talk a bit more in detail about inversions in the next video, as well as the voicing of chords in general.