Augmented Triad Chords (Aug) | Guitar Diagrams | Root & Inverted Voicings | Close and Open Positions
What's an Augmented Triad?
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).
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 build 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 abbreviated with a + sign ; C+.
|C augmented triad||C||E||G#|
Augmented Triad Chords | Close Positions
All the notes of the closed triad chords are placed as close together as possible unlike open triads whose notes are spead out and cover more than an octave.
How to Play Augmented Triads in Close Position?
The four guitar diagrams below show how to play augmented triads in close positions. They are organized into four categories.
- Bass on the sixth string.
- Bass on the fifth string.
- Bass on the fourth string.
- Bass on the third string.
There are 3 different voicings in each category. 1 root position and its two related inverted positions :
- Root position (blue)
- Third in the bass (1st inversion) in green.
- Fifth in the bass (2nd inversion) in orange.
Here are the voicings
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||3||#5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||#5||R||3|
Root Positions and Inversions, What Does it Mean ?
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.
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.
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Last edited: 05/08/2020