How to Play the Gsus2 Chord on Guitar in Drop D Tuning
Learn how to play the Gsus2 chord - aka G suspended 2 - as well as some popular songs that include this guitar chord.
By Dillon Wallace
The G suspended 2 chord (typically written as Gsus2) is a suspended chord, which means the third interval is omitted and replaced with the second interval. Since suspended chords don’t have a third, it also means they don’t have a major or minor – similar to the characteristics of a power chord.
Suspended second chords consist of a root, second, and fifth degrees of the major scale. The dissonance between the root and the second note creates a tension in its overall sound, giving the chord a naturally aggressive punch.
Let’s take a look at how to play the Gsus2 guitar chord and a few songs that harness its power.
What Notes Make Up the Gsus2 Chord?
Like its G major counterpart, the Gsus2 chord contains the notes G and D. However, unlike the G major chord, Gsus2 swaps out the B note with an A.
The three notes that comprise the Gsus2 are:
G, A and D
Playing the Gsus2 Chord
One of the most popular ways to play the Gsus2 chord is in drop D tuning, which is a popular tuning for many rock songs that lean on power chords. Don’t feel intimidated to switch your guitar tuning! (Relax. You can always tune it back.)
Drop D tuning only alters the sound of one string - your low E string is tuned down from the standard E by one whole step, so it sounds like your fourth string’s low D.
To play the drop D version of the Gsus2 chord, start by barring your index finger across the 5th fret of the low E string (which is essentially a low D when in drop D tuning) and your A string. Then, place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the (actual) D string.
Strum only your fourth, fifth and sixth strings.
- - Index finger: 5th fret of the low D (6th) string
- - Index finger: 5th fret of the A (5th) string
- - Ring finger: 7th fret of the D (4th) string
Strum 3 strings down from the low D (6th) string
Songs that Use the Gsus2 Chord
The Gsus2 chord - particularly in its drop D incarnation - is the perfect chord for inclusion in rock and metal songs, as well as a natural fit for blues and folk. Here are a few genre-spanning songs that will give you a chance to practice your Gsus2 strumming.
One of the biggest alternative tracks from the late ‘90s, “Everlong” perfectly encapsulates the essence of the Gsus2 chord. The driving, trance-like tempo is complemented perfectly by the distortional punch of the Gsus2 chord. The rhythmic strumming of the song gave music fans a callback to lead singer/rhythm guitarist Dave Grohl’s days as the drummer for Nirvana.
The Gsus2 chord’s versatility is on display in “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin. A mix of rock, blues and folk, Jimmy Page works the chord into this atmospheric ode to changing seasons and fluctuating emotions.
Speaking of emotions, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crowe strums the Gsus2 chord on her 1996 hit, “If It Makes You Happy.” The chord’s quirky flavoring works with the quavery feel of the song, providing an unexpected lilt to the song’s introspective, yet slightly nonsensical lyrics - think Dr. Seuss by way of a VH1 pop diva.
Finally, listen for the Gsus2 chord in Meat Loaf’s 1993 comeback hit, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” An epic ballad 12-minutes long, the Gsus2 chord comes into play on the verses, adding to the emotional feel of this duet.
If you'd like to learn how to play even more chords, browse Fender Play's chord library, learn about chord types, and find tips on how to master them.
If you're not a member yet, sign up for a free Fender Play trial.