Augmented Chords on Piano

How do you play an augmented chord?

The secret to playing an augmented chord is taking a major chord (triad) and raising the top note up a half step.

Normal C Major Triad = C E G

C Augmented Triad = C E G#

*Members can click this link for video lessons about augmented chords.

Augmented Chord Theory

If you are looking at it with your theory hat on (I’m not exactly sure what that hat would look like) then  play two intervals together: Major 3rd + Major 3rd.

C to E = Major 3rd
E to G# = Major 3rd

so

C to E to G# = Major 3rd + Major 3rd

NOTE: Also shown as M3 + M3

You can also look at the intervals going off of the root note:

C to E = Major 3rd (M3)
C to G# = Augmented 5th (Aug5)

When to Use Augmented Chords

When playing an augmented chord by itself, you might wonder when someone would ever want to use them in a progression.  There is no set rule for when they are used, but a common time is when leading to another chord. 

Try playing C (C E G) then Caug (C E G#) then F (F A C).  Notice how the augmented chord leads to the F chord?

Augmented 7th Chords

To make it a 7th chord add in a flatted 7th.

Caug7 = C E G# Bb

Major 3rd + Major 3rd + Diminished 3rd

Going off of the root note:

C to E = Major 3rd (M3)
C to G# = Augmented 5th (Aug5)
C to Bb = Minor 7th (m7)

Same Chord | Different Looks

C Augmented:

Caug 
C+
C#5

C7 Augmented:

Caug7
C+7
C7(#5)

All Augmented Triads

Chord Root Major third Augmented fifth
Caug C E G
Caug C E (F) Gdouble sharp (A)
Daug D F A
Daug D F A
Daug D Fdouble sharp (G) Adouble sharp (B)
Eaug E G B
Eaug E G B (C)
Faug F A C
Faug F A Cdouble sharp (D)
Gaug G B D
Gaug G B D
Gaug G B (C) Ddouble sharp (E)
Aaug A C E
Aaug A C E (F)
Aaug A Cdouble sharp (D) Edouble sharp (F)
Baug B D F
Baug B D Fdouble sharp (G)

All Augmented 7th Chords

Chord Root Major third Augmented fifth Minor seventh
Caug7 C E G B
Caug7 C E (F) Gdouble sharp (A) B
Daug7 D F A C (B)
Daug7 D F A C
Daug7 D Fdouble sharp (G) Adouble sharp (B) C
Eaug7 E G B D
Eaug7 E G B (C) D
Faug7 F A C E
Faug7 F A Cdouble sharp (D) E
Gaug7 G B D F (E)
Gaug7 G B D F
Gaug7 G B (C) Ddouble sharp (E) F
Aaug7 A C E G
Aaug7 A C E (F) G
Aaug7 A Cdouble sharp (D) Edouble sharp (F) G
Baug7 B D F A
Baug7 B D Fdouble sharp (G) A

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