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" Secrets of Exciting Chords & Chord Progressions!" 


Piano keyboard with music notesDuane Shinn at piano


- Week Seven -

Augmented Piano Triads

"The 'Pepper' of a Musical Meal"


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    Hello again, and welcome to the next edition of the newsletter. I hope you are enjoying learning about all the chords in the world -- and we're going to cover them ALL before we're done -- you'll know more about chords than 99% of the people in the world -- believe it or not, it's true.

    If you recall the first week we learned about the three chords you absolutely, positively CAN'T do without.  Then the next  week we took an airplane ride over Chordland just to get the lay of the land -- the overview of the world of chords.

     Then in the next  weeks lesson we showed you how easy it is to learn ALL the major chords (there are 12 of them) and be able to play them in seconds -- not hours or days or weeks or months or years. Some people go through their entire lives not being sure about what such and such a major chord is -- and it's all so unnecessary, because you can memorize them in just a few minutes, and learn to play them in 12 seconds or less - one second per chord. I have had many private students over the years who could play them all in as little as 5 seconds -- one little gal (she was about 12 at the time) had particularly fast hands, and could play them in - believe it or not - 3 seconds!  I have slow hands with fat fingers, and yet I can play them in something like 5 or 6 seconds. Next  you learned how to easily turn major chords into minor chords just by moving one key one-half step -- by lowering the 3rd of the major chord.

     Then we learned diminished triads -- just by lowering the 3rd and the 5th of a major chord 1/2 step.

     Then we learned inversions -- how to stand chords on their head.

     Today we are going to learn augmented chords. They are the "pepper" of a musical meal, much like the diminished triads were the "salt" of a musical meal. You wouldn't make a meal out of them, but you use them as seasoning -- to liven up your music. The formula is real simple:


An Augmented Triad =  Root                   3rd                  raised 5th

Here's what they look like on the staff:

(The symbols for an augmented chord is a "+" sign)

Augmented piano chords

     And here's what they look like on the keyboard:   

C augmented triad F augmented triad G  augmented triad
D augmented triad E augmented triad A augmented triad
Db augmented triad Eb augmented triad Ab augmented triad
Gb augmented triad B augmented triad Bb augmented triad


         Now it's up to you. Play each augmented triad in root position, then 1st inversion, then 2nd inversion. Play each chord up and down the keyboard for at least 2 octaves -- maybe 3 octaves. Play them with your left hand, then play them with your right hand. Then play them hands together.

     Go through all 12 major chords, inverting every one. Then go through all the 12 minor chords, inverting each one up and down the keyboard -- hands alone, then hands together. Then go through all 12 diminished chords, inverting each one up and down the keyboard -- each hand alone, then together. Then play the 12 augmented chords, up and down the keyboard. Then skip around from major to minor to diminished to augmented, etc.

      When you can do that you ought to feel really, really, really optimistic about learning chords, because you've got a great start. After all, you have gone from:

12 major piano chords


12 minor piano chords


12 diminished piano chords


12 augmented piano chords


3 inversions of each piano chord

which means you can now play

144 piano chords!

That's 12 dozen -- a gross of piano chords!

That's more than most people learn in their entire life -- and you've learned them in 7 weeks!


'Way to go!

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    Next week we will add 24 more chords to our growing list of chords we can play. Now that we have covered all the triads (3 note chords), we'll take up 6th chords -- they are extensions of the basic major and minor chords.


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