Looking to spice up your chord progressions? An augmented chord can be a great way to move between chords in a progression.
The first thing to learn in the diagram below is how the augmented chord is written. This diagram shows an example is a G augmented chord on piano and guitar fretboard. An augmented chord is often written as 'aug' or simply +.
An augmented chord is the same basic triad structure of a Major triad however the 5th note is raised a semi-tone. For reference a G Major triad is G,B,D and the G+ triad is G,B,D#.
The augmented chord is a tense sounding chord and can be difficult to throw into music. Often it works best as a passing chord or resolving back to the first chord or a progression. Try the examples below.
- ii - V+ - I (minor 2nd, Aug 5th, Maj 1st). In the key of C Major the chords for the progression here would be dm - G+ - C
- I - V+ (Maj 1st, Aug 5th). Working back from the G+ you get a C Major as the I chord so this progression is C - G+. This simple progression plays quite smoothly tonewise.
- I - IV+ (Maj 1st, Aug 4th). This progression really brings out the tenseness of the Augmented chord. Play it as D Major and G Augmented.
With a little creativity you can use your augmented chords to add tension or even a passing 'stab' to add more colour to your progressions.