The Augmented Line Cliché

The Augmented Line Cliche

This is a short excerpt of my book “Guitar Essentials”, which you can buy here:

A line cliché is a stepwise descending or ascending line that moves inside a single, stationary chord. Line clichés create a sense of momentum and direction in static chord progressions. They’re a great technique to add interesting-sounding harmonic motion in musical passages where there is only one chord for an extended period of time.

The following line cliché in the key of C creates a sense of direction and builds up from the I chord into the IV chord. In this case, the 5th in the C chord (the note G), moves up a fret to the #5 (G#), then up another fret to the 6th (A), then up another fret to the b7 (Bb).

This gives the following chord progression:

| C | Caug | C6 | C7 | F ||

Analysis: I Iaug I6 V7/IV IV

V7/IV is called a secondary dominant chord. V7/IV is the dominant chord that wants to resolve down a 5th to the IV chord (F) of the key (C7 resolves to F).

You can learn more about secondary dominant chords here:

Fun With Secondary Dominants

Here’s how to play this augmented line cliché:

To complete the chord progression so it ends on the I chord, you could simply strum a G followed by a C chord after the F chord.


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