The aug (augmented) chord are together with the dim chord two groups of triads that are much less common than major and minor. The aug chord is sometimes written with a plus (+) symbol, for example C+.
When these chords occur in songs, they are for the most part used sporadically, often between two major chords, and can bring subtle interest to the harmony of the song (see some suggestion of progressions at the end of the page).
To summarize the aug chord from a theoretical point of view, the chord consists of a root, a major third and an augmented fifth. If C major and Caug is compared, what happen is that C, E and G changes to C, E and G#. The augmented fifth is the reason that the same chord also is marked with a +5 symbol, for exemple C+5.
You only need to learn one movable shape to play all aug chords:
The shape above has the root on the fifth string (i.e. the second thickest). So to play, for example Caug, the bass note should be on the third fret, see all keys written out below.
All aug chords listed with the same movable shapes written in short notation.
Caug - X 3 2 1 1 X
C#aug / Dbaug - X 4 3 2 2 X
Daug - X 5 4 2 2 X
D#aug / Ebaug - X 6 5 4 4 X
Eaug - X 7 6 5 5 X
Faug - X 8 7 6 6 X X
F#aug / Gbaug - X 9 8 7 7 X
Gaug - 10 9 8 8 X X
G#aug / Abaug - X 11 10 9 9 X
Aaug - X 12 11 10 10 X
A#aug / Bbaug - X 13 12 11 11 X
Baug - X 2 1 0 0 X
Aug open chords (including voicings)
Faug is not presented since there are no suitable way to play this chord in open position.
Chord progressions with aug chord
Aug chords are often used directly after a major chord in the same key, here are some examples:
D Daug D6 D7
Notice the movement from D including a perfect fifth, Daug including a raised fifth, D6 including a sixth and D7 including a minor seventh.
G Gaug Em
C Caug Am
Especially the G Gaug Em sequence is very easy to play since the small movements involved. Here you should use Gaug in open position.
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