Sus chords (eg., from bottom to top, C – F -G) omit the third of the chord and substitute a fourth. They have a broad application to both contemporary and traditional worship styles. They provide a colorful alternative to the standard dominant seventh which occurs frequently in hymn and chorus cadences. They are valuable in creating segues and in effecting modulations in the free-flowing praise format. They are eminently playable on both guitars and keyboards. We’ll look at how the sus4, sus7, and sus9 chords function.
In the previous chapter we centered on V7 and V9sus chords to effect short, basic modulations. Now our range of options enlarges: any kind of ii chord can precede the V chord. The ii – V – I progression can be used to produce smooth modulations for any key.
To modulate means to change keys. When leading worship or performing in a Christian concert, there is often a need to modulate within pieces or to segue from one piece to another smoothly. This is especially true in contemporary worship where three to eight worship choruses/hymns may need to be connected in a seamless fashion.
This chapter stresses the basics: the importance of the V chord to propel songs into the new key, modulations involving various meters (4/4, 3/4, 6/8), walking the bass down or up, making entrances secure, and modulating within and between pieces.