Augmented triad chords (Aug) | Guitar diagrams | Root & inverted positions

Jazz guiatr arpeggiosA triad chord consists of three different notes. These kind of chords are generally the first ones a guitar student learns because they are quite easy to play and to remember. Practicing triad chords allow to expand your music theory knowledge and will open up your knowledge of the guitar fretboard.

There are four main triad qualities :

  • Major triad : root (1) - major third (3) and perfect fifth (5).
  • Minor triad : root (1) - minor third (b3) and perfect fifth (5).
  • Diminished triad : root (1) - minor third (b3) and diminished fifth (b5).
  • Augmented triad : root (1) - major third (3) and augmented fifth (#5).

Triad symbols

  • Major triad : Generally, no quality symbol is added.
  • Minor triad :"m" or "min".
  • Diminished triad : "dim" or a degree sign "°".
  • Augmented triad : "aug" or a plus sign "+".

Augmented triads | Guitar diagrams and charts

An augmented triad chord is built by stacking a root (1), a major third (3) and an augmented fifth (#5). This is a major triad with an augmented fifth (or a sharp fifth). It means you can take the 5th tone of the major triad and move it up one half step (one fret on the guitar). They have quite an unusual quality. Because of the #5, they sound unstable and tense when played in a chord progression, so they must be used carefully and in the appropriate context. 

To built a C augmented triad, we need to play C (the root), E (the major third) and G# (the augmented fifth). It would be noted Caug or even abreviated with a + sign ; C+.

C augmented triad C E G#
Formula 1 3 #5

 

Augmented triad chords | Basses on 6th string | Root and inverted positions

The twelve guitar diagrams below are organized into four categories

  1. Basses on the sixth string.
  2. Basses on the fifth string.
  3. Basses on the fourth string.
  4. Basses on the third string.

There are 3 different diagrams in each category, 1 root position and its two related inverted positions :

  1. Root position
  2. Third in the bass (1st inversion)
  3. Fifth in the bass (2nd inversion) 

Here are the voicings 

Root position  R 3 #5
1st inversion (third in the bass) 3 #5 R
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) #5 R 3

 

What are root positions and inversions ?

The notes of the root position are in the order (1-3-#5) unlike the inverted positions which have their notes in a different order, so the third or the sharp fifth can be in the bass. Thus giving three different augmented triad voicings.

Symmetry

You will notice that some diagrams have identical shapes because of the symmetry of the augmented triads. Indeed, the interval (4 semitones) between the root and the major third is the same as the distance between the major third and the augmented fifth and as the distance between the augmented fifth and the root.

Root position

Augmented triad chord bass on 6th string

1st inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 6th string 2

2nd inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 6th string 3

Augmented triad chords | Basses on 5th string | Root and inverted positions

Root position

Augmented triad chord bass on 5th string

1st inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 5th string 2

2nd inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 5th string 3

Augmented triad chords | Basses on 4th string | Root and inverted positions

Root position

Augmented triad chord bass on 4th string

1st inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 4th string 2

2nd inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 4th string 3

Augmented triad chords | Basses on 6th string | Root and inverted positions

Root position

Augmented triad chord bass on 3rd string

1st inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 3rd string 2

2nd inversion

Augmented triad chord bass on 3rd string 3

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Last edited: 31/12/2017

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