I only have a limited knowledge of music theory.

One thing i dont fully understand is tension resolve and also the role of the third for tension resolve over powerchordprogression(powerchords only contain root and 5th)

When playing piano with both hands(i normally play guitar), excluding or including the 3rd from chords really seems to affect the role that 3rd plays in the melody

From my experience trying to play sus2 or sus 4 (eventually without resolving to 3rd) in the melody over powerchords seems to sound ok but i would like some Music theory tips for playing sus2 and sus4 melodies over powerchords, and how to resolve if neccessary


...seems to sound ok ...to resolve if neccessary

I think this needs to be explained: a bona fide suspension and its resolution are ideas that come from counterpoint. That's an old practice going back to composers like Bach and Palestrina!

The foundation for a suspension is regarding intervals like the second, fourth, or seventh as dissonances (think: sounds not OK) which should move to consonances (think: necessary to resolve to something that sounds OK.) Usually the dissonance is resolved by the upper voice moving down by step to a chord tone in the next chord, but there are several different ways it can be handled. That's all about a centuries old practice that developed in the Church.

In the modern era, intervals of the second, fourth, and seventh aren't necessarily considered dissonances, certainly not dissonances requiring strict treatment. Pop and folk are fairly conservative in handling dissonance, but jazz is much looser. Jazz treats sevenths and ninths mostly as chord tones, and other tones are used for "tension" but are not necessarily resolved with the formality of a suspension. More progressive/experimental rock styles might do similar things. There is also quartal/quintal harmony where chords are built of fourths/fifths rather than thirds which reframes the whole question of what are chord tones and therefore what are dissonant tones.

Theory won't tell you which way to handle dissonance. It's a matter of taste and style. If you do decide you want to treat those sus2 and sus4 chords as dissonances and resolve them, you leaning toward a traditional style. If you use them more freely, it's more modern.


sus4 chords are even in rock very often resolved to third. An extreme example is Pinball Wizard, the verse of which consists basically only of sus4-major resolutions. Even when they aren't resolved, then they often function as if that would happen, but the third is just not explicitly played.

sus2, or rather sus9, chords are a different story: these are best understood as two stacked fifths, a very consonant construction (which just happens to not fit into the “chord=stack of 3rds” schema that many musicians keep thinking in), and as such doesn't really beg any resolution. Similar as with major-seventh chords, which one might think be dissonant but actually work very well as stable tonics (in this case, the stack-of-3rds view does work well).

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