Augmented Chords - When and Where To Use Them

Augmented Chords- When and Where To Use Them
A good way of using augmented chords is as a chromatic passing chord between a minor chord and its relevant major (IE. C#m, Caug, Emaj, as in the bridge of 'The Beatles' All My Lovin'), you can do the same thing in reverse of course.

The augmented chord is formed by raising the perfect fifth a half step.
Augmented Triad = 1+3+#5
I gleaned some great points from Duane regarding Augmented Chords.
Augmented triads (triads are 3-note chords) are one of the 4 basic chord types, yet they are used very little compared to major and minor chords.
Major Chords = the main meal
Minor Chords = the side dish
Aug/Diminish = the spice
You don’t linger on them, but use them as transition chords between a major and another major chord, or between a major and a minor chord, or sometimes even between two minor chords.
When you play Battle Hymn of the Republic, first chord C, you can use C Aug before you land on the F chord for a nice transition.
Duane has some great photos of augmented chords, their formation in the left hand.

Steps Make Thirds.
Steps make thirds and thirds make chords.
Before you can understand chords, you should first understand thirds. The half step is the interval we will use to make thirds. Half steps are the smallest distance between any two notes. When you play all the half steps it is called the “chromatic scale.” It doesn’t matter if the notes are black or white. For example, the distance between C and C# is a half step. E to F is also a half step.
The following formulas explain how to make thirds:
3 half steps = minor third (m3)
4 half steps = major third (M3)
Chord Formulas.
There are four basic triad chords. All more advanced chords are built on these. So, it is crucial that you understand the following formulas before you try to make more complex chords:
M3 + m3 = Major Triad
m3 + M3 = Minor Triad
m3 + m3 = Diminished Triad
M3 + M3 = Augmented Triad
Learn the Chord Symbols.
If “Eb” is our generic chord, the symbols for each triad would look like this:
Eb Major = Eb
Eb Minor = Ebmin or Ebm or Eb-
Eb Diminished = Ebdim or Eb°
Eb Augmented = Ebaug or Eb+
Moderator of HearandPlay, Hammondman says, "As for the augmented chords you can use them with or in place of 7th chords. 1 to 4 or 5 to 1 etc. The pattern for all augmented chords is simply raise the fifth note of any chord one half step. ex. c chord. C-E-G- raise the G to Ab.[C-E-Ab ] you can also add the seventh note also ex. C chord E-Ab-Bb-C. ALSO TRY ROLLING a D note with the chord. [ E-Ab-bB-D note to C note. This pattern works in any key."

I learned about chord formations from Hear and Play's Audio Chord music resource while on the go! Jermaine Griggs, founder of Hear and Play, teaches volumes of music theory on his Chords Audio 1 and 2
Dear Fellow Musician,
What if you could pop a CD into your home or car
stereo and learn everything you needed to know to
start playing beautiful chords on the piano? I'm
talking about all the same chords used to play
practically every popular song out there! The
ones you grew up listening to... the songs you
now enjoy... classic holiday tunes... even your
kids' favorite songs... and more!
What if you could learn all the chords that make
up those songs in just an hour or so? Would you
be excited? Well... You should be! Because at, Jermaine over at Hear
and Play Music is going to reveal an approach
that allows you to learn anywhere: at your piano,
in your car, on your ipod® while at the gym ---
So, if you have a CD player and two hours to
spare, then you have what it takes to start
mastering chords by ear.
Read the rest of this story at:
Click Here, Chords (Audio)
(Over 20 minutes of audio lesson clips at the
You'll definitely find this new resource very
beneficial, especially if you're struggling to
grasp the concepts of chords! Believe it or not,
once you master chords, half of the battle is won
because songs are created ALL BY CHORDS!
Rush over to HearandPlay and read his entire report.
Click Here, Chords (Audio)
Step-by-step, you'll learn:
- How to form various types of chords: major,
minor, diminished, augmented and the easy theory
behind them. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. *
-The classes of chords and the difference
between triads, sevenths, ninths, elevenths, and
thirteenths... all broken down in "normal,"
down-to-earth, language. *
- One magic formula that creates all the
chords you'll ever need to know. All I'll tell
you is that it involves two words: Quality &
Quantity (and you need both in order to create
all chords). *
- How to form any major scale in seconds
using my "Why Won't He Wear White When Hot"
trick. *
- Easy ways to understand intervals (which
are merely distances between notes). There are
melodic intervals and harmonic intervals and
you'll learn both.
- The secret behind the "number system" and
how to use it to learn practically any chord out
there. I'll prove it to you with 7 practical
So I highly recommend that you go over to the
site. Don't forget to check out the 20+ minutes
of audio lessons! You'll be glad you did.
Click Here, Chords (Audio)
Augmented and diminished chords generally show up much less often than any of the others. But when you play an augmented chord, it will definitely add flavor that you need in a song! Arpeggiate an augmented chord over a dom. 7 chord. It will sound great!
Until next time,

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