Specifically, the chord I'm wondering about is one with Root, 2nd, 4th, minor 7th.


So let's say it's D, E, G, C.

My thinking is to call it Dm7sus2sus4, but that becomes quite the mouthful.

Additionally, I don't know if it can be called a sus2, since the root is already there. My understanding is that a sus2 would resolve to the root.


Side note

It's only from context that I've decided on the D approach. The set of notes can, as far as my understanding reaches, also be a Cadd9/D, possibly Em7add6/D or G6add13(no 3)/D.

But barring these alternatives, does it have a name that begins with D?

  • Sus chords change the 3rd for either a 2nd or a 4th. Either of these usually moves back - as in a sus chord is usually followed by the same root chord, in simple triad form. So the sus part 'resolves' to the chord's 3rd. your CEGD could easily be Cadd9/D, but it may depend on what its function is in what key.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:41
  • @Tim - Yes, but in this case, the third is changed for both. Do we then call it "sus2sus4"?
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:44
  • It's just a C9 (or Cadd2) without the C underneath. With no other context I can't hear it any other way.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:46
  • Yeah, I proposed Cadd9/D as well as a few other /D chords in the question, but I should have been more specific: Is there a way to name this that starts with D?
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:47
  • 1
    It can't be Dm7 at all: there's no F to make minor, but the 7th would be C anyway.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:57

3 Answers 3


C/D is the simplest version. Perhaps D9sus4 if you want D to be the first letter.

  • Wouldn't D9 imply that we're stacking thirds? We have the fifth and seventh, but no third, so I skipped the idea of D9sus4 for that reason.
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 18:20
  • 1
    @Alec When a performer sees "sus4" after a chord, it tells them to raise the 3rd to a 4th (so F# becomes G in this case). So, D9sus4 would include these notes: D, G, A, C, E. There is no 5th in the chord you wrote in your post, so if you really don't want them to the A, you could write D9sus4 (omit 5).
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 18:27
  • Oh, my brain isn't performing today. Of course the suspension replaces the 3rd. Yeah, I definitely like D9sus4(no 5) then.
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 18:35
  • It's funny. C/D exactly fits the list of tones D E G C but then it seems to mean Cadd9 inverted... so suspensions. I suppose if Dm7sus2sus4 was intended the tone list should be E G A C then if truly a suspension it would resolve to D F A C. So the question may be mixed up about what chord is intended. +1 for a chord symbol that does match exactly the list of tones in the question. Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 21:58
  • @MichaelCurtis Yeah, it's a classic theory vs. practice problem. If you're trying to describe the theoretical function of the suspensions, then C/D doesn't do that, but it is the most practical way to convey this set of notes to a performer.
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 13:46

In classical music, this would be labeled probably a 9-8 4-3 suspension (close enough). Also I believe "double suspension" is sufficient most of the time.


Maybe you could use Dm11.

That gives E the 9th, G the 11th, and C the 7th.

But, the F and A being omitted isn't captured by that particular symbol. If those omissions are important a m11 is not a good choice.

If you must be clear the chord is a suspension, you seem stuck with the sus and also should not use add.

  • How do you reach a minor chord there? Assuming D is the root, there's no minor third.
    – AJFaraday
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 10:14
  • @AJFaraday, I used a minor, because the OP suggested Dm. But if you re-read my short answer... "But, the F and A being omitted isn't captured by that particular symbol. If those omissions are important a m11 is not a good choice." Why are you asking me a question, that I already addressed in my answer? Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.