How to Play Asus2 Chord on Guitar

In today's lesson, we'll go over 5 distinct ways to play the A suspended second chord, or Asus2 for short.

We'll discover common positions, voicings, and recommend finger placements, each with its chord diagram. Later in this article, we'll also discuss chord theory, how it gets its name, and how to use it.

How To Play Asus2 Guitar Chord (Easy)

Asus2 chord open position 1

The easiest, most traditional fingering for the Asus2 chord will be in the open position. To play, place your:

  • Middle finger on the fourth string, second fret 
  • Ring finger on the third string, second fret

Be sure to avoid strumming the low e string.

You may also notice that this is very similar to the fingering for the Em chord!

Asus2 Guitar Chord Using Barre

Asus barre chard position 1

While most guitarists only learn the Asus2 chord in the open position, these chords can be played as a barre chord as well! 

Asus2 Barre Chord Voicing 1:

This first voicing is the most common as it is the easiest Asus2 chord that uses a bar. To play:

  • First place your 1st finger on the 5th string, 12th fret
  • Then, 3rd finger on the 4th string, 14th fret
  • 4th finger on the 3rd string, 14th fret
  • At last, bar your index finger across strings 1 - 5
Asus barre chard position 1

Asus2 Barre Chord Voicing 2

This next position is also relatively easy as far as barre chords go. To play, place your:

  • Index finger on the 4th (D) string, 7th fret
  • Ring finger on the 3rd string, 9th fret
  • Pinky finger on the 2nd string, 10th fret
  • Now, simply barre with your index finger across strings 1 - 4

Strum from the fourth string down.

Asus bar chord special voicing 3

Asus2 Barre Chord Voicing 3

This next voicing is a bit more strange but is also relatively easy. To play, place your:

  • Pinky finger on the 5th string, 12th fret 
  • Barre your index finger on strings 3 & 4, 9th fret
  • Lastly, place your 2nd finger on the B string, 10th fret

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Asus2 Chord Without Barring or In Open Position

Asus2 chord in open position guitar chart

This last Asus2 chord is going to be a bit of a stretch, but with practice, you should be able to play this just fine. To play, place your:

  • 1st finger on the sixth string, 5th fret 
  • Middle finger on the 5th string, 7th fret
  • 4th finger on the 4th string, 9th fret

Fun fact, the first three notes of the intro solo to Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica is a suspended second chord in this fingering. 

G#m7 Guitar Chord with Dm7 Chord Shape

g#m7 in dm7 shape

This G#m7 guitar chord doesn't need a barre, and there's no stretching, which makes it much easier. To play, place your:

  • Second finger on the B string, 7th fret
  • Ring finger on the high E string, 7th fret
  • Index finger on the D string, 6th fret
  • Fourth finger on the G string, 8th fret

As you can see in the guitar chord diagram, avoid strumming the low E string and the A stri

What song uses Asus2 chord?

Tesla - To Be With You
Metallica - Unforgiven
Michael Jackson - Black Or white

Asus2 Guitar Chord Theory

Here, I am going to break down the theory of the Asus2 chord so you can better understand what's going on under the hood and how to use it.

The A suspended second chord is built from the A major scale: A B C# D E F# G#

To understand the chord formula, you need to understand "scale degrees," which is simply numbering the notes starting with the root note.

Often, music teachers reference piano note names due to the simplicity of the layout of a piano, but I think the illustration below will do:

1     2     3      4     5     6     7
A    B     C#   D   E     F#    G#

If you've read my breakdown of the A major chord, you'd know that an A major chord uses notes A, C# E, which are the 1 3 5 notes of the scale. For a suspended second chord we use the 1 2 5 notes of the scale.

Side note: I don't want to get too deep into the theory, but sometimes you'll hear the 2 referred to as a major second in reference to the intervals. This is another layer deep and really isn't important right now.

The Asus2 is Neither A Major Nor A Minor Chord

In music theory, the 3rd scale degree determines if a chord is major or minor, and because the 3rd scale degree is not part of this chord's formula, it's simply not a major nor minor chord.

Now, notice from each chord diagram the following notes A B E are being used. These are the notes that make this chord, and if you add any other note besides these, it will no longer be an Asus2 chord.

How To Use A Suspended Second Chord

As already mentioned, a suspended second chord is neither major nor minor - it's almost like it's "SUSPENDED" and doesn't know where to go.

It's used to get a bit more mileage out of the chord before there is movement. This means that you can bounce around on it, moving from Am to Asus2 or A major to Asus2 to keep the listener entertained a little longer before you move to another chord.

Try this:

If you are playing in the key of A minor, go back and forth between Am and Asus2 a few times, then play a G major. If you are playing in the key of A major, go back and forth between the A major chord and Asus2 a few times, then play a D major.

It's super easy and sounds great!

Now you know a few ways to play the Asus2 chord and understand some Asus2 chord theory!

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