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Old 2nd August 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by ty45 View Post
So I'm starting to really dive into the chord functions when making my progressions. I understnad the whole tonic-sub-dominant structure but what happens when you start to apply borrowed chords, secondary dominants and sus chords? What type of funciton do these have? Are there general 'rules' or ideas applied to this?

And for a specific example, I'm looking at Hotel California. i-V7-VIIsus2-IV9/3 are the first 4 chords. The V7 is a secondary dominant. I don't see how it can "lawfully" go into the VIIsus2. From my own logic the only way it makes sense is this:

The V7 of Bm (the songs key) is the iii of the relative major (effectively making it a 'tonic' chord). We turn it into a dominant chord, no problem. Now the VII is a 'dominant' chord itself in the major key (The V of the relative major). But this dominant chord is a sus2 chord which I suppose relinquishes its 'dominant' function? So that the #3 (Bb note) in the V7 pulls towards that B note in the sus chord? So then what does this mean in regards to how dominants pull towards certain chords? Is it just one note it needs to resolve properly?

And the rest. I'm afraid I don't have the energy to think this through fully. Hopefully someone can help my ramblings and make sense of them. Thank you.
A sus 2nd adds incredible tension to a consonant melody....check out "Touch me" by Samantha Fox....the very last note she sings in the song, big sus 2nd makes it....OOOH!

Sus 4th can be anticipatory, but I wouldn't consider that their main function. I consider sus 4ths to be a way to "Fuge" a repeated chord so that the next chord played has the subconscious impact of sounding "More" right.

Think of a Ramones style, downstroke major triad......all good there, but say you don't want it to be that "direct" of a statement...Throwing in some sus 4's create a "I'm giving it to I'm taking it I'm giving it to you again, aren't you glad?" impression to the listener.

Don't think of chord relationships as math (Although it is good to learn the "Math" end first,)....think of them STORYTELLING devices...their appropriate usage becomes much clearer when viewed through that lens.

BTW Keith Richards is a MASTER when it comes to the use of Sus chords, he makes incredibly simple 1-V progressions SING with them, I'd check out some Rolling Stones records.