C(no3) is just the notes C and G. C7(no3) is the notes C, G and Bb. Is it valid to have a C11(no3) chord? Or would this just be referred to as some kind of sus chord (like C9sus4 or something)? Which is more “correct”?

  • Technically, "sus" means that there's an actual suspension going on (i.e. that 4th came from the previous chord). But it's true that it's often used just to indicate the presence of a 4th in the chord even if it's not a real "suspension." Nov 30, 2021 at 20:43
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    Does this answer your question? What is the correct way to notate a no3/sus chord?
    – Aaron
    Nov 30, 2021 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


Given the example of C11(no3), it's more likely to be called G-7/C, if only because the latter is easier to understand at a glance.

Chord names are primarily a shorthand and are not expected to describe function and context in the way a Roman numeral analysis would. So at that level C9sus4 would be equally correct, except to the degree that sus4 and 11 suggest a different placement of that pitch: sus4 would be placed below the seventh; 11 would be placed above.

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