Invite to the latest installation of Chord by Chord, a series developed to construct your understanding of consistency and the fretboard. Up to this point, I’ve taught you various triad (three-note chord) types– significant, small, and lessened– and how to find them on the fretboard. This time I’ll show you the fourth and last kind of triad, enhanced.

The Work

As you know, a significant chord is developed of 3 notes, the root, the 3rd, and the fifth. An augmented chord shares two of these notes– the root and the 3rd– however the fifth is raised a half step, making it augmented. Often in notation an enhanced chord is signified with a plus (+) indication, but at AG we instead utilize the suffix aug beside the root note. Example 1 reveals the notes in a C major chord (C E G) and Example 2 reveals the notes in a Caug chord (C E G #). Sounds pretty various, right?

Example 3 shows how you can build a Caug chord from an open C shape. Notice that we’re only changing one note in the chord– the fifth, which is on the third string. That’s what we’ll be performing in every one of these examples raising the 5th a half step, which just needs that you move a finger up by one fret. By the way, in both of the chords in Ex. 3, you might also include the open E string, but it’s much easier not to, and you have the 3rd (E) covered on the 4th string.

In Example 4a, the shapes are originated from a C major barre chord in 3rd position. The Caug shape here is a bit uncomfortable to finger, so simply keep your eye on the ball– prior to you form the chord, look at the location where your fretting fingers will land and concentrate on how your hand will look when you get there. Example 4b is played on the leading 3 strings. Notification that all you have to do here is move your very first finger up a fret, because the 5th is on the first team.

The last 2 examples are stemmed from a C barre chord in eighth position. The first (Example 5a) is used the bottom 4 strings, and the second (Example 5b) on the leading 4.

The Outcome

You should now understand how an augmented triad is built and how to form Caug from various C major voicings. For some context, one song that utilizes a Caug chord is “All My Caring” by the Beatles. Next time we’ll work even more on the augmented triad, focusing on Gaug.