The Augmented Triad.
The term “augmented” in chord names is abbreviated to aug or +, as in Caug or C+. Both these mean the same thing: a C chord with a raised (augmented) 5th.
Hence: the terminologies “Augmented” and “diminished” in chord names, always refer to the 5th of the chord. (“major” and “minor” refer to the 3rd of the chord)
The structure of the augmented triad is 1 3 #5
You get these intervals when you stack two major 3rds. From the root (1) to 3 is a major 3rd interval, from 3 to #5 is a major 3rd interval again.
When you go up another major 3rd from the #5, you end back on 1 (the root).
For example: the notes in a Caug chord are C E G#. When you go up a major from G# you land back on the note C
Hence, this is a symmetrical chord: all notes are equal distance (4 fret distances) from one another in the chord and cut the octave into 3 equal parts. (3 x 4 frets = 12 frets)
In a symmetrical chord, you only have 1 chord shape (on each string set) for all inversions of that chord.
Inverting the notes C E G# so the 3rd becomes the lowest note, gives you:
E G# C. The structure: a major 3rd followed by a major 3rd.
Inverting the notes again gives you:
G# C E. The structure: a major 3rd followed by a major 3rd.
The aug shapes for all inversions on all stringsets look like this:
Next week we’ll cover the augmented arpeggio fingerings, and what you can do with these cool-sounding chords.
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