Let’s look at how to play augmented chords on the piano. Once we know the pattern for building an augmented chord, we can apply that pattern starting on any note, to build augmented chords.
How to Play an Augmented Chord
C Augmented Chord
Let’s build a C augmented chord. We’ll start by building a C major chord. Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale (learn how to build a major scale here). So to build a C major chord we’ll play the first, third and fifth notes of a C major scale: C – E – G.
Then we’ll raise the fifth note G by 1/2 step, to G♯.
So to play a C augmented chord, we’d play:
C – E – G♯
But the short answer is that augmented chords are built using a root, a major third, and an augmented fifth. since “G” is a fifth up from “C” alphabetically, we need to call this some type of “G”. So we’ll call it “G♯”.
G Augmented Chord
Then we’ll raise the fifth note D by 1/2 step, to D♯.
So a G augmented chord is:
G – B – D♯
Learning patterns on the piano is so much better than memorizing individual notes for chords, because patterns can be applied again and again!